A paradox: the xenophobia against the Venezuelan migrant population that has been growing in Colombia supported by the media corporations of that country and the government itself, contradicts the economic benefit that Colombia is obtaining from that migration.
The great business of the so-called “humanitarian aid” to help the Venezuelan migration from which the Colombian State has already begun to profit, is added the direct economic advantage of the workforce that is coming from Venezuela to join the ranks of the exploitation formal, informal and illegal of the Colombian neoliberal economy and, of course, of the paraeconomics.
Every capitalist country that receives migrations benefits from the exploitation of that community, as it is clear from studies on the economic impact of migration in large recipient countries such as the United States. Venezuela itself was able to verify this when, after World War II, the intensification of the armed social conflict in Colombia and the dictatorships of the southern cone, make it one of the main recipients of migrants in the region and obtained from these countries an important work force that dynamised the economy and even culture.
According to a recent report on the Venezuelan migration to Colombia, presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of that country, approximately 75% of the Venezuelan population currently residing in Colombia is in what is classified as economically active age, which his figures would be around 770 thousand people.
However, in a report based on the previous one, plus other complementary ones, developed by the National Council of Economic and Social Policy (CONPES) of Colombia, it is established that 76.31% of the total Venezuelan migrant population is currently working. Similarly, according to estimates of the World Bank, 300 thousand Colombians have returned to their country from Venezuela in 2018 and also 75% of that population is between 18 and 60 years of age.
Regarding the Venezuelan migration, the report indicates that 19.79% is professional, which includes people with fourth level studies. But it also speaks of a precarization of working conditions of the population of Venezuelan origin to say that 31.99% have informal jobs (without a contract), 29.5% are independent workers and only 1.09% have formal employment. Assuming that all of those people with formal employment had a university education, more than 18% of that Venezuelan professional migration that has moved to Colombia is shared between those who do not have a job contract that protects them and those who took enough capital out of the country to become independent workers.
An example of how the Colombian State itself promotes the precariousness of employment among Venezuelan migration is that, according to the same CONPES, in 2015 the Special Administrative Unit of the Public Employment Service (UASPE) offered this population 200 temporary jobs with one duration of four months to perform tasks related to the collection of coffee in ten municipalities or districts of Norte de Santander. This qualifies as slave labor due to the employment conditions in which the Venezuelan migrants were.
On the other hand, an observatory created by one of the largest Colombian communication companies refers directly to the economic opportunities that this migratory movement is offering and throws other interesting data. For example, it notes that taking into account that 83% of that migration has completed at least secondary education, and that, as noted above, 75% are economically active, this population is younger and has a better level education than the Colombian working class in general.
In order to make better use of this labor force, it proposes the relocation of immigrants to, it says, “reduce the pressure on the border regions, and maximize the economic potential of these workers,” moving them to regions with higher unemployment rates and which he calls “a good business climate.” In the case of the neighboring country, this translates into areas where the large mining-energy transnationals, hydroelectric companies and agribusiness are consolidating themselves against popular resistance, that is, in war zones.
In that same sense, the manager of the Plan Fronteras, Felipe Muñoz, declared that they need to “integrate this volume of immigrants very quickly into the productive process,” prompting to accelerate the steps being taken by the government of Iván Duque to insert the migrant population Venezuelan in the neoliberal system of Colombian exploitation.
In this way, and in a planned manner, the Venezuelan migrant population begins to experience the very high levels of exploitation, inequality and violation of labor rights that characterize Colombia, and that Venezuela has not known, not even in the decades prior to the Bolivarian Revolution.
Source URL: Mision Verdad
Translated by JRE