About 250 Venezuelan immigrants residing in Chile on Saturday decided to return to their country thanks to the program of the Government of the Caribbean country to take their countrymen abroad through flights chartered by the authorities.
At the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago, Chile the activity was higher than normal. A line of people awaited access to register as one of the travelers who would undertake to return home.
Next to them, an exit line with complete families loading their luggage in carts to leave the diplomatic building and board one of the six buses that would take them to the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, where a flight arranged by the Venezuelan Executive was waiting for them Heading to Caracas.
Young people, adults, families with young children and the elderly headed the stairs of the vehicles to say goodbye to Chile permanently.
Among them was Ayde Requena, 72, who along with her daughter and grandson, explained to Efe that she was very excited to return to her country since she had not been able to adapt to Chile, mainly because of the weather.
“I was very sick here, until I was hospitalized. This weather I could not stand. The cold,” he said while having a snack lunch that was distributed to all travelers before heading to the airport.
Requena added that he was in the southern country a year ago, with his son, who works in Chile, but that the conditions in were very different from those of Venezuela and preferred to take advantage of this “Return to Homeland Plan” of the Government from Caracas.
Now, knowing that it is a matter of hours for the Caribbean country to step on again, she said she is excited because the trip is a surprise for the family that lives in Venezuela, since they did not warn that they would take the plane.
In another of the buses, Verónica Mujica and her little daughter embrace another Venezuelan compatriot who stays in Chile, an emotional farewell but at the same time gratifying for the need to return.
“It forces me to leave the adaptation and depression that it gave us. We are in a different country and a different culture and that hit my girl a lot. Telling you that I received bad treatment or something like that here, no. It’s something more personal,” He told Efe between tears of happiness and nostalgia.
The cold of the southern winter is a determining factor for many migrants who arrive in Chile from countries near the equator in search of work and life options and who are able to adapt to the conditions.
For others, being away from their family is a difficult fact to accept and they prefer to return to Venezuela.
An example of this is América de Barres, who at 76 years old decided to travel to Chile to be with some of his children and a grandson, but after nine months he made the decision to return to the warmth of the Caribbean country with the rest of his family.
“I have three children there (in Venezuela) and another grandson. The family is the family. There I go. With everything and everything, I thank (the Venezuelan Government) that they take me there,” he told Efe De Barres.
“I appreciate it because I am going to see my children. I started saving but that is not enough for me,” he added, in relation to the gratuity of this chartered trip financed by the Executive of Nicolás Maduro.
These 250 Venezuelans are part of the 16,214 who have already returned to the country after migrating to different countries, and, from Chile, there are already 6 flights that have taken off with a total of 612 people, according to data from the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry to date .
The Venezuelan community in Chile became the largest in the country last year, displacing Peruvians who for many years were foreigners who most chose Chile as a country to migrate.
The most updated data from the Government of Chile, published in April 2019, indicated that 1,251,225 foreigners are residing in the country, of which 288,293 are Venezuelans.