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Venezuelans fleeing crisis deserve refugee status: U.N.

A Venezuelan migrant woman enters a camp run by the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Maicao, Colombia May 7, 2019. Picture taken May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

GENEVA (Reuters) – Venezuelans fleeing the worsening crisis in their country deserve protection as refugees, the United Nations refugee agency said in updated guidance issued on Tuesday.

It urged other states not to deport or force them back.

Some 3.7 million people have left Venezuela, the majority since 2015, it said. “It is incredibly important that given the situation in Venezuela that there aren’t deportations, expulsions or forced returns,” UNHCR spokeswoman Liz Throssell told a news briefing.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet

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