Peak Venezuela

A bus-ride in Charallave crystallizes what we’d feared: 2017 will make 2016 look like child’s play.

Construction worker Juan Carlos Flores just cashed his weekly salary in the Valles del Tuy. However, he had a gut feeling that he might be held-up in the Charallave-Ocumare bus on his way home. So, he stopped first at a local bakery and bought a loaf of pan andino. Why? To stash the money deep inside of it. He thought he was playing safe. “Y hasta llegué a pensar que me la estaba comiendo” (I even started to think I was getting away with it), he said confidently to himself.

Hand over that bread, buddy. I’m real hungry.

But his gut was sadly right: Three armed thugs held up the bus shortly after. As he held onto the bread loaf, one of the robbers approached him. Since he didn’t have any cellphone or other valuables, the robber told him: “Pásame ese pan, pana mío, que lo que tengo es hambre”. (Hand over that bread, buddy. I’m real hungry). He just gave up his loaf, along with his entire pay. reported the story, which encapsulates everything about this benighted start of the year in Venezuela. As Flores told El Pitazo’s Rosanna Battistelli about that particular moment,

“En ese momento, muchas cosas te vienen a la mente, pero cuando piensas en lo valioso que es la vida, no te queda más remedio que ceder”.

At a time like that, lots of stuff races through your mind, but when you think how precious life is, you have no choice but to give in.

That’s the terrible state of things. There’s nothing else I can add to this. I have no words.

HT: SaraCosco/LuisCarlos