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U.S. Vice President's Visit to Refugees in Northern Brazil Criticized

06/28/2018 - 12h11

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MONICA PRESTES
PATRÍCIA CAMPOS MELLO
FROM MANAUS
FROM BRASÍLIA

On his last day in Brazil, the Vice President of the U.S., Mike Pence, visited a shelter in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas, for Venezuelan immigrants.

The site was adapted to receive entire families and thus avoid separating parents and children – it is among the institutions that could benefit from the US$ 1 million (R$ 3.8 million) donation promised by Pence to initiatives to take in Venezuelan refugees in Brazil. However, Vice President Pence did not set deadlines to transfer the funds.

AFP PHOTO / Ricardo OLIVEIRA
US Vice President Mike Pence speaks with Venezuelan refugees at the Santa Catarina Humanitarian Centre in Manaus, on June 27, 2018
US Vice President Mike Pence speaks with Venezuelan refugees at the Santa Catarina Humanitarian Centre in Manaus, on June 27, 2018

The mayor of Manaus, Arthur Virgílio Neto (PSDB), did not attend the event and complained of the requirements called for in the security protocol; Amazonino Mendes (PDT), the governor of Amazonas, was also absent as he was meeting with the former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani.

"Do not try to teach me solidarity. The Mexicans can speak about the treatment your country gives them," Virgílio Neto posted on a social network.

"He brought an imperialist political discourse and used the speech of the immigrants themselves to criticize the Venezuelan government," priest Orlando Barbosa, the coordinator of Archdiocesan Caritas of Manaus, said.

The National Pastoral Care for Migrants, the Pastoral Care for Migrants of the Manaus Archdiocese and the Scalabrinian Congregation said that Pence represents a government that builds walls and separates children from their parents.

Pence's visit occurred amid wide negative repercussion of the U.S.'s zero tolerance policy against illegal immigration, which separated more than 2,000 children from their parents - at least 51 of these are Brazilian.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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