“For Panama, the influx of wealthy Venezuelans has helped fuel a real estate boom that has been a big factor in the economy's growth rate this year of more than 9 percent.
Real estate salesman Jorge Blaisdell is selling 500 houses on the outskirts of Panama City that will go for between $300,000 and $800,000, and have been advertised extensively in Venezuela.
‘Some 80 percent of our clients are foreigners, and 75 percent are Venezuelan,’ Blaisdell said. ‘They are looking for a plan B.’”
From CBS News:
“The number of Venezuelans leaving is hard to nail down. According to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, the number of nonimmigrant visa cards has risen from 70,366 in 2003 to 109,586 last year. But many Venezuelans are opting for other countries, as U.S. immigration laws have tightened in the wake of 9/11. Nearby Panama, with a similar climate and political and economic stability, is a popular alternative.”
“The profile of Venezuelans searching for information to leave the country has changed drastically in the last six years from single men and women to whole families and parents with adolescents who fear for the future of their children, according to Bermudez. ‘Uncertainty about the future and physical insecurity, because of ballooning crime are the main causes’. They are mostly middle and high class Venezuelans.”