Thousands of people are leaving Venezuela due to the re-election of President Nicolas Maduro, the economy has forced many people to seek better opportunities abroad. The UN describes it as the largest ever migration from the Americas.

Police stand guard as a Venezuelan woman crosses into Colombia through the Simon Bolivar bridge linking San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, with Cucuta, Colombia, in July 17, 2016 file photo.
Police stand guard as a Venezuelan woman crosses into Colombia through the Simon Bolivar bridge linking San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, with Cucuta, Colombia, in July 17, 2016 file photo. (AP)

At this bus terminal in Caracas, the lines are growing longer.

People are seeking a new beginning in foreign lands even though it often means leaving behind family and friends.

Many professionals are giving up careers and are unsure what jobs they might be able to get.

Anesthesiologist Karen Martinez says she's often had to work 20-hour days at four different clinics and hospitals to make ends meet.

Migration expert Claudia Vargas says many of those leaving, blame President Nicolas Maduro for the country's economic downturn.

Now he's been re-elected, they worry the situation will get worst.

Figures from the International Organization for Migration show the number of Venezuelans leaving the country between 2015 and 2017 shot up from 89,000 to 900,000 people.

That's an increase of more than 900%.

Maduro has announced a program called "Back to the homeland". 

It aims to bring back Venezuelans who have recently emigrated.

However, he has not laid out a clear strategy on how he plans to achieve that.

Experts say the loss of highly skilled workers could affect the country's development for the next 10 to 15 years, as the majority of those leaving say they don't plan to return.

And many of those staying in Venezuela, say they can only pray for better times.

Juan Carlos Lamas reports for TRT World from Caracas.

Source: TRT World