Merry Christmas! ¡Feliz Chavidad!

This has been quite the Christmas weekend. Driving through Caracas on December 24th, I got this horrible, Nazi-like feeling, when all I could see were endless lines outside of stores and countless military personnel everywhere. It looked more like a war movie than a Christmas one.

The Biggest Losers

And I wonder, is this not exactly looting, only militarily organized?

And of course, the biggest losers this Christmas have been the Venezuelan people as a whole. But also, more specifically, clothes maker EPK and toymaker Kreisel. The first was forced to slash their prices far below any semblance of a profit margin, militarized, and virtually assaulted by a sea of desperate shoppers. And I wonder, is this not exactly looting, only militarily organized?

The latter, Kreisel, was more directly robbed, as they were expropriated of loads of toys which were then supposed to be handed out by Corpomiranda, a feat which is yet to be executed.

Christmas Wish List

Some Venezuelans took the opportunity to express their wishes publicly. Such is the case of Lilian Tintori who, understandably, wished for the liberation of her husband, as well as for freedom for all Venezuelans.

María Corina Machado, on the other hand, told us what she thinks we all want, which is to see “tenacity and courage” in political leadership to go out on the streets again and fight the dictatorship. She ends her interview with La Patilla saying “the time has come”.

The rest of the world has joined into the Venezuelan Christmas Wishes. Approximately 18.000 mayors around the globe, including such cities as Paris and New York, have expressed their wish for the liberation of Antonio Ledezma, one of the most absurd political prisoners. I somehow get the feeling that Chavismo won’t be persuaded.

Finally, Pope Francis has asked us all for “courage” in “ending tensions”. Thank God for the separation of Church and State.

Lean Christmas

El Pitazo did an amazingly depressing job with an infographic of how our traditional dishes’ prices have skyrocketed

And it wouldn’t be a real Chavidad without some outbreak of horrible news like, for example, 4 prisoners escaping from 26 de julio in San Juan de Los Morros. Two ultimately escaped, while one handed himself in and one was caught. Well, that’s two more coming home for Christmas, I suppose.

But perhaps the most widespread of horrors concerns Christmas dinners. Or just meals in general. El Pitazo did an amazingly depressing job with an infographic of how our traditional dishes’ prices have skyrocketed. On some items, the difference is upwards of 5000%. The vast majority of Venezuelans have no way to afford them. And, in case you were wondering, of course the Special-Christmas-Edition-CLAP-Bags have not made it to anyone’s homes.

Meanwhile, our government remains either silent or delusional. I don’t dare watch VTV these days, for fear of projectile vomiting. But Delcy Rodríguez did speak up to offer her condolences to Vladimir Putin and the Russian people for the recent plane crash. Sure, that’s her job, but can you think of no one else in need of condolences? Anyone?

Some Merriness

Ron David Álvarez, violinist and educator, has been nominated to the Global Teacher Award for his work teaching music to orphan and refugee children in Greenland and Sweden

All is not -quite yet- lost. Sure, this is an endless stream of bad news, but I just see it as long-term resiliency training. I keep my good humour. But to leave just one little Christmas present, at least we have that Ron David Álvarez, violinist and educator, has been nominated to the Global Teacher Award for his work teaching music to orphan and refugee children in Greenland and Sweden. It’s amazingly beautiful work.

All that’s left to say is, again, Merry Christmas!

6 COMMENTS

  1. The latest sign of social decomposition is the news that an army sargeant and two other soldiers were killed defending a truck carrying food on the road to El Pao from the assault of a band of would be robbers

    Was this the Venezuela chavez and his cohorts promised , one where food trucks would need armed protection to get to their destination , were the forces of order are killed for attempting to protect food deliveries being transported on the roads of our country….??

    Where trucks carrying edibles are ambushed and sacked by crowds of hungry people , were bargage bags are a source of food to thousands …??

    • As the title says, this briefing only covers Christmas Weekend. There’s a full, eight-article series dedicated to Ciudad Bolívar. I suggest you read them.

  2. Locally, the CLAP Xmas combos did NOT arrive, according to the Jefe Civil, because the locals did not attend the Dec, 17 PSUV Caracas march, but, really, probably, for lack of food. The pernil part of the combos, at a giveaway Bs.1500/kilo, was supposedly sold to comercios by PSUV hacks. A fair amount of the EPK forced price reduction clothing is being re-sold on internet Mercado Libre.com. And, the 400m Kreisel Xmas toys (10% of the 4mm confiscated), promised to be distributed to needy children, have not been seen. So go the unending unfulfilled promises of the 21st Century Bolivarian Revolution. And, in the last 2 days, a nearby house was looted, and a kidnapping of a neighbor from her house was foiled by another neighbor, and this by 2 pistol-armed punks at 11 am on foot….

    • Can you explain this? The Jefe Civil (is that the local CLAP leader?) told your neighborhood that they didn’t get the combos because you all didn’t attend the PSUV march?

  3. Castro maintained power in Cuba after the Soviet Union collapsed and it looks like that regime will also survive the cut off of Venezuelan aid. I wonder how the suffering experienced by the Cubans compares to that of Venezuelans. I wonder if that information is helpful in predicting the future of Maduro or whether any comparison is inapposite because Castro maintained tighter control over Cuba than Maduro and Chavez in Venezuela.

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