Rich or pen­ni­less, Venezue­lans flock to Madrid

Millennium Post - - Mp World -

MADRID: Flee­ing the po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis in their coun­try, Venezue­lans have ar­rived in Spain in their thou­sands, some of them pen­ni­less, oth­ers so rich they are buy­ing sump­tu­ous flats. Fran Leal, 36, came to Spain from Mara­cay in north­ern Venezuela two months ago with his wife and two chil­dren.

“Do you have a small suit­case? I’m go­ing to Toledo, I’ve found a job,” he asks as he en­ters the Casa Venezuela, an as­so­ci­a­tion that helps strug­gling Venezue­lans in Madrid.

An elec­tri­cian, he is go­ing to the city south of Madrid to work il­le­gally for six months.

“I don’t have a choice as I don’t yet have ID pa­pers and I have no more sav­ings,” he says, as the cri­sis in Venezuela deep­ens with op­po­si­tion leader Juan Guaido’s self-procla­ma­tion as in­terim pres­i­dent.

Un­like Leal, Juan Leonardo Lopez has not found a job since he ar­rived three months ago.

“Be­fore the cri­sis, I wasn’t a mil­lion­aire but I lived fine, I had a great car and ev­ery­thing I needed,” he says at a Venezue­lan op­po­si­tion protest in Madrid.

He says he saw chil­dren die of de­hy­dra­tion in the hospi­tal in Mara­cay where he worked.

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