Dear readers, it is time to wish you a merry Christmas. At least, if you have the luck to reside outside of Venezuela the odds that your Christmas will be at least decent are good. Here in Venezuela it is going to be one the saddest Christmas in a long time, with significant odds of getting even worse in December 2015.
One of the striking facts this year is the paucity of fireworks. Usually by December 15 at the latest pets are rattled by frequent explosions. This year, I swear, I may hear one or two a day at most, and usually if Magallanes Baseball team wins (it is Venezuela's season). But drive through the streets of Caracas and Christmas decoration are scarce, in homes as well as in stores. Never mind the sparsely stacked shelves. And yet traffic is more infernal than ever. Why? People need to visit twice as many malls to get at least the basics so that the Christmas of their children may not be too dreary. And drive three times as many to find the ingredients of will be this year a rather simplified Christmas table.
Comfort this year will be more like an US Thanksgiving, the joy of being alive and still be able to gather with your loved ones. But one thing is to be willing to celebrate that, the other to be forced into that lone option when you cannot quite do so considering that a million and a half Venezuelans have left the country since Chavez was elected.
As for me, it has been a very difficult year. Not only work problems have grown, it seems, exponentially, but it has been a continuous battle to help my cancer stricken S.O. You need to go though the trial of taking care of a complex disease to understand how inhumane Venezuela has become in the last decade, from a bureaucracy that could not care less about your troubles, to the difficulty to find the basics, to the hardship to navigate with a sick person through the run down streets and sanitary installations of the country, private or not. Basically you are at the mercy of the goodwill of a few, even if you have cash in hand.
But we made it through the year, and we even formalized our civil union after 15 years together. Not in Venezuela, of course, where the homophobic regime wants nothing to do with gay rights of any type. If gays have rights that would imply that other groups should also have rights, isn't it not? Certainly the regime cannot allow people to entertain such notions. So we did it at an embassy which allows me to chose my S.O. and recognize legally the union, though no marriage as this one can only be held in the country of "origin". Venezuela explicitly forbade celebration of gay marriages in local embassies. I let you guess the reasons why the "freedom revolution" of Chavez cannot even follow the simple foot steps of other Latin American countries.
I will be thankful this year that all my close ones are alive, that we managed to find almost all the treatments required for my S.O., that we are still not broke, that if a cure is very unlikely we may still make it sort of a chronic condition.
One day at a time.
But that does not stop me from thanking all readers though this year, for giving me the motivation to still write as a way to escape reality, for a few minutes at the computer. Is it not strange that escaping reality is now through writing about that reality?
Merry Christmas to all.