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. She disclosed that the ministry is exploring other options.

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.

The twenty-two Saint Lucian students who were brought back home from Venezuela arrived here before the last elections.