Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brazil Evacuates Citizens From Lebanon, Colombia - Venezuela Join To Do Same

El Nuevo Herald reports that several Latin American countries are evacuating its citizens from Lebanon.
Colombia has taken some of its citizens out via a bus caravan, after informing Israel it needed safe passage.
It is coordinating with Venezuela's foreign ministry to arrange for a ship to take both countries nationals out to avoid the incresingly dangerous land route.
There are about 2000 Colombians in Lebanon, many descended from middle easterns who moved to the South American country in the last century, most famous among them are former president Cesar Turbay Ayala and the unavoidable Shakira.
Brazil
The first 86 Brazilians, plus some Argentinian and Paraguayans, arrived in Sao Paulo from Lebanon, the Embassy in Beirut took them to Adana in Turkey, where they were picked up by a Brazilian Air Force Plane.
Five Brazilian citizens have already died.
According to this AP story, there are 200,000 Brazilian citizens in Lebanon, which explains the pro-Brazilian madness during the World Cup, which Mora pointed out in Publius.
The article says there are 9 million people of Lebanese extraction in Brazil, the largest Lebanese community outside of Lebanon.


UPDATE,

Many citizens of other Latin American countries are also trying to flee. Hundreds of Mexicans are fleeing too. Mexico's ambassador to Egypt has just helped many of them leave the country.
Just Curious
--I wonder if that 9 million number includes Palestinians, Syrians, Armenians, and other Middle Easterners? Many immigrats to Latin America were simply lumped in as "Turks" since they travelled with Ottoman passports, and once that whole Empire collapsed the passport of convenience and protection - seemed to be Lebanon. Easy to get, trading hub, not a pariah country, and theoretically a nation state.
does anyone know?? Just generally curious.