SPECIAL REPORT-A journey on a caravan of misery

Natacha Rodriguez, a machine operator, had been robbed at gunpoint three times in the past year. He has purged dozens of powerful members of his inner circle, including his uncle, who “did serious harm to the youth movement in our country.

Roger Chirinos was leaving his wife and two young children behind to search for work in Ecuador. But fear has a long history in North Korea, where at least 80,000 people are believed to be held in an archipelago of political prison camps, some for simply being related to someone suspected of disloyalty. ”

On board the bus, web developer Tony Alonzo had sold his childhood guitar to help pay for his ticket to Chile.

For months he had been going to bed hungry so that his 5-year-old brother could have something for dinner. Despite his youth and his schooling in Switzerland, Kim understands the tools that his father and grandfather used. His outdoor advertising company had come to a bitter end: Protesters tore down his billboards to use as barricades during violent rallies against authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro.

A 19-year-old university student with a confident handshake and carefully styled hair, Ryu lives in a city that today feels awash in change. )

The bus passengers immediately bought Colombian pesos in crowded exchange houses where wads of near-worthless Venezuelan bills flew out of money-counting machines.

There are rich people now in Pyongyang, chauffeured in Mercedes and Audis even as most citizens of the police state remain mired in poverty. The bolivar has lost a mind-boggling 98 percent against the U. On sidewalks where everyone once dressed in drab Maoist conformity, there are young women in not-quite miniskirts and teenage boys with baseball caps cocked sideways, K-pop style.

dollar in the last year, meaning $100 worth of local currency a year ago is worth just $2 now. There’s a supermarket selling imported apples and disposable diapers. She knew she had to act. Kim Jong Un, who wasn’t even 30 years old when he came to power after his father’s 2011 death, now faces the challenge of his own generation, with a little over one-third of North Koreans believed to be under the age of 25.

She was headed for Chile, too, hoping to give her baseball-loving son a better life. He had tarried a few days in Peru to spend time with a cousin. Alonzo, the Chile-bound web developer, was not so lucky. She and the rest of the group eventually were admitted into Chile.

Poorer by the day, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have concluded that escape is their only option. Beaming, they hugged quickly before yet another bus journey, to Santiago – nearly 1,300 miles to the south. A heavy silence fell over the bus after it pulled out of the Rutas de America terminal.

Passengers glumly texted family members or stared out the window as the packed vehicle rolled by mango trees, shuttered factories and crumbling murals of the late President Hugo Chavez. The week before, hundreds of Venezuelans had been stranded there for several days after indigenous Colombian protesters blocked the highway to demand better living conditions from the government.

And with inflation fast outrunning her paycheck, the already petite woman had lost 13 pounds as she cut fruit and soft drinks from her diet so that David would not go hungry. Fear added to Rodriguez’s hopelessness: Her story of three robberies at gunpoint is a familiar one in a country awash with drugs and gangs.

Arriving at the same border crossing just a few days after Rodriguez, he was refused entry by Chilean police. With the country’s currency virtually worthless and air travel beyond the reach of all but elites, buses have become Venezuela’s caravans of misery, rolling day and night to its borders and returning largely empty to begin the process all over again. Maduro has just announced he is running for re-election in May.

Rodriguez herself, meanwhile, gets frequent news about Venezuela from her mother and siblings. With the opposition’s two main leaders barred from holding office, the unpopular president looks likely to clinch a six-year term. Most young people have grown up with at least some access to smuggled DVDs or flash drives, whether Chinese TV shows (normally OK with the government), American movies (highly suspicious, though Schwarzenegger shoot-em-ups are said to be in high demand) or a buffet of digitized South Korean entertainment choices (by far the most popular, and by far the most dangerous.

Larrea’s terminal sees dozens queue up daily to purchase tickets. Daily withdrawal limits on debit cards no longer keep up with inflation-fueled prices. She had never left the country, and the enormity of what she was attempting was sinking in. Card readers frequently crash.

When in the early evening the bus pulled into Guayaquil, the last stop on the Rutas de America line, little Josmer Rivas flew into the arms of his overjoyed father, who had emigrated to Ecuador four months earlier. In the North, South Korean soap operas are far more than just weepy sagas of thwarted love. To many young Northerners they are windows onto a modern world, nurturing middle-class aspirations while helping change everything from fashion to romance.

News broadcasts increasingly feature stories about Venezuelans committing crimes. But the influx is stoking tensions with some South American workers who view Venezuelans as rivals. In Colombia, the government says it has treated more than 24,000 Venezuelans for medical emergencies, and authorities in January evicted more than 200 homeless Venezuelans from an athletic field in Cucuta.

Many must return repeatedly to pay in installments. Hungry mobs have been looting stores as shortages and inflation worsen. In Brazil, Venezuelans are already living in shelters just over the border in Boa Vista. In a possible sign of further crackdowns ahead, Brazil and Colombia tightened their borders in February as they grapple with the influx.

FILE – In this May 10, 2016, file photo, youths carry torches as they march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. In the days ahead she would visit four new countries, cross the equator and see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

The gauntlet took five hours, in part because the Venezuelan migration office’s computers crashed.

The travelers’ apprehensions grew as Venezuelan soldiers, known for shaking down border crossers, searched their bags repeatedly. The bus plowed on, stopping in Colombia’s western Cauca province on the third day to let the Venezuelans shower and eat. The gauntlet took five hours, in part because the Venezuelan migration office’s computers crashed.

Their lives, from professional aspirations to dating habits, are increasingly shaped by a growing market economy and thriving underground trade in smuggled TV shows and music. The travelers’ apprehensions grew as Venezuelan soldiers, known for shaking down border crossers, searched their bags repeatedly. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

CARACAS, March 2 (Reuters) – Just after dawn, dozens of Venezuelans gathered at the dark bus station in Caracas.

In this April 19, 2017, photo, two university students use a pedestrian bridge in Pyongyang, North Korea. But she couldn’t stop thinking of how far she had traveled from the home she still loved. Weeping wives, confused children and elderly parents hugged them over and over until it was time to check tickets and weigh bags, then hung back, waiting hours for the bus to leave.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. When she speaks, a torrent of reverence tumbles out for North Korea’s ruling family, as if phrases had been plucked at random from a government newspaper: “The revolution of the Great Leader” . “Laborers trust and venerate Marshal Kim Jong Un.

” And as hundreds of students dance behind her in a choreographed display of loyalty, she is adamant about one thing: North Korea, she insists, has no generation gap. She is the owner of Rutas de America, a small Caracas-based bus company founded nearly 50 years ago to ferry Peruvians and Ecuadoreans to Venezuela in search of work.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. Most arrived to warm welcomes in their adopted homes, many with their savings intact. Back home, the boy sometimes missed school because his family couldn’t afford a few U.

Spooked by Chavez, a first wave of engineers, doctors and other professionals began fleeing for the United States, Canada and Europe in the early 2000s. They lugged one big suitcase each, as well as blankets, toilet paper, cheap bread and jugs of water.

“Only by upholding President Kim Il Sung could the people win their struggle” . When it finally pulled out, the passengers looked down at their loved ones, pounding on the windows and blowing kisses as they speeded out of this crumbling capital city. Carmen Larrea has a front-row seat to the migration.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. cents’ worth of transport costs. “There is one difference,” says 19-year-old Jang Sol Hyang. In the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, Josmer was so excited to find soap in a bathroom that he insisted on dishing it out to everyone. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

Rodriguez’s foursome and a few others boarded a midnight bus to continue their journey south to Chile, some carrying tuna and crackers given to them by those who had disembarked.

Asked about how her life has changed since her mother’s time, Jang said, “My mother lived under the wise leadership of Generalissimos Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and I live in the great era of Marshal Kim Jong Un. And while Rutas de America buses leave Caracas jam-packed, they often return empty, further denting business.

FILE – In this April 17, 2017, file photo, an elderly man is silhouetted against a model of the Unha 3, a space launch rocket, displayed in Pyongyang, North Korea. Again, the buses were mostly filled with Venezuelans – easily recognizable by their bulky bags and jugs of water – although they were now rubbing shoulders with grungy Western backpackers.

“A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. Many older North Koreans feel that emotional tug. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)But skyrocketing prices for spare parts and the plunging bolivar have hammered her profits, Larrea said. FILE – In this April 17, 2017, file photo, a North Korean school boy looks up from his computer screen at the Sci-Tech Complex in Pyongyang, North Korea.

But he also nationalized large swaths of the economy and implemented strict currency controls, state meddling that economists say is the root of the current crisis. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Sociologist Tomas Paez, an immigration specialist at the Central University of Venezuela, estimates that almost 3 million people have fled Venezuela over the past two decades. On the streets there are young women in not-quite mini-skirts and teenage boys with baseball hats cocked sideways, K-pop style. The socialist government does not release emigration statistics, but Maduro says his enemies have exaggerated the extent of the exodus.

In this Wednesday, April 12, 2017, photo, waitresses wait outside a restaurant in Pyongyang, North Korea. Even though entering other parts of Latin America on temporary tourist visas is easy for Venezuelans, some are struggling to secure jobs and work permits. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

Venezuelans elected Chavez, the late leftist firebrand, in 1998 with a mandate to fight inequality.

In the United States, for example, Venezuelans now lead monthly applications for affirmative asylum. FILE – In this April 18, 2017, file photo, people walk beneath portraits of late leaders, Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea. FILE – In this April 13, 2017, file photo, student Jang Sol Hyang, 19, poses for a portrait in Pyongyang, North Korea. ” exclaimed 7-year-old Josmer Rivas.

A charismatic former lieutenant colonel, Chavez transformed the country during his 14-year rule, pouring oil revenue into wildly popular welfare programs. Billboard company owner Chirinos, who disembarked in Ecuador and headed straight to the home of some Venezuelan friends who were putting him up, felt lost without his kids.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

Still, the mood on the bus was often heavy, especially among parents who took advantage of stops to call children left behind. A heavy silence fell over the bus after it pulled out of the Rutas de America terminal. He believes nearly half of them have left in the last two years alone, in one of the largest mass migrations the continent has ever seen.

Some migrants had swollen ankles or painful backs after several days on the road. Others were sick of munching their stashes of white bread and other cheap staples. The group was bound for Concon, Chile, a beach resort where Venezuelan expat friends assured them there was plenty of work.

Passengers glumly texted family members or stared out the window as the packed vehicle rolled by mango trees, shuttered factories and crumbling murals of the late President Hugo Chavez. He quickly made friends – all Chileans – and has ditched baseball, a major sport in Venezuela, in favor of pick-up soccer at a field near his home.

For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world. Major markets are off-limits to most outsiders, but refugee descriptions and satellite imagery show more than 400 across the country, warehouse-size buildings filled with traders selling everything from moonshine to Chinese car parts.

Come dusk, many Venezuelans shut themselves inside their homes to avoid muggings and kidnappings. By the time dawn rises over Caracas, hungry people are already picking through garbage while kids beg in front of bakeries. Those who strike out often get back on the road to try their luck in another country. David loves his new home.

The 29-year-old single mom was traveling with her 12-year-old son, David, her sister Alejandra and a family friend, Adrian Naveda, to what she dreamed would be a quiet life. In a country with the world’s largest proven crude reserves, some families now cook with firewood because they cannot find propane. Photos sent from Rodriguez’s cell phone show the boy grinning astride his black mountain bike in one shot, tucking into a hamburger at McDonald’s in another.

Hospitals lack supplies as basic as disinfectant. “FILE – In this April 15, 2017, file photo, flag bearers march during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea. “When I was younger I believed all of this,” says a former North Korean policeman in his mid-40s, who now lives in Seoul and who spoke on condition his name not be used, fearing retribution against relatives still in the North.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

In this April 9, 2017, photo, university student Ryu Hye Gyong, 19, fixes her hair at a mass dance event in Pyongyang, North Korea. He’s a powerfully built man with a gravelly voice who remains conflicted about the North, critical of the dictatorship but also scornful of a younger generation that doesn’t understand the emotional tug of loyalty.

Food is so scarce and pricey that the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds last year. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Pesos in hand, the migrants boarded a new Rutas de America bus waiting for them in Cucuta.

Now, financially ravaged Venezuelans with fewer skills are pouring across South America in a frantic search for work in restaurants, stores, call centers and construction sites. Out the window, farmers in traditional Andean ponchos tended their herds. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda.

So his voice is dismissive when he adds: “But the younger people, many of them never believed. Police grilled the Venezuelans sharply. The voyage across Peru was uneventful, punctuated by views of the Pacific Ocean and Hollywood action films on video screens hanging from the bus ceiling. equivalent of around $15; the fare for a trip to Chile or Argentina can run as high as $350, a small fortune for many.

For Rodriguez, the single mom, warm food at the rest stops was a luxury she splurged on only for her son, David. But potential trouble loomed at the crossing into Chile, one of Latin America’s most stable and prosperous nations.

11, 2015, file photo, singers from the Moranbong band perform in Pyongyang, North Korea. He wondered why they hadn’t taken a plane. There’s also propaganda now clearly aimed at young people, like the all-woman Moranbong Band, which performs pop-political anthems in tight skirts and high heels.

He was excited about the trip at first, thinking it was a sort of vacation. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

Even though entering other parts of Latin America on temporary tourist visas is easy for Venezuelans, some are struggling to secure jobs and work permits. In the United States, for example, Venezuelans now lead monthly applications for affirmative asylum.

The plunging currency and rocketing inflation make financing the voyage more expensive with each passing day. Kim, who wasn’t even 30 years old when he came to power after his father’s 2011 death, now faces the challenge of his own generation, with a little over one-third of North Koreans believed to be under the age of 25.

Those who strike out often get back on the road to try their luck in another country. (AP Photo/File)

On board the bus, web developer Tony Alonzo had sold his childhood guitar to help pay for his ticket to Chile. The vehicle climbed upward into the foggy Colombian mountains.

28, 2011, file photo, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, fourth from left, salutes beside the hearse carrying the body of his late father, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, during his funeral procession in Pyongyang, North Korea. For months he had been going to bed hungry so that his 5-year-old brother could have something for dinner.

But as the voyage dragged on, he became tired and threw up one night on a winding mountain road in Colombia. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. Natacha Rodriguez, a machine operator, had been robbed at gunpoint three times in the past year.

His outdoor advertising company had come to a bitter end: Protesters tore down his billboards to use as barricades during violent rallies against authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro. She was headed for Chile, too, hoping to give her baseball-loving son a better life. With the opposition’s two main leaders barred from holding office, the unpopular president looks likely to clinch a six-year term.

Some travel only as far as their savings will stretch: A one-way bus ticket to neighboring Colombia from Caracas costs the U. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. Once over the border in the buzzing Colombian town of Cucuta, Jehovah’s Witnesses, vendors and hustlers of all stripes descended on the overwhelmed migrants.

Maduro has just announced he is running for re-election in May. Hungry mobs have been looting stores as shortages and inflation worsen. Roger Chirinos was leaving his wife and two young children behind to search for work in Ecuador. She had never left the country, and the enormity of what she was attempting was sinking in. In the days ahead she would visit four new countries, cross the equator and see the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

But she couldn’t stop thinking of how far she had traveled from the home she still loved. The streets of Cucuta were already full of poor Venezuelans, some sleeping in parks and washing their clothes in creeks because they had no money to travel farther. But the influx is stoking tensions with some South American workers who view Venezuelans as rivals. In Brazil, Venezuelans are already living in shelters just over the border in Boa Vista.

Larrea’s terminal sees dozens queue up daily to purchase tickets. Daily withdrawal limits on debit cards no longer keep up with inflation-fueled prices. In part that’s because they remember the days of relative prosperity, when the state provided people with nearly everything: food, apartments, clothing, children’s holiday gifts.

Many must return repeatedly to pay in installments. The bus plowed on, stopping in Colombia’s western Cauca province on the third day to let the Venezuelans shower and eat. North Korea’s economy was larger than the South’s well into the 1970s. In a possible sign of further crackdowns ahead, Brazil and Colombia tightened their borders in February as they grapple with the influx.

In Colombia, the government says it has treated more than 24,000 Venezuelans for medical emergencies, and authorities in January evicted more than 200 homeless Venezuelans from an athletic field in Cucuta. But conversations with more than two dozen North Korean refugees, along with scholars, former government officials and activists, make it clear that young people are increasingly unmoored from the powerful state ideology.

It’s a complex divide, where some 20-year-olds remain fierce ideologues and plenty of 50-year-olds have no loyalty to the increasingly worried regime. News broadcasts increasingly feature stories about Venezuelans committing crimes. Any who are rejected just wait to cross during the next shift, handlers and food sellers there told Reuters.

The week before, hundreds of Venezuelans had been stranded there for several days after indigenous Colombian protesters blocked the highway to demand better living conditions from the government. FILE – In this April 15, 2017, file photo, men and women participate in a mass dance in Pyongyang, North Korea. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

If North Korea remains very poor, with malnutrition rates similar to those in Zimbabwe and Syria, it is no longer an economic basket case. Their lives, from professional aspirations to dating habits, are increasingly shaped by a growing market economy and thriving underground trade in smuggled TV shows and music. “Some slept on the bus, others on the floor. PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – She dances beneath 10-foot portraits of two smiling dictators, a modern young woman in a central Pyongyang plaza who twirls to music calling on North Koreans to die for their leader.

As they crossed into Ecuador, the Venezuelans told border agents they were tourists; the bored-looking officials stamped their documents and waved them through. Card readers frequently crash. People from the area brought them food and water. And consumerism, once derided as a capitalist disease, has rippled through the culture. A National Guard soldier demanded half of it to let him through with an old Playstation video game console deemed contraband.

Chirinos handed over a $20 bill to end the standoff. currency, a precious hedge against inflation. Rodriguez herself, meanwhile, gets frequent news about Venezuela from her mother and siblings. FILE – In this April 14, 2017, file photo, North Korean schoolchildren perform at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace beneath an image of founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Passenger Chirinos, the ad man, was carrying $200 in U. There was an increase in youth-oriented mass rallies after Kim’s ascension, and public pledges of youth loyalty. She estimated that up to eight buses full of Venezuelans pull up every day. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

On his gentler days, Kim has reached out to young people: “I am one of you, and we are the future,” he said in one speech.

Once over the border in the buzzing Colombian town of Cucuta, Jehovah’s Witnesses, vendors and hustlers of all stripes descended on the overwhelmed migrants. The streets of Cucuta were already full of poor Venezuelans, some sleeping in parks and washing their clothes in creeks because they had no money to where to buy cheap hair travel farther.

Earlier this year, the regime held the first national gathering in 23 years of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth league, a mass organization for all North Koreans ages 14 to 30. Crossing the city of Bucaramanga, Naveda, the family friend who was traveling with Rodriguez and her son, learned by text that his great-grandmother had died.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. They were in a bad state,” Ramos said. “The coup de grace came during anti-government protests last year when the demonstrators outside the capital knocked down his company’s billboards to shield themselves from National Guard soldiers.

“This is the cleavage that the government is worried about. The enterprise his parents had founded in the 1970s was all but lost. There’s also propaganda now clearly aimed at young people, like the all-woman Moranbong Band, which performs pop-political anthems in tight skirts and high heels. “How much money do you have?

” one officer asked Rodriguez. Do you know there are Venezuelans sleeping under bridges here? “Do you know Chile is an expensive country? But he knew the rest of his family was depending on him to send money home once he reached Chile and found employment. For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world.

Today, young women can be seen on the streets of Pyongyang in tight-fitting blouses and short skirts (though no shorter than 5 centimeters (2 inches) above the knee, Han notes, or party workers can demand you change or pay a fine). The government does not release remittance figures. Couples can occasionally be spotted holding hands in the parks along the Taedong River.

But the Inter-American Dialogue think tank estimated that some $2 billion flowed into Venezuela last year from citizens working abroad. She initially slept on the floor in a crowded two-bedroom apartment packed with Venezuelans. In a culture where arranged marriages were the norm until very recently, young people now date openly and choose their own spouses.

Are you and your child going to sleep under a bridge? Down in Chile, Rodriguez waits tables at a busy seafront restaurant popular with tourists. The 23-year-old felt an urge to turn back. The vehicle climbed upward into the foggy Colombian mountains. ”

Meanwhile, his government is benefiting from migrant remittances that are helping to prop up Venezuela’s economy and keep a lid on unrest in the nation of about 30 million.

Some travel only as far as their savings will stretch: A one-way bus ticket to neighboring Colombia from Caracas costs the U. Now she sleeps in a room with David because her sister and friend Naveda moved to their own place, freeing up space in the apartment.

Now, financially ravaged Venezuelans with fewer skills are pouring across South America in a frantic search for work in restaurants, stores, call centers and construction sites. “They know that young people are where you get revolutions,” says Hazel Smith, a North Korea scholar at SOAS, University of London and former aid worker in North Korea.

equivalent of around $15; the fare for a trip to Chile or Argentina can run as high as $350, a small fortune for many. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. The plunging currency and rocketing inflation make financing the voyage more expensive with each passing day.

In this Sunday, April 16, 2017, photo, two young North Korean boys wearing baseball caps walk down a street in Pyongyang, North Korea. On the streets there are young women in not-quite mini-skirts and teenage boys with baseball hats cocked sideways, K-pop style.

Pesos in hand, the migrants boarded a new Rutas de America bus waiting for them in Cucuta. The shivering Venezuelans, almost none of whom had warm coats, lined up in the dark to get their passports stamped. 6, 2017, file photo, a portrait of late leader Kim Il Sung is seen on North Korean banknotes.

on the fourth day of the journey, the bus arrived at the frigid Colombian border town of Ipiales, near the Ecuadorean border, 9,508 feet high in the Andes. For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world. Political fervor once genuinely felt is being pushed aside by a fierce belief in money.

The group was bound for Concon, Chile, a beach resort where Venezuelan expat friends assured them there was plenty of work. Out the window, farmers in traditional Andean ponchos tended their herds. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

The 29-year-old single mom was traveling with her 12-year-old son, David, her sister Alejandra and a family friend, Adrian Naveda, to what she dreamed would be a quiet life.

She knew she had to act. And with inflation fast outrunning her paycheck, the already petite woman had lost 13 pounds as she cut fruit and soft drinks from her diet so that David would not go hungry. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Just before 2 a. The bus riders were forced to disembark and pass through half a dozen checkpoints on foot, struggling to haul their suitcases, backpacks, blankets, food and water jugs under the searing sun.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)To people who came of age after the famine, when it had become clear the regime was neither all-powerful nor all-providing, the propaganda is often just background noise. Several more buses pulled up, unloading more of their countrymen. When in the early evening the bus pulled into Guayaquil, the last stop on the Rutas de America line, little Josmer Rivas flew into the arms of his overjoyed father, who had emigrated to Ecuador four months earlier.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. It isn’t that they hate the regime, but simply that their focus has turned to earning a living, or buying the latest smuggled TV show. Natacha Rodriguez, the machine operator, had been running on adrenaline in the mad rush to pack, sell her television and washing machine, and endure long lines to get her documents in order.

And while Rutas de America buses leave Caracas jam-packed, they often return empty, further denting business. But skyrocketing prices for spare parts and the plunging bolivar have hammered her profits, Larrea said. 1, 2012, leader Kim Jong Un, second from left, and his wife Ri Sol Ju watch a performance of the Moranbong Band in North Korea.

FILE – In this undated file photo released by the North Korean government on Aug. ”

FILE – In this April 14, 2017, file photo, a North Korean student salutes the audience at the start of a performance at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image.

Fear added to Rodriguez’s hopelessness: Her story of three robberies at gunpoint is a familiar one in a country awash with drugs and gangs. Trudging to the narrow Simon Bolivar International Bridge that links Venezuela to Colombia, they walked under a big government sign that read: “Here no one speaks ill of Chavez.

The teeming frontier is a lifeline for desperate Venezuelans. Kim, who wasn’t even 30 years old when he came to power after his father’s 2011 death, now faces the challenge of his own generation, with a little over one-third of North Koreans believed to be under the age of 25. Maduro has increased security at the border in an attempt to crack down on contraband.

In her tight jeans and gold-speckled eye shadow, Han revels in Seoul’s frenetic glitz and unembarrassed consumerism. He was excited about the trip at first, thinking it was a sort of vacation. But as the voyage dragged on, he became tired and threw up one night on a winding mountain road in Colombia. They cross daily to sell goods like liquor, copper, even their own hair, often making more money in a day in Colombia than in a month back home.

For Rodriguez, the single mom, warm food at the rest stops was a luxury she splurged on only for her son, David. She loves talking about fashion and the K-pop bands she and her friends secretly listened to back home. It was just the latest in a series of setbacks for Alonzo, who had been trying to leave Venezuela for two years.

(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

By daybreak, the bus had arrived in the garbage-strewn Venezuelan town of San Antonio del Tachira, near the Colombian border. He wondered why they hadn’t taken a plane. Passenger Chirinos, the ad man, was carrying $200 in U.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. A National Guard soldier demanded half of it to let him through with an old Playstation video game console deemed contraband. currency, a precious hedge against inflation. Experts believe the private sector, a web of businesses ranging from neighborhood traders to textile factories, accounts for as much as half of the North Korean economy, with most people depending on it financially, at least in part.

Chirinos handed over a $20 bill to end the standoff. FILE – In this April 16, 2017, file photo, a young girl in traditional dress walks past an elderly woman at the Central Zoo, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

FILE – In this Friday, Jan.

Many older North Koreans feel that emotional tug. For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world.

Their lives, from professional aspirations to dating habits, are increasingly shaped by a growing market economy and thriving underground trade in smuggled TV shows and music. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

CARACAS, March 2 (Reuters) – Just after dawn, dozens of Venezuelans gathered at the dark bus station in Caracas. 6, 2017, file photo, a couple walks along the Taedong River bank in Pyongyang, North Korea, during sunset. They lugged one big suitcase each, as well as blankets, toilet paper, cheap bread and jugs of water.

Weeping wives, confused children and elderly parents hugged them over and over until it was time to check tickets and weigh bags, then hung back, waiting hours for the bus to leave. Mounted portraits show the country’s first two rulers: Kim Il Sung, who shaped the North into one of the world’s most repressive states, and his son, Kim Jong Il, who created the personality cults that now dominate public life.

A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea. Now, on this day in November, she was near exhaustion as she tried to get comfortable in her seat. When it finally pulled out, the passengers looked down at their loved ones, pounding on the windows and blowing kisses as they speeded out of this crumbling capital city.

Kim Jong Un With Our Lives” booms out again and again. For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world. A generational divide is quietly growing in North Korea, often hidden behind relentless propaganda. On the radio, the song “We Will Defend Gen.

Immense rooftop signs spell out praise for grandson Kim Jong Un, the ruling party and the military. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

He had hoped his programming skills would be snapped up in Chile, a budding technology hub. FILE – In this April 16, 2017, file photo, a family poses in front of portraits of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea.

But after he was turned back at the border, Alonzo had little choice but return to his cousin’s apartment in the Peruvian capital, Lima. “How much money do you have? On a sunny spring afternoon, by a three-story obelisk celebrating North Korea’s love for its leaders, a math student at the country’s top university talks about how life has changed since her mother was young.

Do you know there are Venezuelans sleeping under bridges here? “Do you know Chile is an expensive country? Functioning traffic lights. His trip had been thwarted twice after he was forced to use savings for medical bills, first for a lung problem and another time to fix an infected molar.

Stand at nearly any Pyongyang street corner and reminders of the state’s immense power are everywhere. ” one officer asked Rodriguez. ”

As the bus kept heading southward, the Venezuelans expressed amazement at the views from their windows: Plump cows. Thriving corn and coffee fields. So while the generational divide has grown, there have been no signs of youthful anger: no university protests, no political graffiti, no anonymous leaflets.

Now, on this day in November, she was near exhaustion as she tried to get comfortable in her seat. People nonchalantly wearing gold jewelry on the streets. Maduro has increased security at the border in an attempt to crack down on contraband.

Even among themselves, young people say politics is almost always avoided, with honest conversations saved only for immediate family and the closest friends. ”

He had hoped his programming skills would be snapped up in Chile, a budding technology hub. Money now courses through North Korea, shaking a world that earlier generations thought would never change.

Trudging to the narrow Simon Bolivar International Bridge that links Venezuela to Colombia, they walked under a big government sign that read: “Here no one speaks ill of Chavez. Are you and your child going to sleep under a bridge? The bus riders were forced to disembark and pass through half a dozen checkpoints on foot, struggling to haul their suitcases, backpacks, blankets, food and water jugs under the searing sun.

The bus passengers immediately bought Colombian pesos in crowded exchange houses where wads of near-worthless Venezuelan bills flew out of money-counting machines. But after he was turned back at the border, Alonzo had little choice but return to his cousin’s apartment in the Peruvian capital, Lima.

In her hometown, where squat houses and small factories line the Yalu River border with China, her family counted as wealthy. “Everybody wants money now,” says Han, whose father ran a successful timber business. dollar in the last year, meaning $100 worth of local currency a year ago is worth just $2 now.

Fully stocked store shelves. The government does not release remittance figures. Meanwhile, his government is benefiting from migrant remittances that are helping to prop up Venezuela’s economy and keep a lid on unrest in the nation of about 30 million.

“I grew up like a princess,” she says happily, ticking off the family’s possessions: a TV, two laptop computers, easy access to the latest South Korean K-pop videos. The bolivar has lost a mind-boggling 98 percent against the U. An economic shift began in the mid-1990s, when the end of Soviet aid and a series of devastating floods caused widespread famine.

The power of the police state weakened amid the hunger, allowing smuggling to flourish across the Chinese border. Many blame the country’s precipitous decline on the government of Maduro, who has tightened his grip on power, holding fast to statist policies that have throttled the economy. His government says it is facing a U.

Functioning traffic lights. -led conspiracy to sabotage leftism in Latin America by hoarding goods and stoking inflation. But the Inter-American Dialogue think tank estimated that some $2 billion flowed into Venezuela last year from citizens working abroad. People nonchalantly wearing gold jewelry on the streets. The food ration system, which had fed nearly everyone for decades, collapsed.

Thriving corn and coffee fields. You can walk out on glass and stand 4000 feet above the bottom of the canyon and immerse yourself in a scenic view like no other. Natacha Rodriguez, the machine operator, had been running on adrenaline in the mad rush to pack, sell her television and washing machine, and endure long lines to get her documents in order.

The Skywalk is an amazing cantilevered bridge that is made of glass and juts out 70 feet beyond the edge of the rim. Crossing the city of Bucaramanga, Naveda, the family friend who was traveling with Rodriguez and her son, learned by text that his great-grandmother had died. The 23-year-old felt an urge to turn back.

Its powerful all natural formula contains some of the finest fruit and herb extracts available, including the powerful Acai berry. Kim also has blasted outside movies and music as “poisonous weeds” and in 2015, researchers say, his regime announced that people caught with South Korean videos could face 10 years of imprisonment at hard labor.

But he knew the rest of his family was depending on him to send money home once he reached Chile and found employment. Ageless Anti-Aging Serum is a virtually odorless and colorless gel that can be used by both women and men, and on all types of skin. Fully stocked store shelves.

A different West Rim helicopter tour flies over the area and then lands near the fabulous Grand Canyon Skywalk. Anti-aging skin care serum can easily be carried in pocket or purse. Spooked by Chavez, a first wave of engineers, doctors and other professionals began fleeing for the United States, Canada and Europe in the early 2000s.

Most arrived to warm welcomes in their adopted homes, many with their savings intact. But tensions are increasing as their numbers strain the resources of South America’s developing countries, which have their own problems with poverty and crime.

Other Latin Americans have been largely sympathetic to Venezuelans’ troubles. Augusto Pinochet’s right-wing dictatorship in the 1970s. Chileans, for instance, note that Venezuela sheltered thousands of their exiled countrymen during Gen. The recommended use is to apply twice daily, morning and night. “In the past, everybody wanted to be a government official, that was the number-one dream,” says Lee.

In contrast to refugees fleeing Syria, Myanmar and North Africa who have met with violence and resistance, Venezuelans are moving easily across land borders on tourist visas. Ageless state Not only does Ageless anti aging serum fight lines and wrinkles, it also targets and diminishes the appearance of age spots and skin discoloration, restoring a youthful glow that any woman, or man will be delighted with.

Many blame the country’s precipitous decline on the government of Maduro, who has tightened his grip on power, holding fast to statist policies that have throttled the economy. His government says it is facing a U. She has been a hairdresser in Korogocho for nearly 10 years. Business can be slow – she averages seven customers a week – as she competes with more than 30 other stalls lined with hundreds of hairpieces.

More and more, people are interested in the markets, in buying and selling, in money. Like millions of her countrymen, she took to the streets to protest the unpopular Maduro last year, only to despair when he responded by consolidating his authority. 13, 2017, file photo, two elderly North Korean men crouch on a street in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Many older North Koreans feel that emotional tug. -led conspiracy to sabotage leftism in Latin America by hoarding goods and stoking inflation. ”

“After we get the hair from the dumpsite we usually sort them out and pick the good ones,” Wanjiku says. Rodriguez said she had hoped Venezuela’s youth could bring about change.

For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world. In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. As the bus kept heading southward, the Venezuelans expressed amazement at the views from their windows: Plump cows.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

You can get lucky and find unused human hair,” she says. 24, 2017, a wig of natural hair for sale is on display on a mannequin at a hair salon in downtown Nairobi, Kenya. ” Of the different types of hair extensions, human hair is the most coveted for its softness and versatility.

They were in a bad state,” Ramos said. She estimated that up to eight buses full of Venezuelans pull up every day. People from the area brought them food and water. “But more and more, people know that money can solve everything. In one of Africa’s largest dumps, some residents are making a living by collecting and recycling hair from the mountains of rubbish.

(AP Photo/Adelle Kalakouti)

“Some slept on the bus, others on the floor. It still suffuses everything from children’s stories to university literature departments, from TV shows to opera. For generations, propaganda about the Kim family was all that most North Koreans knew, a mythology of powerful but tender-hearted rulers who protect their people against a hostile world.

“After a while, I stopped paying attention,” says Lee Ga Yeon, who grew up amid the mud and poverty of an isolated communal farm and began helping support her family as a teenager during the famine, pedaling her bicycle through nearby villages, selling food door to door. Helicopter tours that fly out of Vegas pass over Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, an extinct volcano and other sights on their way to Grand Canyon West (the West Rim).

The big thrill is waiting at the canyon itself and the site of it will take away your breath. The rising demand in Africa and elsewhere has countries such as India, China and Brazil competing for the biggest share of the market. “I didn’t even think about the regime anymore. Air tours give amateur photographers plenty of opportunities to capture the amazing sights.

It’s the best of both worlds: from your ‘copter you’ll see the river from high above and then up close and personal after you land. ”

Still, some distance learning MBA programs include televised courses.

Still, the mood on the bus was often heavy, especially among parents who took advantage of stops to call children left behind. Billboard company owner Chirinos, who disembarked in Ecuador and headed straight to the home of some Venezuelan friends who were putting him up, felt lost without his kids.

While televised courses are somewhat more convenient than Live Interactive Television, televised courses do not permit students to ask questions in real time. Televised courses allow students to record lessons and watch them at their convenience. “Maybe someone bought it and wasn’t satisfied with it, maybe the color, then they threw it away. Others were sick of munching their stashes of white bread and other cheap staples.

Kenya last month implemented a ban on plastic bags, a major contributor to the towering piles of trash. Ageless anti aging serum is a new product designed to fight those tell tale lines and wrinkles and give you back the skin you had years ago, all without harsh chemicals or painful, expensive injections.

There has been scientific research done to prove that Vitamin C does in fact help decrease wrinkles and fine lines. A majority of skin care products contain Vitamin C such as rejuvenating or anti wrinkle products. It helps synthesize the collagen and raise the collagen’s synthesis a substantial amount.

Vitamin C is also a very powerful antioxidant that helps combat any free radicals on your skin. If you go on the air tour that lands on the bottom of the canyon, you will have the chance to take amazing scenic photos of beautiful nature scenes not found on top of the rim.

Nairobi’s Dandora Municipal Dumpsite stretches as far as the eye can see. Other natural ingredients like Aloe Vera gel, enzyme CoQ10, and some of the world’s most powerful antioxidant fruit extracts like Acai and Goji help reverse the aging process and revitalize your skin, restoring its youthful radiance and beauty. It was declared full in 2001 but has remained active, with 850 to 1,500 tons of waste arriving every day.

(AP Photo/Adelle Kalakouti)

She and the rest of the group eventually were admitted into Chile. He had tarried a few days in Peru to spend time with a cousin. In one of Africa’s largest dumps, some residents are making a living by collecting and recycling hair from the mountains of rubbish. 24, 2017, hairdresser Mary Wanjiku, 29, weaves the hair of local resident Ruth Njera, 25, at a makeshift hair salon in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi, Kenya.

When Vitamin C is properly applied to the skin it can create wonderful results with fewer wrinkles and better skin textur

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. Beaming, they hugged quickly before yet another bus journey, to Santiago – nearly 1,300 miles to the south.

(AP Photo)

Sociologist Tomas Paez, an immigration specialist at the Central University of Venezuela, estimates that almost 3 million people have fled Venezuela over the past two decades. In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. In one of Africa’s largest dumps, some residents are making a living by collecting and recycling hair from the mountains of rubbish.

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. Alonzo, the Chile-bound web developer, was not so lucky. 24, 2017, hairdresser Mary Wanjiku, 29, weaves the hair of local resident Ruth Njera, 25, at a makeshift hair salon in the Korogocho slum of Nairobi, Kenya.

In one of Africa’s largest dumps, some residents are making a living by collecting and recycling hair from the mountains of rubbish. (AP Photo/Adelle Kalakouti)

Winnie Wanjira, 31, has spent her whole life at the dump, one of an estimated 6,000 people making their living by scavenging in the rubbish.

Some migrants had swollen ankles or painful backs after several days on the road. For nine days, a reporter and a photographer from Reuters accompanied the migrants as they headed for what they hoped were better days in Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina. The socialist government does not release emigration statistics, but Maduro says his enemies have exaggerated the extent of the exodus.

24, 2017, the Dandora municipal dumpsite is seen from the air in Nairobi, Kenya. Some people raise pigs on the organic waste, while others find items to sell. For nearly 5,000 miles, they rolled through some of South America’s most spectacular landscapes, including the vertiginous Andean mountain range and the world’s driest desert in Chile.

But he also nationalized large swaths of the economy and implemented strict currency controls, state meddling that economists say is the root of the current crisis. I do have slightly music background, so I realize the basic idea of music, beats and chord structure, but even if you might have no music background at all I think it is probable to make beats for rap and hip hop with no trouble at all.

A charismatic former lieutenant colonel, Chavez transformed the country during his 14-year rule, pouring oil revenue into wildly popular welfare programs. But even though the Venezuelans were awed by the views whizzing by their window, their minds were mostly on the land they had left behind – and the uncertainty facing them in the lands ahead.

Not getting a rap or hip hop artist myself, I wondered if it were feasible to make

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