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Venezuela launches airlift for migrants to return home

LIMA, Peru — Some 300 Venezuelans have gathered outside of their country’s embassy shouting “We want to leave!” after President Nicolas Maduro offered to airlift migrants seeking to return home.

The government’s unveiling of the “Return to the Homeland Plan” comes as regional diplomats prepare to meet Wednesday in Washington at a special session of the Organization of States to discuss Venezuela’s migration crisis.

Maduro’s aides said that the first planeloads of migrants would be arriving this week to Caracas from Ecuador and Peru.

The United Nations says more than 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country as the country’s economic and social crisis has worsened in the past three years. Venezuela’s government disputes those figures and says its enemies are looking to justify a foreign military intervention.