The thousands of Venezuelans that have arrived to Panama in recent days has led officials to implement new measures ensuring the job security and safety of permanent residents.(Twitter)

(TODAY PANAMA) Panama announced this week that refugees fleeing Venezuela must have a stamped visa to enter the country.

President Juan Carlos Varela released a statement this Tuesday, August 22 in which he said that the thousands of Venezuelans that have arrived to Panama in recent days has led officials to implement new measures ensuring the job security and safety of permanent residents.

“The situation in Venezuela has resulted in the migration of thousands of people who are looking for a better future for themselves and their families,” Varela said in his address.

New measures will go into effect October 1, and last only as long as the crisis in Venezuela continues, officials said. Panama’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Migration Service, therefore, only have 30 days to coordinate their policies and figure out how to enforce new regulations.

“These are difficult measures, but the situation in Venezuela has worsened due to the decision of the National Constituent Assembly to dissolve the Venezuelan National Assembly, disrespecting democratic principles, social peace and acting against the voice of the people,” Carlos Varela said.

He added that “Panama, in keeping with its democratic vocation and respect of human rights, has condemned the resurgence of the situation in Venezuela.”

Tweet: We will continue to implement these measures until democratic order is restored, the authority of the constitution is restored, and basic human rights are respected in Venezuela.

As of October 1, 2017 Venezuelans who travel to the Republic of Panama will need stamped Visas. 

Carlos Varela said that in keeping with his government’s “commitment to solidarity and humane treatment,” he will grant immigrat status to the 25,000 Venezuelans “who were duly registered until June 30, 2017.”

Minutes earlier, he had taken to Twitter to propose that his Venezuelan counterpart invite the Vatican to be part of the dialogue with the opposition, a suggestions that was “first accepted and then ignored.”

I proposed the idea to Pdnt. Maduro to invite the Holy See to take part in the dialogue with the opposition, a proposal that he first accepted, and then ignored. 

“I am grateful for the confidence and understanding that the Panamanian people have in our government, and I assure them that we will always take the necessary measures to protect the interests of Panama,” he concluded.

Source: El Nacional; El Nuevo Herald

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