Duque Moreno, Diyerly Alejandra; Canelón Pérez, Jesús Eduardo (2017). '“TODAY I WOKE UP WANTING TO LEAVE” MEANINGS OF EMIGRATING FOR VENEZUELAN YOUNG PROFESSIONALS AND ITS LINK TO HUMAN DEVELOPMENT' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Cape Town 2017.


Venezuela has become a country that generates emigrants. Migratory processes have played a key role in the history of all nations; migratory flows have traced important social, economic and cultural changes, which have strengthened in diverse periods, shaping the world history. Mobility is not something new in Latin America; nowadays this migratory behavior has turned into a prevailing and globalized process. In Venezuela, emigration was a phenomenon that occurred very sporadically, because Venezuelans did not consider that their quality of life could be at risk. The Venezuelan emigrants have some unique characteristics to the rest of the countries of the Latin American region; a high percentage of people who have emigrated from the country have at least a university degree, which is a worrying flee of human talent that affects the country's Sustainable Human Development. The country’s current political, economic and social context is not the same as a few years ago. Likewise, the reasons or motives why Venezuelans are migrating have changed, and even if some of the reasons concur, the volume and speed of the migratory flow that we have in the present tells us that we have to look further and worry about this diaspora. According to statistics, (De la Vega et al., 2014.) about one million two hundred thousand Venezuelans have emigrated by 2013. This emigration represents an important challenge for Human Development, when it is forced and the reasons are due to restriction of freedoms. From the Human Development approach proposed by Sen, processes of freedom are propitiated so that people achieve the life they consider valuable, that is why, actual opportunities are necessary in order to expand people’s capabilities and to achieve quality of life. What happens when these opportunities are limited and aspirations are banned by social inequality, insecurity and deficient economic policies? Political, economic, social and environmental activities are affected, limiting people’s freedoms; which stimulate a forced migratory phenomenon. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to understand the meanings attributed to the emigration, by young Venezuelan professionals, taking into account the instrumental freedoms of Human Development. With this research, I intend to create a discussion and contribute to the construction of the notions on Human Development and emigration, assuming the epistemological stance of social constructivism and the Capabilities Approach. In this way, I use Discursive Practices as a method for interpreting the testimonies of young professionals in Barquisimeto, who have decided to leave the country. I conclude this research by specifying the key elements that the interviewees argued about the meaning that has for them the emigration related to the freedom as capacity, as well as some reflections about the implications of emigrating for them and their quality of life. Therefore, considering the precarious public policies that invest, encourage and generate incentives to retain human talent within the country; it is necessary to make contributions from research so that this migration phenomenon does not continue to go unnoticed and thus contribute in the formulation and adoption of possible public policies on the subject that allows Venezuelans to approach a desired and valued quality of life that their country currently cannot offer.

Key words: Emigration, Freedom, Human Talent, Quality of Life, Human Development.

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