Immigration to Venezuela

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Immigration to Venezuela has been significant. After the Spanish colonization of the Americas brought European colonists and African slaves, immigration to Venezuela was significant particularly in the period after World War II, with large numbers of immigrants from Asia and Europe, particularly southern Europe. In addition, Venezuela shares a 1000-mile border with Colombia and has long had substantial numbers of Colombian residents. Since the 1980s, the Colombian conflict has seen largescale Colombian immigration, with Venezuela the number one destination for displaced Colombians: by 2008, there were over 4 million,[1] compared to a total Venezuelan population of around 27 million.

Immigration under Spanish rule

Starting in the early 1500s, Spain discouraged non-Spaniard immigration to its colonies — included Venezuela — to prevent other European countries from asserting claims over the colony. Meanwhile, nearly 200,000 Africans were forcibly brought to supply labor to the agriculture and mining economy.

Nineteenth-century immigration

After independence in 1821, a lack of economic attractions and successive civil wars provided few incentives for immigration as Corsican immigration to Venezuela, with Corsicans playing a substantial role in the cocoa industry, German immigration included the founding of Colonia Tovar in 1843, and German traders played a significant economic role particularly around Maracaibo. By the turn of the nineteenth century and the Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903, German traders dominated Venezuela's import/export sector and informal banking system.

Caribbean immigration

Because of the Venezuelan geographical location that welcomes to South America, this nation has been the plot for many newcomers, even taking place before Colombus' discovery when lots of aboriginal inhabitants came and left Venezuela. During the later centuries African-descendants from the Caribbean islands entered Venezuela as immigrants. Among them Trinidadians, Cubans, Dominicans, Haitians, Dutch Antilleans, Martiniquens, Grenadians; in summary people from all the Caribbean nations.[2] To summarize Antillian blacks [3] coming even from British, Dutch and French Guianas.

Haitians in Venezuela

As victims of racism and classism that exists in Venezuela, the Haitian immigration has been neither valued nor documented unlike the European immigration.[4] However, they have left their legacy in the nation. In 1806, Francisco de Miranda design the first Venezuelan flag in Jacmel (South of Haiti). On December 24,1815 the general Simon Bolivar first set foot on Haitian soil. The liberator in 1816 with 400 men all of them Haitians fought for the freedom cause reach Venezuela.

The immigration of Haitians can be organized into three phases. The first from the beginning of the 1960s to the beginning of the dictatorship of the Duvalier causing the wave of immigrants to Venezuela. Then, with the "boom" of the Venezuelan economy a greater flow of Haitian nationals entering Venezuela (from the Netherlands Antilles). In mid-1980 the last group enter directly from Haiti, settling down first in Caracas (Carapita, Antímano, San Martin, Catia and La Vega) to exercise duties as ice cream vendors,[5] street vendors, and so on.[6] They are as well in Valencia and Barquisimeto (San Juan and El Tostao).[7] Many of them trilingual, they speak French, Haitian Creole and Spanish of Venezuela.

Trinidadians in Venezuela

Traditionally located in El Callao region.

Guyanese in Venezuela

Illegally coming from the Esequibo.[8][9]

Other Antilleans in Venezuela

Many women from West Indian Caribbean came to Venezuela to work at the wealthy American expats who worked at oil fields across Venezuela. Most of them settle in Cabimas, Maracaibo, Socorro among other towns. They were hired because most of those expats refused to learn or speak in Spanish and rejected to hire Venezuela ladies as servants. In this group several English-speaking Grenadian maids came to Venezuela [10]

Post-war European immigration

After World War II, with Eduardo Mendoza Goiticoa in charge of immigration, substantial numbers of immigrants came from Europe, particularly southern Europe. As Secretary of Agriculture for Rómulo Betancourt's government, Mendoza headed the Venezuelan Institute for Immigration and embraced the creation of the International Refugee Organization in 1946 (this body was later replaced by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Mendoza succeeded, despite fierce opposition within the cabinet, in ensuring that Venezuela would aid European refugees and displaced people who could not or would not return to their homes after World War II and chose to emigrate to Venezuela. He assumed responsibility for the legal protection and resettlement of tens of thousands of refugees arriving in Venezuela. International Refugee Organization officials consider Mendoza to have directed the most successful refugee program in the post-war period. Immigration reached a peak while he was minister and would later decline with a new government.[11][12]

Spanish immigration

Basque immigration

Portuguese immigration

Italian immigration

Czech immigration

German immigration

Hungarian immigration

Corsican immigration

Croatian immigration

Serbian immigration

Slovene immigration

Greek immigration

Polish immigration

Scandinavian immigration

Russian immigration

Ukrainian immigration

Romanian immigration

Swiss immigration

Arab immigration

Lebanese immigration

Syrian immigration

East Asian immigration

Chinese immigration

Japanese immigration

Korean immigration

North Americans in Venezuela

Mexicans in Venezuela


Canadians in Venezuela


Americans in Venezuela

Since late of the nineteenth century people from United States of America started to come to Venezuela. They were temporary immigrants. Evangelical missionaries, as well as preachers of other protestant groups, as well as oil engineers who came to work in Western Venezuela.[10][14][15][16]


  1. ^ (in Spanish) YVKE, 4 March 2008, Venezuela alberga mayor número de desplazados colombianos en el mundo
  2. ^ Maddicks, R. (2012). Venezuela - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture. Kuperard. ISBN 9781857336610. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  3. ^ Wright, W.R. (2013). Café con leche: Race, Class, and National Image in Venezuela. University of Texas Press. p. 78. ISBN 9780292758407. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  4. ^ Aporrea. "(VIDEOS) Encapuchados asesinan en su casa de Valles del Tuy al activista haitiano-venezolano Fritz Saint Louis". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  5. ^ "Haitians in Venezuela: Ice cream, human trafficking and the shantytowns of Caracas". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  6. ^ Reuters Editorial. "Ice cream sales a lifeline for Haitians in Caracas | Reuters". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  7. ^ "Haitian Colonial Memory in Venezuelan Politics — NURJ". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  8. ^ "Thousands of Guyanese living in Venezuela's border areas - Stabroek News". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ a b c Peloso, V.C. (2003). Work, Protest, and Identity in Twentieth-century Latin America. Scholarly Resources. p. 147. ISBN 9780842029278. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  11. ^ [The Refugee experience: Ukrainian displaced persons after World War II, Pages 30-36]
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-05. Retrieved 2009-09-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Venezuela. Embajada (U.S.) (1953). Venezuela Up-to-date. 4. Embassy of Venezuela. ISSN 0042-3432. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  14. ^ "EBV - Edwin Branch Historical". Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  15. ^ Domínguez, R. (1990). Pioneros de Pentecostés en el mundo de habla hispana. Clie. p. 67. ISBN 9788476453933. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  16. ^ [2]
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