There’s only so much we can say about Venezuela ourselves. So today, we’ve collected some testimonials from you, our readers. There are real-world stories some of you shared with us. You may think of them as shocking, tragic or dramatic. We just think of them as real.

Click on the picture below to enlarge the slideshow.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Gustavo Coronel is right. This criminal regime needs to be held accountable for so many humanitarian crimes. The MUD is suggesting forgiveness, reconciliation with Chavistas after Chavismo falls. Big mistake.

    The main thugs responsible for the Venezuelan crisis should eventually go to jail. Not just for stealing millions, but for killing people, babies, or that 14 year old kid mentioned here. If you do not punish people for their crimes, they will continue to commit them. They will know they can get away with anything. 95% impunity is the major reason Vzla is the deadliest country on earth, past Honduras, past Syria or Iraq.

    Cabello, Maduro, Cilia, Luisa, all the “ministers”, all the top Chavistas should eventually be tried, and sent to freaking Jail. If Henry Allup and the MUD don’t prosecute them, chase them, and punish them when Chavismo falls, history will repeat itself and more horrific humanitarian crimes will happen again.

    • While I understand your frustration, we all have to come to terms with the idea that que quicker we can achieve true reconciliation, the faster we all will be able to take the country out of the hole in which it’s stranded right now. Our main focus should be to come together as brother and sister instead of a vendetta, which would deny in itself the idea of change, peace and prosperity the MUD is embracing. Don’t get me wrong, reconciliation does not mean impunity.

  2. Send a thank you letter to Castro for this mess and make Chavez’s daughter give the 4 billion looted dollars back. That would be a start. If this government starts to fall, the rats will jump ship and scamper elsewhere like to their vacation home in Miami, where they can enjoy Obama’s hospitality,

    • The 4 billion back from Chavez’s daughter would be a start. Listen, if the current government in Nigeria can recover 9-10 billion that was stolen, so can Venezuela. The first step is to prosecute the criminals in the government and MAYBE strike a deal when all the stolen assets are returned. Of course, you need the mechanism to remove these thugs.

  3. I recently visited my family in the U.S. I found myself repeatedly frustrated in trying to explain what is actually happening here. They just didn’t seem to get it:

    I would say, “There are no medicines.” They would tell me, “Yes, the health care system here is really bad too.”

    I would say, “There are long lines at the grocery stores for to buy basic goods and many people simply don’t have enough to eat.” They would say, “Yes, the price of food here has gotten outrageous.”

    I would say, “The crime has gotten so bad that everyone personally knows someone who has been murdered.” They would “Yes, the police here really need institutional reforms.”

    Uffff….

    They just don’t get it, because they have no point of reference. Finally, in desperation one day, I grabbed a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” off of the book shelf and told my sister, “Look…” Opening the book to the first page I said, “Fine, the U.S. is having some problems. But, you are here.” Then I flipped the pages to near the end of the book and said, “Venezuela is HERE.” After a long pregnant silence, she said, “Ok. Now I get it.”

    • It’s just something that makes no sense for a lot of people it literally can’t be explained.

      The other day I was (half) joking with an American friend that I was going to crash on her site because things are so bad here, so she better be prepared. She starts telling me that she’s poor as well thanks to student loans and all the struggle of a regular out of college young person in the US. To that I tell her that I’d rather be poor over there than here in Venezuela. She got so pissed off at that. I still don’t know why!

    • They should just spend a few weeks in Vzla.. Food prices in the USA are stable. Same as they’ve been for years. Inflation is low. Been living here for almost 30 years.. Health care can be expensive, and insurances are not free, but affordable.

      People like to complain for no reason. Tell’em to move to Barlovento for a couple weeks..

    • Most people just know generally the Venezuela is a disaster. They can’t imagine what it’s really like unless they actively pursue articles and blogs about it.

      As for that book you mention fairly frequently…”There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

      • Jajaja… a very clever quote.

        Actually, I always took “Atlas Shrugged” to be massively exaggerated metaphor. Today, living in Venezuela, not so much.

        • I need to add Atlas Shrugged to the reading list. I used to read a lot, but Atlas Shrugged shrugged never quite made it to the top of the pile.

          1984 on the other hand, comes to mind every day living here…. every nonsensical nu-speak cadena, every double-plus-good new attempt at new system which will fix all our problems, thanks to Big Maduro.

    • OMG ….I only have to say look you know those little pills call atenolol that are 4 $ at walmart, or a rescue inhaler albuterol, i need every day, well there are none, if someone wants it they have to buy it overseas…it does not matter how much money you have…

    • I feel your pain on that one Roy. I’ve had very similar conversations play out with my friends and family back home.

      My wife hizo la cola last week. Standard fare for these days – up at 1am, got in line at 2am. She got home with her prize 13 hours later, at 3:15pm. I was relating that to my uncle, and he had the typical “wow” response.

      Then I threw in some added details, like the fact that the day before la guardia had arrested over 100 people around 4am for lining up early (but she went the next day anyway) and that this time, there were 3 different lines formed by 5am, but she didn’t know which one to get in because they would only collect las cedulas from ONE line. The other lines would go home empty handed, didn’t matter what time they had lined up.

      My family’s response to that was priceless: “Well, that’s not fair, why would they do it like that?” They “got it” that the economy was fucked, they got it that there was shortages. But the fact that the people running things would it for no other reason than “pa joder” simply didn’t click.

  4. I tried explaining to my family the inflation situation. I pointed out that accumulated inflation in the US for the first half of the decade indicated a price rise of slightly over 10% for 5 years, whereas that can be the inflation increase in Venezuela is roughly what it is per month. They struggled grasping it, then I asked my father if he remembered the early 80s (79-81, to be exact) when annual inflation was “terrible”. His response was, “those were pretty bad times” and I pointed out that was also roughly the monthly inflation rate in Venezuela.

    • You really have to go to Zimbabwe or post-WWII Germany to find adequate parallels for the inflation in Venezuela. There is nothing in the experience of Americans today that really comes close.

  5. Terribly tragic stories. Just to add a couple more: 1) A 60-year old niece grabbed a bus at 6 a.m. last Sunday to try to shop in the Centro of Caracas near Cano Amarillo/Mausoleum Museo Militar, when a guy got on, stood in the middle of the bus, opened his jacket, took out 2 pistols, turned around with one in each hand, and said, “If any of you stands in line waiting for food and/or complains about the Govt., “Los quemo.” ” ; 2) A ride was given 2 days ago to a long-time friend, a divorced 40-year old woman previous Govt. organizer of Consejos Comunales, now selling personal care products with one hand and produce (that’s what she said) with the other ,in order to support her 4 sons, and, after working 15 years in mid-lower Chavista Govt. jobs, she said, “The Govt. will never leave easily, they are all criminals from top to bottom; in our still middle-class urbanization there are three colectivos, many members being paid 200m Bs./mo./driving fancy cars; and the military wont help– the 4m upper level are well-off, and the 18-20-year old lower level are so indoctrinated that they only talk about how good the Govt. is at helping the Poor.”

  6. Anyone around here read Asdrúbal Baptista’s «Teoría económica del capitalismo rentístico», published by the BCV, back in 1997? Well, there’s my Venezuelan story. A continuous downward trend, on all indicators, since 1976, muchas gracias, and with a Chavismo managed respite between 2004 to 2012.

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