- Associated Press - Monday, June 5, 2017

LISBON, Portugal (AP) - A senior Portuguese official says he encountered “very serious” shortages of food and medical care in Venezuela during a recent fact-finding visit to the country.

Jose Luis Carneiro, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Communities Abroad, says Portugal’s government is providing aid to needy Portuguese immigrants living in Venezuela and is ready to increase its support.

More than 50,000 Portuguese live in Venezuela, which is in the grip of a political and economic crisis. Many of them went there from Portugal’s Madeira Islands off northwest Africa and have lived in the Latin American country for decades.

Carneiro told Lisbon radio station Renascenca on Monday that needy Portuguese returning to Portugal will also qualify for support. The recent return of several thousand Portuguese to Madeira has placed strain on public resources.

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