Venezuela will soon need new, higher-denomination bank notes and – as a result – new people, places and things to put on them. The nominations are in, and you suggested way too many.
We’ve narrowed the “people” race it down to these 10 choices. At the end, you get to vote!
1Arturo Uslar Pietri
One of the most influential thinkers in our history, with his “Sembrar el Petróleo” mantra being his most remembered phrase. He was around since Juan Vicente Gómez, through Pérez Jiménez, la Cuarta, la Venezuela Saudí, el Viernes Negro, el Caracazo and Chavez’s failed coup. A historical juggernaut.
2Teresa de la Parra
She was at the forefront of the Venezuelan feminist movement. Her written work addressed the lack of real opportunities women had in the 19th Century. Essentially, it all boiled down to not wanting to have to get married and be a housewife for her. She fought for her right… to party.
Founding father of Acción Democrática, president of the Republic, the most famous set of Buddy Holly glasses in Venezuela, and most likely forefather of the famous tequeño-and-whisky culture. He laid the foundation for democracy, the 4th Republic and led the beggining of the most stable period in our history.
He developed a vaccine to fight leprosy and got nominated for a Nobel Prize because of this, then went on to try to cure cancer. On top of these mundane practices, he worked in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, founded the National Institute of Dermatology (nowadays National Institute of Biomedicine). But he was a vicious workaholic, publishing his last study at age 100. What could he possibly be compensating for? #ChillaxBro
He’s our Johnny Cash, plain and simple. His songs are as big a part of our folklore as what inspired him to write his music. Internationally acclaimed and recognized, he’s what all Venezuelan musicians aspire to reach. Also, he was really popular amongst adverters and someone who cared about educating and acting quite a bit.
6Carlos Cruz Diez
Our best known contemporary artist, whose murals and work shaped the way Venezuelans understand art. How big of a deal is he? So big, the Venezuelan government comissioned him to design a mosaic on the entire floor of the country’s biggest airport. Not only that, but thanks to an ever growing diaspora, said piece inspired the now customary close-up picture of it as a sign of farewell. In other words, we say goodbye to our fatherland with a Cruz Diez at our feet.
7Andrés Eloy Blanco
He’s the then living proof of versatility. Although a lawyer, founding member of Acción Democrática, Foreign Affairs Minister, and member of the renowned Generación del 28, we remember him most as a great poet and humorist. His poem Angelitos Negros has been covered by world-famous artists like Celia Cruz and Pedro Infante in rhythms as different as the many jobs Blanco held.
8Humberto Fernández-Morán Villalobos
Convit wasn’t the only badass doctor this country spawned. Fernández-Morán developed the now universal tool all of his contemporary colleagues use, the scalpel. I don’t even know what they used before, a regular knife? Maybe, who’s to say? But Fernández-Morán deserves to be on this list, because his creation led to something much more grandiose down the line: THE SCALPEL BLADE FRISBEE. When Venezuelan technology meets German engineering, things are bound to be amazing.
This politician and journalist is best remembered for founding El Venezolano, a newspaper that gave way to liberalism as a political doctrine in the country, thus technically being the guy who brought a set of ideals that would dominate the political spectrum for the rest of the 19th century. No punchline here, just you know, we owe him.
Our first rockstar, a muse for Kiara down the line. She’s considered by many as one of the most prolific musicians in Latin America during her time. The fact that she played venues in Paris, London, Berlin, and Milan, and during a time when women couldn’t even vote, testifies how much cooler than Madonna she is. So much so in fact, that we named our biggest theater (and second largest in South America) after her.