“We ask for new passports now,” Venezuelans demand IDs from the Maduro regime

Venezuelans inside and outside the country are asking the Saime national ID and inmigration office to speed up the procedure to obtain a passport or an extension. They also urge the immigration agency to extend the validity of each document to ten and more than two years, respectively. They also asked the National Assembly, the countries receiving migrants, UNHCR, the OAS, and the European Parliament, to act to guarantee the right to free international transit.

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Venezuelans inside and outside the country, under the slogan, Save my identity, demanded to the Service of Identification, Migration, and Foreigners (Saime by its acronym in Spanish) guarantee their rights to identity and free transit, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and established in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

To this end, they demanded from the Saime a change in the system for obtaining passports. “To the Saime, we ask that the violation of the right to identity and free international transit of Venezuelans, ceases,” they point out in the public petition under the title “SOS. Venezuelans in the world ask for solutions and new passports,” which can be signed by those interested in the change.org platform.

In this regard, they requested the migratory organization to reform the identification system, which they consider has led “to the current crisis of the lack of international identification of Venezuelans.”

Likewise, they requested the Saime to speed up the date of the passport and extension process; to issue extensions for a period exceeding two years and passports with a validity of ten years, similar to that of the identity card, following the provisions of the Organic Law on Identification.

“The very high and constant increase of the cost of the Venezuelan passport to date positions it as the fourth most expensive in the world, and one of the most difficult to obtain, delaying up to three years its processing,” warned the letter circulating in the social networks.

They also consider it necessary to restore to the consular offices the power to issue a temporary travel or identification document and to extend the validity of the expired passport when there are problems in the system, which prevent the obtaining of a new ID.

“Thousands of Venezuelans are in a vulnerable and extremely fragile situation because not having access to proper identification, which undermines our rights to identity and free transit,” the letter reads.

To the National Assembly

Venezuelans abroad also address their petitions to the National Assembly, urging it to seek “fast solutions in favor of Venezuelans,” including a reform of the Organic Law on Identification.

“The current interim government of Venezuela, whose president is the deputy of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, urged the nations in May 2019 to recognize this crisis and to consider as valid the expired passports issued, for five years, counted as of their expiration date. However, the policy was welcomed by very few countries, and could not cover the needs of the Venezuelan diaspora,” they add.

They also request the NA to investigate the company Global Bridge Connections Inc., responsible for the collection of funds that people paid online through the Saime platform, for alleged fraud against Venezuelans who have paid fees and have not received either the appointment or the passport.

To the international community

The receiving countries of the more than five million people that have escaped from the humanitarian crisis they ask to relax “the migratory formalities, visas, and procedures given the state of crisis of identification and documentation that Venezuelans are going through both outside Venezuela and those who are still in the country.”

They extend the call to the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the European Parliament, institutions to which they ask to guarantee the right to free international transit of Venezuelans.

To sign the Save My Identity petition, click here.

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