As Venezuela body count rises, victim’s father tries to make it personal for MaduroGoing back home is always nostalgic.

I like refreshing those sentimental memories that cultivate my culture and identity. Sadly, this time I couldn’t say the same when I returned to my home, Venezuela.

Since April, the country has been in a crucial situation. Fighting for the freedom of 30 million people became the voice and weapons of the younger generations.

Usually when I arrive at the airport, I walk through the hall that leads to the passport control agent who greets me with a smile. This time was different, there was a strange, unattached atmosphere.

My mom and I arrived with only one carry on each. When we arrived in Caracas, I immediately noticed saw how unclean and dingy the streets were, and the incredibly long lines outside of the supermarkets.

It got even worse when I saw young children scouring for food in the trash, because they are not provided with enough food for three meals. Basic necessities are unaffordable even for the people who earn more than the minimum wage, which is 97,531 bolivares fuertes, equal to around $12.53 a month.

The next day, I had a meeting with the United States Embassy. Barren streets followed me during my journey. It felt like a ghost town — empty and lifeless. Protests were nonexistent, people barely went out of their houses.

It was strange, I wanted to leave. Preparing to fly back to Miami, I was consumed with empty thoughts and an empty heart. I left the home I can barely recognize anymore.

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