Jerusalem Report

In the wake of Chavez

Perilous times lie ahead for Venezuela’s Jewish community, beset by the ghost of dictator Hugo Chavez, who died March 5

Ahmadinejad and Chavez
Photo by: CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS
Once one of the proudest and most vibrant communities in the Americas, until 1999, when Hugo Chavez, El Comandante, (as he was and is still termed by his followers) became president, more than half of the country’s 20,000 Jews have since emigrated, mostly to Florida, Mexico, Spain and Israel.

But the exodus from Chavez was not only Jewish. Hope, freedom and jobs all disappeared as the economy was systematically destroyed – unemployment is now almost 10 percent and inflation is a resounding 25 percent (the average in Latin America is less than 5 percent).



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