It is time for the annual exercice to wish the readers a happy Christmas. At least to those outside of Venezuela who have nice odds at it being happy; unless you are Venezuelans with a split family between those who stayed (had to?) behind and those who emigrated to freer skies.
Here, for the first time since December 1998, I have listened to my Christmas music collection with real feeling. Chavismo has always made its duty to spoil Christmas for all of us, including its followers who were constantly summoned for the defense of the banana republic (1). This year is no exception as the Maduro/Cabello combo has managed to force through the nomination of political judges on December 23. And we know they are planning further moves of the judicial coup under way for next week. There is no rest for the wicked. Christmas eve for them cannot be much more than getting plastered with 18 year old Scotch that they are the lone ones to be able to afford these days.
But for the rest of us Christmas will be a tad better this year, even if food shortages and prices make hallacas difficult to come by and presents for kids will be very limited. The election result of December 6 has opened ajar the door towards better days. The road to complete freedom is still long and the road to enough prosperity to be able to reunite families is probably longer. But for the first time in years we can perceive a road.
Thus my best wishes for Christmas to the readers that have followed this blog for so long. As a gift of sorts, the lone ones that can be brought through Internet, two videos from what may be my favorite Venezuelan Christmas tunes, so different and unique from the packaged music that seems to have become the rule elsewhere. A guitar with "Niño Lindo" and Guanaguanare with the original folk composer.
And a version with words, not necessarily the best one but there are is none on YouTube that truly satisfies me.
This Guanaguanare has a deficient sound track, sorry
1) The 1999 Christmas was spoiled by the natural disaster of Vargas, but that year the regime did what it take to ruin Christmas absolutely by not only refusing help for the disaster but by performing its first judicial coup in between Christmas and New Year just as the country was picking pup the death toll. From there we all knew that the welfare of the people would never be the major concern of the regime: politics and power first. Always.