This article is also available in: Italiano
Venezuela is home to one of the largest Syrian communities in South America, an analogy that, sadly, may not stop at culture.
Not only Italians and Germans
When we talk about immigrants in South America we usually think of Italian, German or at least European immigrants. However, many forget the incredible impact that the Arab diaspora in the Shami (Syria, Lebanon and Palestine) gave to the region. If in Chile the migration was mainly of Palestinians, the Venezuela instead became the homeland of the Syrians and the Lebanese. In fact, it is estimated that the Arab population in the country amounts to 6% of the local population, while maintaining even greater political power in their hands.
Just think of Tareck El Aissami or Tarek Saab who in the Maduro government respectively occupy the role of Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General. It should also be noted that El Aissami’s family has always been very close to the events of the Ba’athist party, that of Saddam Hussein and the Assads. Most of the emigrants were Christian or Druze, but there is still a small community in the country today.
In both directions
Arab migrations to Venezuela, then, bring with them a more unique than rare case, namely a “return to origins”. In recent decades, several Venezuelans of Syrian origin have returned to the land of their fathers, populating entire Syrian cities and neighborhoods.
This has made it possible in some Syrian cities, such as As Suwayda, the truly 360 ° fusion of two cultures located on the extreme sides of the world; something incredible.
Really the new Syria?
This magnificent story, however, risks transforming itself into a very similar one, unfortunately underway since 2011. In fact, the tensions that Venezuela are going through are getting stronger, also thanks to an unparalleled economic crisis in the history of humanity. Think that, if in Europe inflation is around 1.6, for this country the International Monetary Fund has estimated it has reached one million percent in 2018 and that it will reach a rate of 10 million inflation in 2019.
The country has plunged into the abyss of bartering and Guaidó’s self-appointment has done nothing else to darken the hopes of this country, so far from his homeland, yet so terribly close.
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