DORAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Hundreds of Venezuelans packed into a Miami-area restaurant on Tuesday, their eyes fixed on television images of violence in their home country, yet hopeful that the unrest spelled the beginning of the end of President Nicolas Maduro’s rule.
“Today is the day,” said Erica Rodriguez said as she dined with her daughter and parents at El Arepazo in Doral, Florida.
Nobody - Everybody - Television - Information - Venezuela
“Nobody here is working. Everybody is glued to the television waiting for more information about when Venezuela will be free,” said the 40-year-old Uber driver, who fled Caracas for Miami last year.
Rodriguez was part of a throng of Venezuelans, many of them draped in their flag’s yellow, blue and red, who turned up at El Arepazo on Tuesday after opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call for the military to rise up against the government. The popular eatery is a little piece of home to many of Venezuelans who came to South Florida to find a better life.
Amid - Conversations - Hopes - Country - Future
Amid conversations about their hopes for the South American country’s future, patrons enjoyed traditional dishes like the sweet braised beef called asado negro and white cornmeal cakes filled with chicken salad, or salty cheese and black beans.
According to a 2018 study by the University of Miami, more than 200,000 Venezuelans now live in Florida in communities such as Doral, a fast-growing suburb near Miami, and Weston, which lies about 20 miles (30 km) west of Fort Lauderdale.
Influx - Venezuelans - Face - Towns - Doral
The influx of Venezuelans has altered the face of towns like Doral. Many brought their families in search of a new life while others came with little more than the clothes on their backs, fleeing a country in the midst of political and economic collapse after three decades of socialist...
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