July 19, 2024

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“America’s Troubles Will Never End”

“America’s Troubles Will Never End”

Venezuelan immigrant Randolph Perez vows to “miss everything” about Venezuela, especially his family, and hopes to be able to return one day.

Randolph Perez, a 26-year-old Venezuelan from the province of Yarraquí, municipality of San Felipe, is about to celebrate a year in the United States, but his odyssey to seek safety for himself and his family began three years ago. The years he decided to leave his native Venezuela.

By Mitzi Macias | VOA

“At first I had no intention of coming to America, so I chose neighboring countries. I went through Ecuador, Colombia and arrived in Peru, where I stayed for a while and was able to bring my family, but the economic situation and insecurity of that country prompted me to return to Venezuela,” says Randolph Pérez.

“I returned to Venezuela with hope, but the reality was different”

Upon arriving in the country of his birth, Randolph said, he realized that things were “unfortunately” still the same or worse than when he had left them, and that he could no longer do much for his country. “I returned to Venezuela with hope, but the reality was different,” says the young Venezuelan.

It was at that time that he decided to leave his country for the second time, but this time heading north, so he considered it necessary to obtain a passport, which is almost impossible for Venezuelans.

“Getting a passport was a nightmare, they canceled my appointments, the computer crashed. A process that I thought would take two weeks dragged on for months, and finally I was able to get the document not only for me, but also for my partner and my five-year-old daughter,” says Randolph.

With passports in hand, Randolph and his family begin their journey through the Darien Forest, which, he says, is so difficult that “he wouldn’t like anyone.” Randolph said that he had seen everything along the way, including fraud and robbery, but at the time he only thought about his daughter’s welfare.

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“I saw death, I saw corpses, bones. We couldn’t drink water from the river because they told us there were abandoned corpses above. Halfway through I felt very bad, but for my daughter and my partner. But we were already in the lion’s den and had to move on. It’s about time,” says Randolph.

“I think the second forest is Mexico”

As part of this odyssey, after crossing the Darien Forest you must reach Mexico and approach the US border, and for this young father of a family, “Mexico was like a second forest to me.”

Randolph says the presence of cartels and mafias was a “horrific” experience because these “bad guys” used it to rob immigrants by posing as officials. “They are very organized, they have weapons, they threaten you. “They are corrupt.”

It took Randolph and his family nearly three months to get to the United States from Venezuela, and he saw a light at the end of the tunnel when they surrendered to U.S. authorities in Pietras Negras.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Eight months have passed since that day, and Randolph admits that he felt great joy when he arrived in America, because he thought he would finally feel peace of mind. He assures that the process is not easy and he still has a long way to go.

“Being in America, the problems are not going to end, we have to overcome them. We can no longer come to this country and do whatever we want, obey the law, follow the rules to the letter,” he says. Randolph.

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