‘I haven’t seen my sister in three years’: Venezuelans tell how families have been ripped apart

Millions of Venezuelan families have been torn apart by the ongoing crisis in their country and live apart, not knowing if they will see each other again.

As the troubled state runs out of medicine, food and money, those who can afford to leave, but not everyone can go.

More than three million Venezuelans who have fled the country – some with just the clothes on their backs and a small rucksack.

Thousands pass through the borders to Colombia and Brazil in buses and on foot every day, joining the exodus of desperate people looking for a new life in other Latin American states such as Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Chile. 

Andriana Medoza (left) an industrial engineer who lives in London, last visited Venezuala in February 2015 - with her mum and dad (pictured) both living in Mexico having fled the country

Andriana Medoza (left) an industrial engineer who lives in London, last visited Venezuala in February 2015 - with her mum and dad (pictured) both living in Mexico having fled the country

Andriana Medoza (left) an industrial engineer who lives in London, last visited Venezuala in February 2015 – with her mum and dad (pictured) both living in Mexico having fled the country

Families have told how they have been ripped apart by Venezuela's crisis as more than three million have fled the country – some with just the clothes on their backs and a small rucksack

Families have told how they have been ripped apart by Venezuela's crisis as more than three million have fled the country – some with just the clothes on their backs and a small rucksack

Families have told how they have been ripped apart by Venezuela’s crisis as more than three million have fled the country – some with just the clothes on their backs and a small rucksack

Others, who have more money, have taken planes to the Argentina, Mexico and the USA and Caribbean states in huge numbers.

There are now some 200,000 Venezuelans living in Miami alone while thousands more have made the longer journey to countries such as the UK.

Among them is Adriana Mendoza, who lives in the UK with her husband and three children, while her parents live in Mexico and her grandmother remains in Caracas.

The 38-year-old always intended to return home but is terrified that it is not safe for her children or her mother, who can no longer find medicines she needs for her Type 1 diabetes. 

‘I grew up in a typical Venezuelan family,’ she told MailOnline. ‘We all lived in Caracas and that’s where we would, most probably, live our whole lives.  

‘There was never an intention to immigrate, we lived in paradise. Weekends would be spent in family BBQs at my grandparents’ or sleep overs at my cousins.

‘In a family of more than 40 close relatives, there was always something to celebrate. We would spend most summers either by the beach for weeks at a time, or at the farm of my Godmother in the plains of Venezuela, ‘El Llano’. 

‘The first election I could vote was Chavez’ first historic win. That event changed the destiny of Venezuela and of its very intimately woven families forever. 

Adriana (left), 38, remembers idyllic weekends back home in Caracas, before she left for London and now hasn't been able to see her sister (right) for three years 

Adriana (left), 38, remembers idyllic weekends back home in Caracas, before she left for London and now hasn't been able to see her sister (right) for three years 

Adriana (left), 38, remembers idyllic weekends back home in Caracas, before she left for London and now hasn’t been able to see her sister (right) for three years 

Adriana and her husband Richard pictured with her grandmother, who has been left behind in Caracas. Adriana said: 'My Mima, how we used to call her, is 92 today, struggling to find medicines, food, and becoming more and more frail by the day'

Adriana and her husband Richard pictured with her grandmother, who has been left behind in Caracas. Adriana said: 'My Mima, how we used to call her, is 92 today, struggling to find medicines, food, and becoming more and more frail by the day'

Adriana and her husband Richard pictured with her grandmother, who has been left behind in Caracas. Adriana said: ‘My Mima, how we used to call her, is 92 today, struggling to find medicines, food, and becoming more and more frail by the day’

Adriana took her family back to see relatives in Venezuela in 2015 telling MailOnline:  'We decided to have a flash visit as things were starting to get more and more difficult there.'

Adriana took her family back to see relatives in Venezuela in 2015 telling MailOnline:  'We decided to have a flash visit as things were starting to get more and more difficult there.'

Adriana took her family back to see relatives in Venezuela in 2015 telling MailOnline:  ‘We decided to have a flash visit as things were starting to get more and more difficult there.’

Adriana (in black and white) says the situation in her home country has meant that she doesn't know when she will be reunited with her mother (left) and grandmother (right) once again

Adriana (in black and white) says the situation in her home country has meant that she doesn't know when she will be reunited with her mother (left) and grandmother (right) once again

Adriana (in black and white) says the situation in her home country has meant that she doesn’t know when she will be reunited with her mother (left) and grandmother (right) once again

‘The same close family now lives in seven countries across Americas and Europe.’

Adriana, an industrial engineer who lives in west London, last visited Venezuala in February 2015, when her eldest son, now five, was a toddler and she was pregnant with her daughter.

Her grandma 'Mimi' enjoys precious time with Adriana's son Andrew the last time she saw him before the economy collapsed 

Her grandma 'Mimi' enjoys precious time with Adriana's son Andrew the last time she saw him before the economy collapsed 

Her grandma ‘Mimi’ enjoys precious time with Adriana’s son Andrew the last time she saw him before the economy collapsed 

‘We decided to have a flash visit as things were starting to get more and more difficult in Venezuela. 

‘With little children on tow, we knew it could be the last visit in a while. Insecurity, shortages of medicines, food, electricity or water were starting to be the norm.  

‘I haven’t seen my sister in more than three years. She has not met my baby boy Santiago. I haven’t seen my grandmother since that last visit to Venezuela. 

‘I made sure we spent time together and that she met Andrew, my big boy. I took photos everywhere. I even made a photo-album of his ‘first visit to Venezuela’. 

‘My Mima, how we used to call her, is 92 today, struggling to find medicines, food, and becoming more and more frail by the day. 

‘It breaks my heart, that I might not be able to say the big goodbye, or that she wont get to meet her granddaughter, Valentina. 

‘My parents are currently living in Mexico, my mum has diabetes type I and my dad suffers hypertension. They both need specific medicines to survive, they can’t afford the risk of not finding them ‘on time’ in Caracas. 

‘My mum is also afraid, she won’t be able to hug my grandma one last time.’  

Thousands of Venezuelans pass through the borders to Colombia and Brazil in buses and on foot every day, joining the exodus of desperate people looking for a new life in other Latin American states such as Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Chile and other parts of the world

Thousands of Venezuelans pass through the borders to Colombia and Brazil in buses and on foot every day, joining the exodus of desperate people looking for a new life in other Latin American states such as Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Chile and other parts of the world

Thousands of Venezuelans pass through the borders to Colombia and Brazil in buses and on foot every day, joining the exodus of desperate people looking for a new life in other Latin American states such as Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Chile and other parts of the world

In Caracas, Eva Tavarez choked back tears as she told that her three grown-up children have been forced to move abroad due to the lack of medical care, the uncontrolled violence and the unaffordable cost of living.

Mrs Tavarez, 53, a hairdresser, from Caracas, said: ‘I am a typical Latin American mother, my children are my life. I’m like a mother hen, I want all my children and my grand-children around me. It breaks my heart that they are so far away.’ 

Loading...

Her sons Juan-Andres, 29, and Javier, 23, have been forced to live with relatives in the Dominican Republic after they could no longer stand living in Venezuela.

And her daughter Katherine has set up home on the border with Colombia and must cross the border for almost thing she needs – food and healthcare. Mrs Tavarez told MailOnline told how her grand-daughter Antonella almost died because the hospital did not have the medicines to treat her.

She said: ‘Juan-Andres’ baby daughter was born prematurely but the doctors could do nothing to help her.

 ‘She was born eight weeks too early and weighed just one kilogram.

In Caracas, Eva Tavarez has seen her three grown-up children - including daughter Katherine (pictured) - move abroad due to the lack of medical care, violence and the cost of living

In Caracas, Eva Tavarez has seen her three grown-up children - including daughter Katherine (pictured) - move abroad due to the lack of medical care, violence and the cost of living

In Caracas, Eva Tavarez has seen her three grown-up children – including daughter Katherine (pictured) – move abroad due to the lack of medical care, violence and the cost of living

Her sons Juan-Andres and Javier (pictured with their sister Krissy) have been forced to live with relatives in the Dominican Republic as they could no longer stand living in Venezuela

Her sons Juan-Andres and Javier (pictured with their sister Krissy) have been forced to live with relatives in the Dominican Republic as they could no longer stand living in Venezuela

Her sons Juan-Andres and Javier (pictured with their sister Krissy) have been forced to live with relatives in the Dominican Republic as they could no longer stand living in Venezuela

Mrs Tavarez, 53, a hairdresser (pictured) said: 'I am a typical Latin American mum, my children are my life. I'm like a mother hen, I want all my children and my grandchildren around me'

Mrs Tavarez, 53, a hairdresser (pictured) said: 'I am a typical Latin American mum, my children are my life. I'm like a mother hen, I want all my children and my grandchildren around me'

Mrs Tavarez, 53, a hairdresser (pictured) said: ‘I am a typical Latin American mum, my children are my life. I’m like a mother hen, I want all my children and my grandchildren around me’

‘Antonella was in an incubator for two weeks and she needed drugs to help her lungs grow.

‘But the doctors did not have any. The hospital did not even have any milk formula to give her.

‘Her mother Yanely had to go to the hospital every day to breast-feed her baby because they did not have any formula milk. Luckily she survived the first few weeks.

Mother Yanely had a well-paid job as a in a pharmaceutical company and Juan-Andres worked in a clinic but still they could not find the drugs their baby daughter needed. They could not even find any nappies for sale.

‘For my son that was the last straw and they packed up and moved to the Dominican Republic.’

The couple sold their car and all their possessions to buy three plane tickets and fled Venezuela with little Antonella when she was just eight weeks old. 

Mrs Tavarez younger son Javier, 23, was employed in a restaurant kitchen and worked hard to make ends meet as his wages became worthless.

But the final straw for him was when he was held up at gun and robbed of his meagre possessions in a terrifying daylight robbery in the centre of Caracas.

His mother told MailOnline: ‘My little Javier was terrified. He thought he was going to die.

Her younger son Javier, 23, (pictured) was robbed of his meagre possessions so he too left the country

Her younger son Javier, 23, (pictured) was robbed of his meagre possessions so he too left the country

Mrs Tavarez's eldest son Juan-Andres (pictured with his brother) had a baby daughter born prematurely but the doctors could do nothing to help her. They could find no drugs or nappies to help her, which was the final straw, so he moved to the Dominican Republic.

Mrs Tavarez's eldest son Juan-Andres (pictured with his brother) had a baby daughter born prematurely but the doctors could do nothing to help her. They could find no drugs or nappies to help her, which was the final straw, so he moved to the Dominican Republic.

Mrs Tavarez’s eldest son Juan-Andres (right with his brother) had a baby daughter born prematurely but the doctors could do nothing to help her. They could find no drugs or nappies to help her, which was the final straw, so he moved to the Dominican Republic. Her younger son Javier, 23, (left) was robbed of his meagre possessions so he too left the country

Mrs Tavarez has seen all three of her grown-up children leave socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's crumbling socialist ideal, leaving only her youngest daughter who is studying to be a nurse

Mrs Tavarez has seen all three of her grown-up children leave socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's crumbling socialist ideal, leaving only her youngest daughter who is studying to be a nurse

Mrs Tavarez has seen all three of her grown-up children leave socialist leader Nicolas Maduro’s crumbling socialist ideal, leaving only her youngest daughter who is studying to be a nurse

‘The thug put a gun to his head and told him he would kill him if he did not give him his rucksack which contained held everything he owned – his phone, his work tools, his work uniform and some money.

‘That’s when I decided to buy him a plane ticket for him and his wife to leave the leave the country before he got killed.’

Mrs Tavarez daughter Katherine was made to take part in a life-or-death lottery for medicine when her baby was born prematurely.

‘My daughter had her baby Andrea when she was seven months pregnant and the infant was very sick. She needed medicine to help her lungs grow.

‘But the hospital had only ten doses for 30 children.

‘The doctors made the mothers take a ticket to see which of the children would get the medicine.

‘Luckily Katherine picked a winning ticket and her daughter survived. But a lot of the other babies died.’

The mother of four told MailOnline: Her mother added: 'Kissy is the only child I have left. I will die from a broken heart if she leaves too.'

The mother of four told MailOnline: Her mother added: 'Kissy is the only child I have left. I will die from a broken heart if she leaves too.'

The mother of four told MailOnline: Her mother added: ‘Kissy is the only child I have left. I will die from a broken heart if she leaves too.’

Katherine now lives in Puerto Santander, a town on the border with Colombia, and crosses the border for everything she needs for her family.

Mrs Tavarez said: ‘Katherine has to cross the border to buy everything she needs.

‘She goes to Colombia for food, for medicine and for healthcare. There is nothing in Venezuela.’

Mrs Tavarez’s youngest daughter Kissy is studying to be an Emergency Room nurse.

The 17-year-old hopes to study medicine and get a job in Spain.

Her mother added: ‘Kissy is the only child I have left. I will die from a broken heart if she leaves too.’

Link hienalouca.com

(Просмотров всего: 10 Время, 1 визитов за день)

Loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *