Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The real dramas of Venezuela

Katy of Caracas Chronicles gives us one of her best post ever, about the REAL CIVIL war that exists in Venezuela. She has gone through the painful and distressing process of scanning the red pages of Venezuelan newspapers to remind us that the Venezuela death toll has very little to envy the one in Iraq. The only invading army in Venezuela is an army of thugs that seem to have taken the streets and the Presidential Palace of Miraflores as well. Do not miss it.

Now, I must say that I have covered this issue (search this blog for words such as jail, murder or body count) in the past but lately there has been a lassitude form my part. Perhaps because I have been already 5 times victim of robbery in San Felipe in the past 7 years whereas in all of my adult life in Caracas and the US I "only" got mugged twice? Indeed last time my home got robbed while I was traveling I did not even bother calling the cops to make a report. That is right, they broke into my place but since they did not take anything that an insurance could replace there was no point for me to file a report. I remember the first time thugs broke into my place, there were even hand prints on the wall, CSI Vegas would have it that easy. The PTJ/CICPC envoy did not even wanted to lift them. They did not care, they were just making a report so the insurance would pay back part of what was stolen. With the inflation in Venezuela I barely recovered 25% of the "valor de reposición", the cost of replacement, having to pay the 75% missing for items that I had bought in the past year.

But I do not complain because, well, I could be in Katy's post today, as another one of the dozens of casualties in Venezuela everyday. In fact, what was the worst part in my robbery ordeals was to deal with the police, was to be left in a room with a chained taxi cab murderer to wait until a cop would come to take my declaration. I had to breathe the same air than an assassin for half an hour. That is how it works in Venezuela, there is no criminal differentiation, victims of murder or robbery are just sat down for a declaration and sent home with the personal and deep knowledge that nothing will come of those painful moments where you had to explain how your electronic gizmos were stolen at night or how your son was murdered on his way from work. There is no difference in treatment.

Thus the glorious social bolivarian revolution for the people lets its people die in the street gangs warfare, while, as Katy writes, we prefer now to cover Barbra Walters silliness. But how much more can we take? Should I write endlessly about crime? Should I write endlessly about increasing inflation? Should I write endlessly about the lower economic classes getting more money than ever to buy imported food but wondering how they will do when they are still out of a real job and there is no more money left to import food? Should I write endlessly about the fear we live in, a fear which now includes occasional empty shelves at grocery stores?

Because there is a big difference between me and the lower social classes that the revolution of Chavez pretends to protect: I can more or less afford to replace my electronic gizmos and my life routine protects me, relatively, from street casual gang warfare toll. When the Chavez government will not be able to subsidize food the way it does now I will probably still be able to eat, or to leave the country. But what will happen to the chavista masses for which no real jobs are been created? If they are so helpless these days in front of crime, unemployment, inflation, how will they be when the party is over, when Chavez is unable to keep distributing stipends the way he has been doing to buy election victories?

-The end-

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