Venezuelans on the Move | God's World News
Venezuelans on the Move
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Posted: January 01, 2024
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    Víctor Macedo, his wife Ana Merino, and their daughter Sonia sit together in Davie, Florida, in September 2023. (AP/Marta Lavandier)
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    Víctor Macedo holds his daughter Sonia. The family crossed the U.S. border almost two years ago. (AP/Marta Lavandier)
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    Ana Merino holds the hand of her husband, Víctor Macedo, as they remember life in Venezuela. (AP/Marta Lavandier)
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    Refugees are people just like you. Deisy Mori’s family left Venezuela five years ago. Her daughter’s name is Abril, Spanish for April. (AP/Marta Lavandier)
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    Venezuelan immigrant Caren Anez poses with her son, Lucas Tello, at her apartment in Orlando, Florida. (AP/John Raoux)
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Waves crash on Caribbean beaches. Snow caps mountains. Water crashes down the tallest waterfall in the world. One of Earth’s longest rivers, the Orinoco, flows through the land. Wealth-bringing oil waits underground for drilling. Who would want to leave lovely Venezuela?

At least 7.3 million people would. And they have.

Most settled in neighboring Latin American countries. But during the last three years, many came to the United States. In fact, Venezuelans are the fastest growing group of Hispanic people now in the country. Like Yeison, most travel through the Darién Gap. This stretch of jungle divides Colombia and Panama.

People don’t take journeys like that just for fun. They are desperate to find a safe home. Life in Venezuela is very difficult. It has been for a long time.

Why? Government officials mismanaged wealth. They spent too much of the people’s money. Oil prices rose—then dropped. Venezuela’s economy got confused. It cost less to buy a bag of corn flour than it cost to make one! The nation’s few farmers did the math. They thought, “Why grow corn? We will not get paid enough to make it worthwhile!” People had less to eat. The same happened with other products too. Companies and businesses failed. Venezuelan money bought less and less. Prices increased. Basic goods became too expensive for people to buy.

The Bible says that “when the wicked rule, the people groan.” (Proverbs 29:2) Venezuelans are tired of groaning. So they leave the beautiful country they call home.

Víctor Macedo and his wife fled Venezuela too. Now they live in Florida. They hope to raise their children in the United States.

Mr. Macedo dreams of opening a bakery like one his father had in Venezuela. “We can now begin to earn income as God intended,” he says.

For more about Venezuela, see The Amazing Students of Venezuela by Claudia Bellante in our Recommended Reading.