Miami, the small Caracas of the United States


Venezuelans are the last and unstoppable migratory wave that feeds the melting pot of Latino cultures in Miami. It is estimated that there are around 200,000 in South Florida

A group of exiled Venezuelans call to boycott the previous elections in Miami.

Upon arriving in Miami for the first time and listening to Spanish on every corner, one wonders if he is really in the United States and quickly realizes why this city is considered the Hispanic capital of the country. And when visiting the city of El Doral, in the county of Miami-Dade, one could believe that it has entered Caracas, where arepas are sold everywhere and the flag of Venezuela is seen more than the American flag.

Venezuelans are the last and unstoppable migratory wave that feeds the melting pot of Latino cultures in Miami. It is estimated that there are about 200,000 in South Florida, half of those living throughout the country, according to the latest study by the Fundacion Visin Democrtica based on data from the US Census Bureau.

The majority has arrived in the last 10 years, pushed by the crisis of the Government of Nicols Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chvez. The number of immigrants went from 164,903 in 2005 to 418,366 in 2017, which meansmore than double 253%in little more than a decade.

"In Doral live about 19,000 Venezuelans, 28% of the population of the city, plus those who do not know who they are, because they have arrived recently and stop at the house of a ta, a relative, a friend …", says Alfredo Ortega, Venezuelan and head of the mayor's office, in a conversation with EL MUNDO.

Ortega highlights the significant increase in requests for asylum from his compatriots in recent months and mentions the efforts made by the mayor to help the newcomer.They have given seminars and immigration talks, and have a network of contactsThey offer contention and support, such as churches, state offices and organizations.

United by something more than the language

The mix of Latin cultures of Miami or that 'rice with mango', as the Cubans and pioneers of the Spanish influence in the city joke, has something in common beyond the Spanish language.Most came here escaping the political or economic crises of their home countries.This is how the Venezuelan exile identifies with the Cuban exile: both suffered similar nightmares and today they unite to fight against the same enemy from the dispora.

An example of this brotherhood was seen last week during the uprising that took place in Venezuela against Maduro. The mayors of the city of Miami and Doral, Francis Surez and Juan Carlos Bermdez, of Cuban origin, joined the music producerEmilio Estefan, also from Cuba, and the director of the Miami Symphony Orchestra,Eduardo Marturet, from Venezuela, to hold a support and prayer event for the Venezuelan people.

Although the "definitive" cessation of the usurpation of the power of the Chavez regime was not achieved, "we managed to weaken it," Leonardo Trechi, coordinator of the Venezuelan opposition party Popular Will in South Florida, points to this newspaper.

"What happened in Venezuela (in reference to the military uprising promoted by Guaid on April 30) was not a failure, as some people think." It was a break for Maduro.I believe that a fracture within the regime has been achieved. I no longer trust the people next to me. "

And what next? Trechi brings the same optimistic response from many Venezuelans in Miami: "The fight continues, we will not lower our arms". He, like most, is sure that "there is very little left" for democracy to arrive in his homeland.

By contrast,the Cubans of the city no longer respond with that same impulse of hope when talking about their audacious island. Unfortunately, the six decades of Castro's dictatorship have worn out the battle and undermined their deepest desires. Some believe that they will die – as many did – before seeing Cuba's longed for freedom.

The big family, against all odds

Unlike those who emigrate from Venezuela to the border countries, who do it on foot or by car, only those who can buy a plane ticket arrive to the south of Florida. For that reason,Most of those who are here are from the middle or upper class, professionals or with studies.

But having access to a plane or having been well positioned on Venezuelan land does not mean that everyone arrives with money, or that it is easy for them to survive in the US. There are many who land with one hand in front and the other behind. The scarcity and abysmal devaluation of the currency complicates everything.

The passages are usually bought by family members who already live here, and the properties or goods that they have left in Venezuela are generally left in the abandonment or in the hands of nearby people, because those who sell them get very little for them. And those who bring degrees, face the same difficulty as everyone to get work or residence permits.

The US government has increasingly put obstacles in place for asylums, and although Donald Trump is taking strong measures against Maduro, there is no special treatment for immigrants from Venezuela. On the contrary, deportations continue and asylum requests are stuck in the immigration offices.The United Nations estimates there were more than 70,000 Venezuelan asylum claims in the last four years.

However, this community has created in Miami a large family of support and support, with very strong ties that allow them to adapt to the new country, overcome the uprooting and overcome the difficulties. Among them they get work, they have groups that collect donations for the newcomers (as well as to send to their country), they participate in campaigns in the social networks and keep in suspense the fight against the Maduro regime, for the freedom of Venezuela.

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(tagsToTranslate) international (t) policy – migration (t) Venezuela (t) Miami (t) Cuba (t) UN (t) Nicolás Maduro (t) Donald Trump (t) Hugo Chávez (t) United States (t) city ​​(t) Elections Venezuela (t) Latin America


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