Venezuelan Students in NCF React to Violence in Home Country
Published February 20th, 2014
GAINESVILLE -- The fighting may be thousands of miles away, but the ongoing conflict in Venezuela is hitting home for many students here in North Central Florida.
Anti-government protests in Venezuela began last week after residents upset with the lack of opportunity and increase in crime began taking to the streets to demand change.
Both the University of Florida and Santa Fe College have a large population of students from Venezuela who say despite the ongoing fighting, they still feel a duty to return to their home country.
"It's really hard to grow up in a country like that where your parents tell you how great it was whenever they were young, and now you can't go out on the streets," said Sofia Rada, who grew up in Venezuela and now attends Santa Fe College.
"I am afraid, but I want to go back," said Maria Figueroa, a Venezuelan student studying English at the UF English Language Institute. "I feel like my country needs me, and I want do something good for my country."
Students have been protesting this week at the corner of University Avenue and 13th Street in Gainesville.
They plan to continue their demonstrations this weekend in Miami, where hundreds of Venezuelan students from across the state are expected to gather to send a message of hope to the people back home.
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