Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas 2010 post

Sorry guys, I am like the country, the Xmas spirit is totally missing this year.  Drive through Caracas streets or even most of Venezuela streets and there is almost no lights, no cheers, no nothing.  Everyday we look more and more like a XXI century socialist barrack.

With electricity rationing, the expensive imported ornaments, the lack of money which makes focus your priorities for the Hallaca and a few toys for the kids, well, what is left there to cheer?  Add to this a Xmas Advent coup d'etat and what do you get?  A few chavistas left to celebrate something that they should know better than celebrate because they might be at the end of the repression line, but they are in it even if they are not aware of that fact.  Then again, if they knew a little bit about historical precedent they would have dumped Chavez long ago.  Ah!  Ignorance can be bliss indeed!

And for many families there is also separation anxiety.  One sister in law, for example , has now ALL of her immediate family living outside the country.  They moved over the last two years and her old mother went to spend Xmas with one of her exiled kids.  My in law is thus alone this year, for the first time, for Xmas and Año Nuevo, more important even than Xmas for native Venezuelans.  Of course, she is not alone, she also belongs now to our family, but there is no more that sweet sorrow of which holiday I spend with which side......

And believe me, that "missing relative syndrome" reaches now deep in our society.  There is today hardly a family who in its mist has not at least someone that prefers to be, say, a maid in Madrid than put up with Caracas.  Chavismo will neither hold and even less publish such statistics but when you see that Australia promotes in newspapers and Internet information days to apply for immigration down under you can only take for real some statistics that would claim more than 1 million Venezuelans gone since Chavez came to power.  Think about it, maybe 1 Venezuelan in 25 is gone.....  How fast is this now going to rise that we are in a hopeless dictatorship?  And let's not go into the portion of the country who has had a relative murdered in the last few years......

But I do not want to be the Grinch, Chavez does too good a job of it.  For the readers outside of Venezuela, it is not your fault that we are so screwed up here at home.  So to you my very best Xmas wishes.

And for those still here, we are in it together and tomorrow will be a good day to start seriously thinking about the solidarity networks we need to create to hold together so that future Christmas will not be as bleak as this one.


  1. Antonio1:02 AM


    As a frequent reader of your blog, I would like to wish you a Merry Xmas even though I know you are not in the mood.

    Me and my wife from Venezuela are part of the "missing relative crowd" as we live in North America. Her immediate family still resides in Caracas.

    It is truly a sad event that we are witnessing and I can only offer up hopes and prayers that the majority of the Venezuelan people wake up and take back what has been lost.

    Take care.

  2. Daniel,
    Same here in PLC no Christmas spirit at all. An occasional loud Bin Ladin going off every so often, but no sky rockets or fireworks.
    No light displays either.
    It is a very grim Christmas.
    We too have decided to pull the plug on Venezuela. Enough is a enough. I will be returning to my home country in 2011 taking my Venezuelan wife and infant son with me. Really sad because I really like it here, built a life here, but now there is no future in it.
    Take care.

  3. Island Canuck1:27 AM

    Merry Christmas Daniel.

    I notice one thing this year. A lot less fireworks both tonight and in the preceding days. I guess they are just too expensive for the neighbourhood kids.

  4. We also know a lot of people who have left. Of course, it's the more educated people who are leaving, which makes it worse.

    Daniel, you have been heroic over these years. I have always admired you. When some have tried to escape the stress of the situation, others have always spoken out, written blogs (like you) or attended demonstrations. Unfortunately, not enough people got involved in this. I wish that everyone had just left work the day of the demonstrations, and joined the students in the streets.


  5. My dear Daniel,
    this is one of the worst Dec 24th ever for me. Not that I am one of those 'Christmasy' people but... It's kinda of a sad feeling all over!

    Anyway, thanks for all your wishes and your relentless blogging.

  6. Daniel,

    Far be it from me to shoot the messenger. You are absolutely correct. In Venezuela, it is as though Christmas has been canceled do to lack of interest. The terrible relentless inevitability of our march toward enslavement, and the lack of hope for any sort of future in this country has cast such a pall over the land, that no amount of holiday levity can penetrate it.

    One of the primary topics of conversations these days is the relative merits of living in U.S., Colombia, Panama, Uruguay, etc...

    Peace on Earth. Good will to men. Sigh...

  7. Stop whining you all!
    Chavismo will be out sooner than you expect.

    Think 1940.

  8. Anonymous5:35 PM

    Daniel Feliz Navidad!
    Kepler Ojala estes en lo cierto!

  9. Kepler,

    Are you saying we are going to have to fight WWII again!!??? That is hardly a cheerful thought...

    Sorry, but for the moment, I am going to continue wallowing in pity for Venezuela and even a little self-pity. I will get over it, but for just a day, I am going to indulge myself in a little bit of melancholy.

  10. meodex7:50 PM

    yes my family gatherings on xmas also get smaller and smaller by the year. And i said since December 1st, this christmas is very "floja".It seems watered down. lights here in maracaibo were crap. Even creativity was crap,they used a toy story theme. not even nutcrackers and wooden horses. Decadence.

    I'd get out but i wanna graduate,you know how it is.

    Merry christmas but don't forget the cause,ever.

  11. Daniel,

    Venezuela has my thoughts and sympathies. Things seem very different now than when I was there in the very late 1990s – early years of this century. Then, it seemed as though the Christmas celebrations were typical of those in predominately Roman Catholic countries. There is now far more Christmas spirit here in Panama than in Venezuela; even as an Agnostic I very much enjoy and appreciate it.

    When I gripe about the politically correct assaults against the celebration of Christmas in the United States I need to remember that everything is far, far better than in Venezuela.

  12. Adding my bit to the downer theme, I live in a small condo/apartment complex where most of the units are vacation homes. Quiet most of the time, but full and rockin' on holidays. Kids playing and yelling and fireworks and parties 'til dawn. Not this year. Two, maybe three families here for Navidad, the rest are empty and it is very quiet. What's with that? People can't even afford to visit their vacation homes for Christmas this year?

    Merry Christmas, all. May next year's Christmas be more joyous.

  13. Douglas N3:39 AM

    Merry Xmas Daniel. It is hard to live outside your home country against your desire but even harder to be living in it while it is destroyed. My wishes are for us to see the light at the end of the tunnel next year. Keep yourself safe....

  14. Escualidus Arrechus3:44 PM

    Merry Christmas, everybody.

    This was my first holiday season away from my family in Venezuela. As fortunate as I am for being here with my wife and her family, words can't describe how hard it is to know that not only can you spend it with your family, but the realization that the country you long for doesn't really exist anymore.

    Kepler, "1940"? That would mean we can still look forward to the wholesale imprisonment and killing of political opponents, adventurism into neighboring countries, followed by foreign intervention, and the destruction of whole cities. The Bombing of Ciudad Bolivar? No, thanks.

    I don't doubt that Chavez will fall sooner rather than later, but how many more will suffer, or die, before the other half of the country wakes up?

  15. Anonymous3:57 AM

    From Hamburg/Germany
    Mein Weihnachten war grandios.
    Mein Patenkind hat wie wild auf den Weihnachtsmann gewartet(es war als ob ich noch mal Kind war)
    Es war Traumhaft schön.
    Ich kann nachvollziehen was im Sozialismus passiert,Eintönigkeit und Graue Zeit.
    Alles Gute für Dich!
    Klaus aus Hamburg


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