Today the Venezuelan blogosphere news is that Miguel has moved out of the country. Not totally, as he tells us he will keep coming for a few days regularly for work reasons, but the fact of the matter is that from this week on, most of his time will be spent under other skies. As I wrote a few days ago, we can count him as a chavista casualty, from death or exile, among those people that we will not see around us anymore because of the abject failure of chavismo. Either way a loss for Venezuela though at least the exiles are a gain for other countries.
I did rely a lot on Miguel. To begin with it is because of him that I stopped writing about economic stuff since he covered it so much better than I could ever hope to do. Only agricultural problems were left for me to cover on the economic front since it is my job after all. It worked out well for us as our blogs were complementary, covering all the Venezuelan reality as we were not in competition, our interests being different. On search engines, because Miguel has been writing for so many years, he has become the overall biggest source of visitors for my blog even though we rarely link to each other as many of our readers seem to naturally get into one to go on the other one according to which blog they prefer (probably entering Miguel's first because, you know, he talks about your wallet).
But Miguel also covered many Caracas events that I was not able to attend and now in English no one is left to cover, say, the march tomorrow in Caracas to support the students on hunger strike, something I am sure Miguel would have done his best to attend. Not to mention that Miguel wrote every week, more than once a week and no other blog in Venezuela has that dedication to replace him in English. I am alone now with the stamina, and hoping that maybe Miguel's departure will inspire a him or a her to pick up the torch, a self imposed burden, and I know what I am talking of.
Thus the Venezuelan blogosphere in English gets poorer as I am the lone one left here, all of the other have decided to leave the country over the last decade even though they may not have wanted to do so. How long will I be able to stay? My business is already under an "expropiese" threat and I know it is just a matter of time until chavismo runs out of things to distribute and destroy, and thus I will reach the top of the list. Then maybe I will have to leave the country too, nothing left to do here, and certainly with no desire whatsoever to see chavismo destroy my business like I saw them destroying Agroisleña, today the Agropatria of the empty shelves, fired workers and red painted shutters.
I am not mad at Miguel for leaving, or at Alek for not staying after the 2006 campaign, or Quico from not coming back after his Dutch treat, and other whose reasons of writing from overseas are less clear to me. If they keep writing about Venezuela it is because they love the old country, and are not the mercenaries that we see writing on Venezuela elsewhere in favor of the bolivarian farce, at least when the going was good for chavismo before it became an outright dictatorship. They left because they had to, because no one who leaves lighthearted the homeland will keep writing about it with such genuine passion, to atone perhaps for abandoning it to its fate.
In his "farewell" of sorts note Miguel commented on something very true: our job as bloggers is over anyway. When we started we were always harassed by a variety of Chavez supporters or criticized by normal guys with the excuse of "how? so many poor, you need a Chavez anyway!". But this is over. Now there are only Caracas Rose type of folks left to defend Chavez. For pay, of course.
We have won the battle in the end as Chavez is exposed for what he is: a fraud. The narrative is different now, we are mere witness of events that are sure to come one day or the other as finally the people wake up as they did in the Middle East or Eastern Europe. The inner mechanisms of the countries' psyches work in mysterious ways but the time always come. Regimes who won or would have won elections at some point in their career, one day are found out to be totally despised as we see in Libya where an amazing spontaneous insurrection show people unafraid to die for freedom. My only wish for Miguel, and me, and my exiled colleagues, is that we keep enough motivation to write until one day we will write the most exhilarating pages, when the Chavez regime finally crumbles, preferably through elections that it will not be able to resist, like it happened for the end of Ferdinand Marcos, for example. Because to tell you the truth, I am not looking forward becoming a lone English writing voice under a Libyan type insurrection.....
So the good Devil left and the bad Devil is still in Miraflores.