Saint Lucian students who were awarded scholarships to study medicine in Venezuela are back home, the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development has said.

A statement issued by Permanent Secretary, Esther Brathwaite, said the students had to be brought home because of existing conditions in the Spanish-speaking nation.

“The welfare of our students at any educational institution is priority for the government of Saint Lucia,” Brathwaite asserted.

She disclosed that the ministry is exploring other options.

“Once the students satisfy the matriculation requirements of an accredited university, the students will be able to pursue higher education,” the PS disclosed.

Oil-rich Venezuela has been rocked by two months of deadly protests.

At least 41 people have been killed since a wave of demonstrations against the leftist government of Nicolas Maduro broke out in early February.

Across Venezuela, cities are erupting in protests and looting over food shortages.

“Venezuela has a huge problem of hunger,” a Journalist reporting on the crisis has said, adding that the bottom has fallen out of the country’s economy.

The twenty-two Saint Lucian students who were brought back home from Venezuela arrived here before the last elections, according to information obtained by the Times.