Photo: Universidad de Carabobo

Close to a month ago, the Dr. Alfredo Celis Pérez Theatre shutdown was announced by the Universidad de Carabobo. The place that saw countless lawyers, physicians, engineers and other professionals graduate is now closed, after 100 ft of wire necessary for air conditioning were stolen from the premises. A final blow to a space already wounded by crime and lack of resources.

Close to a month ago, the Dr. Alfredo Celis Pérez Theatre shutdown was announced by the Universidad de Carabobo.

As Beatriz Bolívar Agudo, the theatre director, explains, “The Alfredo Celis Theatre had already suffered attacks; we were subjected to two months without internet in our offices because of a fiber-optic wire theft. Without enough money for proper management it’s impossible to recover from this loss of thousands of millions. It was decided, with infinite sorrow, to suspend until further notice the activities in this centenarian theater that has seen generations graduate from the most diverse academic institutions of Carabobo, enriching the city with concerts, theater plays and a stage for the most resonant and historical events of the region.

Though far from the worst thing this dictatorship has done, it’s still a painful loss. The theater represented a tradition that connects many professionals through the decades. Diana Ortega, a friend of mine who graduated with me as a physician, says “When I graduated, I felt joy, personal satisfaction and profound pride. It wasn’t easy for me to get in (the Carabobo University), let alone graduating. How do I feel with the theater closing down? I feel bad, there’s so much decadence and lack of culture… I feel nostalgia and melancholy.”

Carlina González, another colleague, agrees: “When I graduated, I couldn’t believe that six years had already passed and I felt proud to be part of that legacy. When I heard the theatre closed, I thought about those who came next in line, the ones who wouldn’t feel what I felt in such an emblematic place.”

The theater represented a tradition that connects many professionals through the decades.

Sure, students will find another place to graduate, but it’s not about that: This represents the decay of our college education. That’s the thing with this crisis: We lose our present and we also lose the meaning behind it. We’ve not only lost land to expropriating policies, we’ve lost years of work behind their productivity; we’ve not only lost TV channels like RCTV or CNN, we’ve lost our voice.

In this case, we have lost more than the Alfredo Celis Perez, we’ve lost a college education free from crime, ineptitude and corruption.

When I graduated, we waved a giant flag of our country over our heads, singing a smiling Venezuela. That can never be destroyed and I want the next graduates to start with that same spirit. A few days after the venue was closed, there was a protest against crime in the Carabobo University. Young students showed their support and I’m with them wholeheartedly.

Quoting the University’s anthem: Defenderte será nuestro honor, como escudo el pecho y el brazo, de bandera la mente y la voz.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “now closed, after 100 ft of wire necessary for air conditioning were stolen from the premises”

    And soon it will be missing a roof, the doors, and any indoor plumbing fixtures if all goes to plan.

    A few years back when major flooding in the mountains left this town without water, the local slaughter house closed because it wasn’t cost-effective to move truckloads of water to clean the place. Within a short time the roof was gone…..literally overnight, there one day, gone the next. Not long thereafter the corral made of heavy tubing slowly disappeared. I figured they used cutting torches but when examined up close, all of it was removed using tubing cutters. Heavy tubing cut with tubing cutters. I wonder how many man-hours that took.

    And a place doesn’t have to be remote to fall victim to the thieves. I’ve seen houses here in town with the entire roof removed in a single night. I’m sure the neighbors see and hear what’s was going on, but nobody does anything, and nobody talks. The police do absolutely nothing and fingering someone will surely result in retribution.

    Revoluccion!!! La Patria Nueva, La Patria Bonita!

    • After the closure of the Chinese High Speed Railroad factory (HAW!) it seems that it took about one week to remove all the equipment and contents — and the building itself.

  2. @MRubio…I guess the old saying…”they will steal anything not nailed down” is pretty much meaningless there.

  3. I can understand that when copper cables are stolen, somebody will burn the insulation and sell the copper, usually for $ outside Venezuela but Fiber Optic ??? Is there a market for Fiber Optic cut cables ???

    • Fiber optic cable does not get melted down, it is expensive cable that is sold in pieces. I understand certain types with certain number of strands is highly sought.

  4. for the love of one man (now long dead), replaced by a man who lives to feed his own ego. who does nothing but lie because he knows no truth.. to a people who still think they will get something for free.. and some wonder what happened to the “lost civilizations”?

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