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Trinidad – The Ambush against the ‘Spanish’

Without human rights officers at the ports of entry or legal system that protects the refuge, Venezuelans migrating to the Caribbean island find relief from hunger and shortages. In return, they are exposed to labor exploitation and the constant persecution of corrupt authorities. On many occasions they end up in detention centers with inhumane conditions, from which only those who pay large amounts of money in fines are saved. The asylum request is a weak shield that hardly helps in case of arrest. Yet, the number of those who try their luck to earn a few dollars grows.

Trinidad – The Ambush against the ‘Spanish’

Without human rights officers at the ports of entry or legal system that protects the refuge, Venezuelans migrating to the Caribbean island find relief from hunger and shortages. In return, they are exposed to labor exploitation and the constant persecution of corrupt authorities. On many occasions they end up in detention centers with inhumane conditions, from which only those who pay large amounts of money in fines are saved. The asylum request is a weak shield that hardly helps in case of arrest. Yet, the number of those who try their luck to earn a few dollars grows.

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Andrea counts the days to return, not many now. In Tucupita, the capital of the Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro, her two children await her, and she will arrive, or so she expects, with 700 American dollars that she saved working two and a half months in Cedros, a coastal town on the southwest tip on the island of Trinidad.

She helped in a courier company and cleaned houses. She left the school where she taught in Venezuela and displayed her knowledge as a Bachelor of Education with a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology behind. She was not making ends meet. When she returns to mainland, she hopes to live off what she buys with the sale of the dollars, little by little, for at least six months, to return to Trinidad and repeat the operation. She hopes to support her family in hyperinflationary Venezuela under this architecture of seasonal travels.

At first sight, Cedros, on the Trinidadian coast, is like any Venezuelan beach, Higuerote, Cuyagua or Punta Arenas, but without reggaeton in the background or empanadas. The sand is fine and brown, the water is warm.