Views from Venezuela – An Introduction

Jose Luis Ramirez, 28, lives in San Felipe, Yaracuy, Venezuela. Every week he tells about his life in Venezuela, in this exclusive Chile Today column. Today no. 1, an introduction.

A rich nation where everyone used to treat others like equals. A wonderful place in which people from any country in the world could find either a home or just a beautiful place to stay on vacation. The warmness and sympathy of its people have always been the main features of such a paradise-like country. The wonderful landscapes and cities gave testimony of the richness that attracted many immigrants looking for a new life. Most of them actually found what they were looking for in this small but precious land named Venezuela.

Now the piece of land that once was filled with millions of people is getting empty. Thousands of people have decided to leave the country due to the great crisis we are passing through. The happiness of people is shadowed by the terrible conditions in which our society is sunken. A political decision once taken is now the reason of this calamity. A situation that is leading us into an endless battle to find at least the most basic supplies. Exaggerated prices of everything, scarcity of food, and insecurity everywhere is just a bit of the legacy of “Socialism.”

The political idealism denominated “Socialist Revolution” began with the election of Commander Hugo Chavez Frias as president of Venezuela in 2000. While leading the country, Chavez managed to implant “Populism” in a rich country that the only thing that needed was to keep improving its economy. But people who believed in socialism never imagined that a political leadership full of lies would made Venezuela as poor as we never thought it would be. Ever since the nation remains divided into the ones who believe in socialism and the ones who know Venezuela needs a political change.

‘I have seen many people trying to buy medicines, but at the moment to hear the cost they just leave with sadness and deception through their eyes’

After the death of Chavez in 2013, Nicolas Maduro Moros became the new President of the nation. The worst leadership ever seen in Venezuela has left decadence and misery, broken families and a deep depression in the economy. It seems incredible that a country with one of the biggest petroleum reservoirs in the world has so much people living in misery. Every day is a new challenge to find food and medicines, and when we find them the costs are incredibly high.

I have seen many people trying to buy medicines, but at the moment to hear the cost they just leave with sadness and deception through their eyes. The same goes for food, in the past you could acquire whatever you wanted with the minimum salary. Nowadays with actual salary you can buy for example just 1 kilogram of cheese and maybe some vegetables, not much. Up to date in this country it doesn’t matter whether you have a college degree or not, the salary is the same.

Another aspect that is very tough to deal with is the number of people looking for food into the garbage. One day I was walking near my house and suddenly saw a pregnant woman among the garbage eating what she could find. These things are just a bit of what Venezuela is passing through. The decision to stay in this country implies that you have to fight hard against adversity. There is not enough transportation, public services are getting worse and as it is not enough you can’t feel safe anywhere because criminality is increasing.Venezuela still has the opportunity to raise again, but we are the ones who can make it possible. Those who decided to stay are the ones who one day will see a renewed country. Those who left one day will return home. So that dream can become true, a political but more important, a social change has to be done.

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