CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Milagros de Astudillo woke up early in the morning, startled by the shouting and loud noises coming from her home in a working-class neighborhood in Venezuela’s capital.
After another restless night of anti-government protests and violent repression, the 66-year-old grandmother feared the worst.
“I thought, ‘Things are getting worse,'” De Astudillo said. “But no, it was my sons and grandsons celebrating because the ‘Vinotinto’ had reached the final.”
Like many in this country stricken by political, social and economic turmoil, De Astudillo’s family celebrated Venezuela reaching its first soccer World Cup final after beating Uruguay in a penalty shootout in the semifinals of the under-20 tournament in South Korea.
Venezuela will face England in Sunday’s final, and there is a marked difference between the two squads. While 17 of England’s 21…