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Canada

Canada eases rules for Venezuelan refugees, immigrants

A man stands next to a Venezuelan flag as he looks at his cellphone during a signature collection event against the US blockade in Caracas, Venezuela, 15 August 2019. The President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro suspended the talks with the opposition due to Juan Guaido's support of the blockade allegedely ordered by US President Donald Trump.
A man stands next to a Venezuelan flag as he looks at his cellphone during a signature collection event against the US blockade in Caracas, Venezuela, 15 August 2019. The President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro suspended the talks with the opposition due to Juan Guaido's support of the blockade allegedely ordered by US President Donald Trump. EPA/MIGUEL GUTIERREZ

The federal Liberals are easing immigration and refugee rules for Venezuelans amid the deepening political and economic crisis in that country.

Failed asylum claimants from Venezuela will now have the ability to challenge deportation orders by arguing that they will face risk if they are sent home.

READ MORE: Trump signs executive order to impose sanctions on Venezuelan government’s assets

Trump says he’s considering blockade of Venezuela
Trump says he’s considering blockade of Venezuela

The move applies only to Venezuelans whose claims were rejected prior to Aug. 19, as the government says changes to conditions in that country will be taken into account on all future refugee claims.

At the same time, Venezuelans seeking to visit, study or work in Canada will be able to use expired passports to enter the country or extend existing permits.

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READ MORE: 8 million to leave Venezuela as migrants by end of 2020: report

The government says both moves acknowledge the country’s worsening situation, and calls for assistance from Venezuelan citizens and the ex-pat community in Canada.

The announcements come ahead of a meeting in Ottawa this week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, where the subject of democracy in the South American country is on the agenda.

WATCH: Maduro meets with soldiers in show of strength in Venezuela

Maduro meets with soldiers in show of strength in Venezuela
Maduro meets with soldiers in show of strength in Venezuela
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