Naples man sends food, supplies to Venezuelan relatives in crisis

NAPLES, Fla. Some families in Southwest Florida are concerned for the safety and well-being of their relatives living in Venezuela.

Joel Viloria, of Naples, does whatever he can to send his family the items they need to survive.

Photo via Joel Viloria

Venezuelans are suffering through a political and economic crisis that has created massive shortages of food and medical supplies, according to Viloria. Even essential items like toilet paper and tooth paste are difficult to find in the war-torn country.

But often times the care packages he sends to his brother and parents never make it to Venezuela.

“They disappear, they open them, they steal whatever is in there and whatever they take from there never makes it to the final destination and then they sell it on the black market,” Viloria said.

But that’s a risk the Viloria family is willing to take to support their family living in Venezuela.

“I’ve been living here for 30 years, but in this case it touches home because that’s where I was born. Venezuela is going through a difficult time right now,” Viloria said.

Venezuelans wait in line for hours to purchase food. Photo via Joel Viloria

Venezuelans are preparing for Sunday’s election of a “constituent national assembly.”

President Nicholas Maduro called for the vote to elect members of an assembly tasked with re-writing the 18-year-old constitution created under President Hugo Chavez, according to the Associated Press.

“People are not going to have the right of freedom of speech,” Viloria said.

The opposition believes the vote was designed to allow Maduro’s supporters to give him more sweeping powers, according to the Associated Press.


Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada
Writer:WINK News