CARACAS – Venezuela’s socialist regime has made it nearly impossible for citizens to renew or obtain new passports – a violation of international human rights law that could leave millions stranded and deprived of identity in the middle of Latin America’s worst-ever migrant crisis.
Since late dictator Hugo Chávez seized power and handed it over to successor Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela has forced its citizens to go through an insurmountable amount of bureaucracy and endure rampant corruption to obtain legal documents of any kind, especially Venezuelan passports. Ironically, it is much easier for Middle Eastern members of Hezbollah who have never been to Venezuela to obtain a Venezuelan passport than it is for someone actually born here. Venezuela’s own citizens have to wait years.
Not having access to paperwork sounds superficially minor compared to the other challenges that socialism has entrenched in modern Venezuelan life: extreme shortages of food, medicine, water,