I’ll take the liberty to generalize, just because I know there are always a few exceptions:
We live in two countries, where one is oblivious to the other. I know it’s insulting, depressing, shameful and even stupid to see it all through the lens of “class struggles” (in fact, it’s also bad for our health) and I’m not going to say that it’s faulty to be rich, because it must be amazing!
But it’s terrible to see a country so shamelessly blind to the other.
And although it’s not new at all, it keeps happening even though it’s inexcusable. I keep hearing people say: “Rich people aren’t really affected by the crisis, and they weren’t affected by chavismo,” while others do the impossible to survive. I see people move on foot when they can’t pay for public transport; and in the same day I see people throw away perfectly edible food (you’ll say I’m exaggerating, but it still happens, I’ve seen it). I see them complain about the dull problems that they can only experience because they have money in proportion to their inconsistency.
It’s terrible to see a country so shamelessly blind to the other.
I’m ashamed to hear them say things like “The slum is in the head” or “They’re poor because they want to be” and similar absurdities. But I’m also ashamed by the stories I hear from cooks, drivers, waiters or fellow musicians about the excesses they witness in opulent parties (not necessarily staged by enchufados.) The worst part is that I’ve also been judged for being “catire”, that I’ve been the first to be asked for money in the street because white guys must have more money than the morenito, right?
If only they knew how much I’ve had to struggle for stuff, that I’ve inherited nothing but books and principles, and that I’ve been unable to accomplish what I want, because I’ve chosen to work for it.
The point is that Hyundai sells Tucson trucks on TV with Wuilker Fariñez’ image. And I love the fact that Wuilker owns a nice truck, if anyone’s given us reason to feel proud, it’s him. But that ad is confusing because, what kind of people can buy a truck nowadays in this country?
Perhaps that’s what being “middle class” here really means: Not being a part of any of the two countries… because if it’s not that, then there’s no such thing.
Perhaps that’s what being “middle class” here really means: Not being a part of any of the two countries.
Again, I know that seeing it all from the point of view of the class struggle sounds more like a pelabola’s angry tantrum, than like someone who has something to offer, but seriously, we’ve been in this hell for almost twenty years and we see the poorest in our society suffer and eat from the garbage, as undeniable evidence of the fact that inequality and injustice are worse than in any moment in our history. The only thing that remains is rage.
And you, foolish wannabe aristocrats, Kardashians of absurdism, aren’t helping.
Although it’s late already for many things, it’s never too late to open our eyes and see the other country. Whether you see it like Marx (the oppressed rebel when they realize they’re oppressed) or like Weber (everything boils down to a class struggle where all of us are “programmed”) the conclusion is the same: Either we lend our hand, or we’ll leave this apocalypse behind, only to enter another.
About 15 years ago I heard a definition of my country which I find accurate to this day:
“Venezuela es una rueda de mantuanos, con el perraje alrededor esperando su turno para colarse.”Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.