There are about 9,000 Jews in Venezuela today but with the rise in anti-Semitism many will choose to leave in the very near future. Just last week 26 Jews fled to Israel because of the fear and uncertainty in Venezuela. One woman who arrived in Israel with her family said she was afraid to go out in the street for fear of kidnapping or harassment. She said that right now there are countless protests and riots against the current government many of which end up with people wounded and killed.
The protests are against the extreme left ruling party which was in power for the past few years. Now the right is trying to destabilize the government and to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro who runs the country as a dictator. This past March 2017, the opposition whom had a majority in the government labeled Maduro a dictator since the Supreme Court who was aligned with Maduro would overturn anything the opposition would decide and effectively took over the functions of congress. This brought the violence in the streets to new heights. However, in April the Supreme Court quickly and reversed its decision.
A month ago on June 28th a policeman named Oscar Perez stole a police helicopter and attacked the Supreme Court building and interior ministry building with gunshots and grenades. He also asked the public on social media to help him “end the tyranny”. Maduro called the attack terror against government institutions.
Anti-Semitism was always a part of Venezuela but now with the instability and riots on the rise there are many more open displays of anti-Semitism than before.
Since 1999, 16,000 Jews left Venezuela but now it looks like many more will be joining them.