ABERDEEN, Scotland - This is an ancient city on the chilly North Sea coast of Scotland, known for its granite architecture, abundant pubs and parks, and friendly folk who speak in a lyrical, often inscrutable regional dialect.
So it's not exactly the first place you'd expect to find a thriving Venezuelan outpost.
Yet, here they are. Aberdeen and other places in Scotland have quietly become a tiny oasis for refugees fleeing the social strife and economic collapse back home in Venezuela.
The influx started over a decade ago, the first refugees drawn by one thing the two very different countries have in common - the oil industry. Much of Aberdeen's economy has been tied to oil and gas production in the nearby North Sea. So when Venezuela's state-run oil industry began struggling, a number of workers took jobs here.
That was the seed of small but growing community. New refugees Carlos and Nathaly Hernandez, with their two young daughters and teenage son in tow, had hoped to escape the rising chaos and crime at home by moving to Miami, a city with a booming Venezuelan population. But fearing it would be hard to live legally long-term in the United States, they soon set their sights on Scotland instead.
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