Colombia is a democracy with a robust capitalist economy. It’s a mostly similar country to the United States with respect to rules and regulations. But the Colombian government is increasingly embracing charity and consequently socialism for a quarter of their population. Why? Because U.S. foreign policy leaves them with no other choice. Venezuelan citizens can't work for international firms. Their government has to give countless Venezuelans their basic necessities for free and embrace socialism instead of the U.S. preference for capitalism. (That’s all socialism means - giving clothing, food, medicine and shelter to poor people. There is sometimes barely a work obligation on the part of recipients.) Colombia has started taking the same approach to socialism for a quarter of their populations as the Venezuelan government endeavors to do for their entire population.
The Colombian government now estimates that there is an urgent humanitarian need from a quarter of the people in their country - approximately thirteen million Colombians and Venezuelans. A Government in that situation doesn’t have a choice in how to respond. They have to embrace welfare. They have to give charitably. Colombia is a market based economy but is embracing socialism pragmatically. There’s no other choice than to give handouts to people for free. Otherwise the thirteen million people will live in squalor and some may steel to feed and house themselves. They’ll have no other choice! Without government support, they might breakdown the social order, riot uncontrollably and destabilize the country.
Colombia is a beautiful country that’s very well governed. It’s a capitalist democracy similar to the United States. There’s advanced voting, a judicial system and an international free market economy. It has very similar rules and regulations as the United States. But the country is forced by U.S. policies towards Venezuela into giving socialist welfare away for free at their own expense. In other words, the U.S. approach to Venezuela is encouraging U.S.-aligned Colombia (and several other regional countries) into utilizing an economic system the U.S. is ostensibly critical of. Economic pressure on Venezuela is forcing several neighboring countries friendly to the U.S. into responding to humanitarian concerns with "socialism" instead of with the U.S. preference for "capitalism,” by giving freely and generously to Venezuelans in need.
Colombia doesn’t call their charitable handouts “socialism.” But Colombia is certainly emulating socialist countries when they provide shelter, clothing, food, healthcare and education without cost to a quarter of the people there. That's what socialism means - providing a safety net by making sure the entire populations needs are met. Socialist policies might or might not be right for the United States. But charity is clearly acceptable for other countries that have to provide for the basic needs of impoverished people.
How is U.S. aligned Colombia's giving its population handouts morally or ethically better than Venezuela's doing exactly the same thing (and for millions of the same people wandering between the countries)? Why does the United States partner fully with one country yet not the other? Perhaps the United States should not only accept socialism in Venezuela, it should fully embrace socialist welfare for Venezuelans, by partnering with the Colombian and Venezuelan government to provide it.
Panama is another country that wants great relations with the United States that’s in a similar situation with respect to refugees. Peace-loving Venezuelans departed their home country and passed through both Colombia and Panama to reach the United States. Some portion of these migrants settled In Panamanian streets.
Panama can't accurately estimate the real number of Venezuelans in their streets. Most countries don’t have an effective counting system in place to keep track of everyone passing across borders without permission. Many enter the country and then bus or walk through Panama on the way to the United States. So the number counted on any one day or week doesn’t fully reveal the humanitarian challenges there. But you can get a sense of the scale of migration from the following excerpt from Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen's recent speech at the United Nations.