New York Times: Hungry Venezuelans Flee in Boats to Escape Economic Collapse
WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao — The dark outlines of land had just come into view when the smuggler forced everyone into the sea.
Roymar Bello screamed. She was one of 17 passengers who had climbed onto the overloaded fishing boat with aging motors in July, hoping to escape Venezuela’s economic disaster for a new life on the Caribbean island of Curaçao.
Afraid of the authorities, the smuggler refused to land. Ms. Bello said he gruffly ordered her and the others into the water, pointing toward the distant shore. In the panic, she was tossed overboard, tumbling into the predawn blackness.
But Ms. Bello could not swim.
As she began to sink under the waves, a fellow migrant grabbed her by the hair and towed her toward the island. They washed up on a rocky cliff battered by waves. Bruised and bleeding, they climbed, praying for a lifeline: jobs, money, something to eat.
“It was worth the risk,” said Ms. Bello, 30, adding that Venezuelans like her “are going after one thing: food.”
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WNU Editor: This is a trickle now .... but I expect a million plus leaving within the next year or two.