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Photo: GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post reports that the exodus from Venezuela during the current economic crisis is beginning to resemble the flow of Syrians into Europe in 2o15, and "just as in that crisis, countries overwhelmed by the flood of new arrivals are beginning to bar their doors."

The big picture: Venezuelans are desperate, going so far as to leave their children at orphanages because they can't support them. Hunger is becoming more widespread, as is political repression from the Maduro regime. That's fueling the mass migration.

By the numbers
  • Nearly 1 million Venezuelans have left the country over the course of two years. That's even more than the 650,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled atrocities in Myanmar.
  • "Roughly 250,000 Venezuelan migrants have surged into Colombia since August, with 3,000 a day still arriving." About 150,000 Venezuelans traveled to Peru last year, and Brazil has also seen thousands arrive.
The response
  • "In October, overwhelmed Panama imposed new visa requirements on Venezuelans, making it far more difficult for economic migrants and asylum seekers to enter the country."
  • "The sheer numbers have led to a backlash in Colombian cities and towns, prompting the national government last month to suspend the issuance of temporary visas for Venezuelans. Colombian authorities are now launching operations in which dozens of Venezuelans a day are captured and expelled."

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.