CARACAS – Venezuela’s Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on Wednesday that Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno lied when claiming that 6,000 Venezuelans are arriving each day in Ecuador due to the economic crisis in the oil-rich nation.
“He said that 6,000 sick Venezuelans were arriving in his country each day and that one million had already arrived, a figure that would only be possible if 140 buses left every day from Venezuela during the last seven years,” Rodriguez told a press conference.
The minister also criticized Ecuador’s foreign ministry, which has likewise presented figures about Venezuelan migration that are, according to Rodriguez, highly exaggerated.
“He is a liar and he dared to lie from the United Nations’ podium, because that was what he was ordered to do to mount that fairy tale,” Rodriguez said, referring to a speech delivered by Moreno at the UN General Assembly last month.
In his speech, the Ecuadorian president urged Latin American nations to support and be “sympathetic” with Venezuelan migrants.
“Children arrive with measles, diphtheria, poliomyelitis. Pregnant women arrive who have not had a checkup. We have provided 50,000 vaccines to those defenseless and beautiful children and we have provided thousands of checkups for the more than one million Venezuelan brothers and sisters who have left their homes to find better opportunities,” Moreno said.
Rodriguez responded by saying that “85 percent of Venezuelans who are now in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina wish to return to Venezuela. They are tired of the hate crimes, of the xenophobia, of the racism.”
“They are subjected to slave labor, to sexual assault, to fraud, to hate crimes. All of them, or nearly all of them, want to return,” he said.