In a large house on Sunnyland Lane, deep in Wellington’s exclusive horse country, Alejandro Andrade and his family enjoy a life far from the hardships faced today by people in their home country of Venezuela.
Andrade, a former bodyguard to late president Hugo Chavez before rising to the rank of Venezuela’s national treasurer, has lived since at least 2012 in a 9,000-square-foot house with five bedrooms, marble floors and a swimming pool a few miles from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
The six-acre spread in the gated Palm Beach Point development also has a large barn for some of the 60 horses he owns. With names like Bon Jovi and Armani Z, the horses are often ridden by his son Emanuel Andrade, an Olympic equestrian whose social media accounts have made him a target for Spanish-language gossip sites that have poked fun at his jet-setting lifestyle with celebrities such as the American model Kendall Jenner and the matriarch of the Kardashian clan, Kris Jenner.
But the lavish comforts haven’t completely insulated Andrade from the political and humanitarian crisis unfolding in his home country, where children are dying of malnutrition and people are rioting because of dire conditions under the government of President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’ successor.
Repercussions from the deepening crisis have breached Andrade’s world 1,400 miles away in Wellington, often behind the scenes but sometimes in public.
Local Venezuelans protesting conditions at home have held demonstrations near his house. And Andrade has had strained relationships with other Venezuelans in Wellington’s equestrian community, creating friction that has ensnared equestrian mogul Mark Bellissimo and attracted the attention of…..
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