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Evolving crisis fuels anxiety among Venezuelans who want a better economy but see worsening woes
Venezuelans have come to feel the decade-long crisis that undid their country as one numbingly featureless expanse of struggles
SAN JOAQUIN, Venezuela (AP) — The avocado trees across the road from Jose Hernandez's tin-roofed home help feed several retirees in the rural community of San Joaquin along a highway two hours southwest of Venezuela’s capital.
He and his neighbors cut the avocados with the owner’s permission and sell them to motorists at a nearby toll booth or on the streets of the nearby city of Valencia, which has not emptied out as much as San Joaquin from migration over the last decade.
They live day by day. Their pension these days amounts to $3.70 a month, only 20 cents more than the cost of a gallon of bottled water. So no sales mean no food.
“Sometimes, we even have to barter avocados for food in other neighborhoods. We want jobs!” Hernandez, 67, exclaimed while sitting on his dusty, cement-floor porch with a neighbor. “He was a carrier, I sold merchandise downtown. Right now, there is no work. All the young people have already left. This neighborhood is desolate!”