Why Venezuelans are migrating en masse to the US via Mexico

  • Angel Bermúdez (@angelbermudez)
  • BBC World

A family of Venezuelans crossing the Rio Grande towards the USA

Credit, Getty Images

photo caption,

Thousands of Venezuelans are entering the US every month through the border with Mexico

“Right boats” is an expression that became popular a few decades ago to describe Venezuelans who emigrated to the United States after Hugo Chávez took power in 1999.

Died in 2013, Chávez ruled Venezuela for 14 years.

That phrase no longer describes how Venezuelans enter the US, which lately is more like the so-called “wetbacks”, a term coined in the 1920s — and often used derogatorily — for refer to those who crossed the border by swimming through the Rio Grande de Mexico.

In August of this year, more Venezuelans tried to cross the border from Mexico to the United States than Guatemalans and Hondurans. Only the Mexicans themselves made more crossings.

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