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Translation from RTP MADEIRA

Madeira does not have the capacity to receive all emigrants in Venezuela who want to return, but the Regional Government will not close the door on anyone, said the secretary of Parliamentary and European Affairs in Funchal today.

Sérgio Marques, who oversees the Madeiran community, received a group of about 40 emigrants, who have recently returned to the region following the situation of chaos and social and political unrest that has plagued Venezuela in recent months.

“We do not have the capacity to receive all the people who want to come, but we will not close the door to anyone. We will welcome everyone with open arms,” ​​said the minister, admitting that those who return may face problems in terms of housing, and the equivalence of diplomas and the regularisation of documents.

Sérgio Marques travels to Venezuela – a country where some 300,000 emigrants come from Madeira – from May 29 to June 2, with the aim of expressing solidarity with the community and establishing contacts with Nicolas Maduro’s government.

In the meeting with the group of emigrants yesterday, the governor sought to “deepen the knowledge” of the current reality of Venezuela, having been confronted with many emotional and dramatic reports.

“He’s going to visit Venezuela and see that there are [Portuguese] people eating the garbage and there are people dying for lack of medicines,” said António Fernandes Jesus, who lived for five decades in that country and recently returned to Madeira.

The emigrant said that the situation is “critical of truth, strong and bitter.”

The regional secretary acknowledged that contacts with the Venezuelan government are not easy and stressed that all international diplomatic initiatives have failed.

In the face of the returning emigrants, Sérgio Marques said that they will surely “go through difficult times”, especially since Madeira is emerging from a “serious crisis” and has 19,000 registered at the Employment Institute.