Venezuelan Students Abroad Go Hungry after Three Years without Government Support

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Mar 3, 2017, 1:21 pm
Venezuelan students have been hit hard by the government's lack of foreign currency (
Venezuelan students have been hit hard by the government’s lack of foreign currency (La Patilla).

EspañolThe government of Nicolás Maduro has completely abandoned Venezuelan students studying abroad; it has currently been more than three years since the government has provided them with their promised living expenses, amid a dire shortage of hard currency.

Carlos Moreno, coordinator of the organization Venezuelan Students Abroad, reported that students abroad are in crisis: many of them have nowhere to live or sufficient food to eat.

The failure of the Venezuelan government to provide them with monthly stipends affects 25,000 Venezuelan students abroad. Many are undocumented due to the lack of government support.

The leader explained that Spain and the United States are the countries that have developed support programs to be able to help alleviate this situation.

However he clarified that in Europe the situation is more difficult and many students have ended up begging. “They live in airports, in cars, or in shelters,” he said.

Sonia Medina, representative for the Popular Will party and president of the special subcommittee that investigates the allocation of foreign exchange for Venezuelans abroad, asked the National Assembly to declare the situation to be an immigration emergency due to the dire straits that students and pensioners are confronting abroad.

According to the figures compiled by the subcommittee, an estimated 37,000 are affected by foreign exchange crisis of the Venezuelan state: 25,000 students and 12,000 pensioners and retirees.

On March 1st, MPs from the ruling PSUV asked the government of Nicolás Maduro to pay the pensions of the returnees from Venezuela to Europe.

The representatives made the request via a letter to the Embassy of Caracas at the European Union, asking the EU to mediate so that both Venezuelans and Spaniards can receive the pensions that are due to them.

According to available information, Venezuela “has not paid pensions to beneficiaries (both Venezuelan residents in Spain and returned Spanish nationals), since January 2016; which means that for the past year the government of Nicolás Maduro has not complied with the nation’s pension obligations.

In Europe there are about 9,000 affected, especially in Spain, Italy, and Portugal where a majority of Venezuelans have established residence.

Source: El Nacional

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Bogota Hit by Xenophobic Attacks on Chinese Merchants

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Mar 3, 2017, 12:20 pm
Downtown Bogota's San Victorino has seen a spate of recent attacks on Chinese merchants (

Español In the heart of downtown Bogotá is the sector known as San Victorino. There the inhabitants of the Colombian capital can find all kinds of imported products at prices much lower than in any other part of the city. Recently, however, the arrival of Chinese merchants has caused consternation and in some cases even violence. Colombian merchants say that the Chinese have come to work without a visa and that they are bringing smuggled goods into the country. The merchants allege the low prices charged by the Chinese merchants are putting them out of business. Semana magazine published a video interview featuring one such Colombian merchant who felt threatened by the competition. Read More: China's Currency Manipulation is Actually a Boon for US Consumers Read More: Ecuador Vice President Denies Corruption in Oil Sales to China San Victorino is a microcosm of free markets and commerce where an estimated 12 billion Colombian pesos per day (USD $ 4.09 million) is sold per day, the vast majority of it in cash, which reduces transaction costs between buyers and sellers. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Beginning on Wednesday, March 1, protests by Colombians against their Chinese competition turned violent, as the protesters began to attack Chinese owned storefronts. The merchants in question had to close their premises in order to avoid having all their merchandise destroyed. In addition, one of the Colombian merchants told a representative of the Chinese community, Kenny Tsui, that they would not allow the Chinese to do business in Colombia and that they were responsible for ruining Colombian businesses, especially with regard to textiles. Tsui allegedly replied that he would speak with his colleagues to see what he could do, but he added that "competition always brings challenges" and that the world is governed through the free market. Finally, in the video published by Semana, the Colombian merchant said that if the Chinese want to do business in Bogota, they will have to walk over dead bodies. Source: Revista Semana

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