Last week, I posed the question “Why don’t Hispanics beg in America?” – and inspired this poignant essay by Venezuelan writer Ibsen Martinez:

The emigrant is not only fleeing poverty. By deciding to leave his country he is fending off faulty and corrupt institutions and a lack of clear rules that keep him from attaining personal fulfilment and curtail his right to succeed in the trade of his choice, the one his talents and skills enable him most. More often than not it is a personal war fought by the stubborn raro de la familia (“the wacky one in the family”), el que se fue p’al norte (“the one who left and went North”).

Martinez’s essay reinforces my view that – by failing to offer asylum to those who want out of Chavez’s Venezuela – the U.S. is missing an amazing opportunity. We have a rare chance to create a new exile community to rival the success of the Cubans and the Vietnamese. What are we waiting for?