Colombians deported from Venezuela to be offered jobs in coffee

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) is working with the Colombian government to create 200 coffee farming positions for undefined

a number of the Colombians who have been deported from Venezuela since August.

The Colombian government will pay the 200 evicted Colombians the minimum wage for a period of four months, in which time they will receive training in propagating and harvesting coffee crops.

The group is part of more than 1500 Colombians recently displaced, following Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's decision to close several border crossings and deport those living close to the borders.

In total, the Colombian government is looking to create 2300 jobs to assist the thousands of Colombians who voluntarily left Venezuela out of fear of deportation.

Maduro's critics say he is using the border dispute to distract local voters from increasing recession, crime and inflation ahead of the country's elections in December.

Maduro has responded that he is cracking down on criminal activity which has seen government subsidised provisions being smuggled across the border and sold for profit in Colombia.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos released a statement admonishing the Venezuelan government’s actions.                                 

“Nobody is judging the right of any country, of Venezuela, to deport a person who does not have the documentation to legally reside in its territory,” said Santos. “Even if it believes that by closing the border it will solve its problems, it is entitled to it; we are not questioning that,” he said.

“But what we do question, because it is totally unacceptable – and it should be unacceptable for all the countries that believe in the importance of protecting human rights – is the manner in which they have made these deportations, violating all the statutes, all the regulations of international law.”

Santos met with Maduro in Ecuador last week to try and resolve the diplomatic crisis.

“We travel to Ecuador tomorrow with the best intentions but without great expectations,” Santos said on Twitter.

Over the other side of the country, Guyana's President David Granger told a press conference that Venezuela had launched an “extraordinary military deployment” in the east of the OPEC country, near a disputed border area.

“We have noticed during the month of September an extraordinary escalation of Venezuelan military activity in eastern Venezuela,” Granger told reporters.

Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said that armed forces were conducting military exercises in both the east and west of the country.

The FNC said that the 200 coffee farming jobs will be created in Arboretum, Bochalema, Durania, Cucutilla, Chinácota, Labateca, Los Patios, Salazar de las Palmas and Toledo.

Image: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos helps distribute aid

Image credit: Instagram @infopresidencia

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