Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

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Portugal to beef up Venezuela consulates as crisis hits emigrants

by TPN/ Lusa, in News · 02-11-2017 14:19:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s government is next year to beef up staff and technological resources in its consulates in Venezuela, its secretary of state for Portuguese communities announced during a visit to Caracas.

There are some 400,000 Portuguese nationals in Venezuela and more than a million children or grand-children of Portuguese, making the community in the country the second-largest in Latin America.
“We [in 2017] adopted policies of reinforcing consular resources, which will continue to be intensified further in 2018,” said the secretary of state, José Luís Carneiro. “We’re talking about reinforcing human resources and also technological resources that have to be modernised and adapted to the new needs. That is a commitment that has been made.”
Carneiro was speaking at the end of a three-day trip to Venezuela during which he had meetings with Portuguese citizens in Maracaibo, Los Anacos and Carrizal as well as in the capital.
He said that he had also met all honorary consuls in the country and “with all those who offered to work with the social attachés and career consuls” to compile a detailed register of people and institutions that might need help at a difficult time.
Venezuela is mired in a deep political and economic crisis, with a standoff between the government and opposition.
According to Carneiro, at present some 3,500 nationals are receiving direct financial help from consular services. The focus, he stressed is on the elderly, children and women, with some of the aid taking the form of food and medicines.
The secretary of state also said that steps have been taken to improve action to promote the teaching of the Portuguese language – an essential tool for those members of the community who are returning to Portugal.
In Madeira – the Portuguese region from which most emigrants in Venezuela originally come – the regional government estimates that at least 4,000 people have returned, and is preparing to welcome more.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter