By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazil’s President, Michel Temer, interrupted his Carnival Holiday on Monday to fly to the Northern state of Roraima and meet with officials to discuss the increasing tension there due to the massive flow of Venezuelan immigrants into the state’s capital, Boa Vista.
During the meeting with officials, Temer said that there would be no shortage of resources to help with the situation of Venezuelans in the state. “All the necessary resources will be sent to solve the issue of the Venezuelans, in the humanitarian aspect, but also the solution for the state of Roraima,” assured Temer.
Temer defended the protection of Brazilian borders and territory and the employment of Roraima’s citizens, without forgetting the ‘humanitarian question’ regarding the Venezuelans. “Venezuelans are forced to leave their country. [They] come here in absolute misery,” said the Brazilian President.
Temer also noted that ‘no one will prevent the entry of refugees’ in Brazil, but that the federal government must find measures to ‘orderly’ allow the entry of the refugees into the country.
Boa Vista officials estimates that about 40,000 Venezuelans have entered the city in the past few months, fleeing their country’s economic and political crisis. The number corresponds to more than 10 percent of the local population.
Among the measures being discussed, according to state officials, are the increase of Federal Police and Federal Highway Police agents in the region, as well as the increase of Brazilian Army’s policing of Pacaraima, a city bordering Venezuela.
Another of the measures discussed in Monday’s meeting is the redistribution of Venezuelans who arrive in Roraima to other Brazilian states. Officials say that the federal government’s focus will be on setting up professionals from the neighboring country in jobs that could help the immigrants themselves.
According to Justice Minister, Torquato Jardim, the idea is to render health certifications to Venezuelan doctors so they can treat ‘only Venezuelans’.
“Twenty five percent of immigrants claim to have a college degree. The proposal is that the doctors and nurses would act, since they have professional and legal qualification in Venezuela to treat Venezuelans,” said Jardim, adding that the program would also include teachers.