The readers’ forum

Help Venezuelans who have fled crisis


It has been increasingly difficult to watch the political turmoil and human-rights violations in Venezuela. I am Cuban American, and my parents had to leave Cuba in the ‘60s because of the dictator Fidel Castro. They arrived in Miami early in the exodus and had to start all over again.

They helped many Cubans that came after them. My Dad said that he bought a two-bedroom home that had a revolving door. My maternal grandparents bought a six-unit apartment building and I recall that almost everyone in the building was family or friends.

It wasn’t easy for the Cuban immigrants, and most of us know all the stories of struggles and successes.

I have been happily married to a Venezuelan man for 30 years and have four biological sons and one adopted daughter from China. We live the American dream and thank God for every blessing.

Everything is perfect except for one thing, the Venezuelan crisis. I can’t believe that this situation would happen twice in my life time. First Cuba and then Venezuela. But the with the Venezuelan crisis is different. We have social media, and I try to spread the word about the horrific human rights abuses there.

A story in the Daytona Beach News Journal tells about a couple and their two teenage children that had to flee Venezuela because they received threats. The husband lost his business, and the wife lost her teaching job because they were against the oppressive government. After two months in the United States, they are living in their car.

We need to organize help for the new Venezuelan arrivals. They come with hope and families. Many are well educated and can contribute to our society. So many Cubans received the much-needed support from generous Americans. It’s time for all of us to step up and help Venezuelan immigrants.

Iliat M. Llamozas, Miami

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