HUNDREDS of Venezuelans gathered outside their country’s embassy in Peru yesterday shouting: “We want to leave!”
The demo was in response to an offer from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to airlift emigrants back home if they regretted their decision to leave.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have left the country over the past few years as its economy has suffered from US sanctions and “economic warfare.”
The Organisation of American States met in Washington today to address the “crisis,” although millions of refugees from the Colombian civil war have long been resident in Venezuela without any calls for international action.
The demonstrators in Lima said they had been lured out on the promise of well-paid work but instead found themselves taken advantage of by Peruvian employers and “sleeping on the streets.”
Mr Maduro’s Return to the Homeland plan kicked off last week as a flight brought about 100 emigrants home from Lima. One returning Venezuelan said his dreams of a fresh start had “been crushed by the realities of living in a high-price, capitalist country.”
The president declared: “We will hug you again, come back to Venezuela. We Venezuelans are here with our big, big Bolivarian hearts.”
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