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Venezuela - You Have to Pay to Reach the Horizon

Since the borders to Colombia and Brazil are packed and there is minimal access to foreign currency to reach other desirable destinations, crossing to Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most accessible routes for those in distress seeking to flee Venezuela. Relocating them is the business of the 'coyotes' who are based in the states of Sucre or Delta Amacuro, while cheating them is that of the boatmen, fishermen, smugglers and security forces that haunt them.

Venezuela - You Have to Pay to Reach the Horizon

Since the borders to Colombia and Brazil are packed and there is minimal access to foreign currency to reach other desirable destinations, crossing to Trinidad and Tobago is one of the most accessible routes for those in distress seeking to flee Venezuela. Relocating them is the business of the 'coyotes' who are based in the states of Sucre or Delta Amacuro, while cheating them is that of the boatmen, fishermen, smugglers and security forces that haunt them.

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Tucupita is the capital of the state of Delta Amacuro, the territory of eastern Venezuela where the Orinoco River spreads through the hundreds of branches of a large delta before taking its waters to the Atlantic Ocean. But Tucupita is also a deteriorated, desolate and inhospitable town.

The house fronts have been losing their color and the santamarias of the businesses —as the metal folding bars to close business premises are known in Venezuela— remain down most of the time. Only once a month a truck arrives in town stocked with butter, flour, pasta, rice and mayonnaise. That same day, the shelves are empty again. Milk is not available for sale anymore and the supplies of Chinese merchants, who were in every block, have been closing their doors. A restaurant to recommend to those who wish to celebrate a special date and a hotel, which maintains a privileged service in the midst of scarcity, barely survive. Almost all the inns of the Lower Delta went bankrupt and most inhabitants of the city depend on salaries from the Government of Delta Amacuro or the Ministry of Health. Tucupita survives by moonlighting.