Photo: pricekeir.com

“Se alquila habitación. Favor no presentarse venezolanos.”

This is a sample of the classified ads that are starting to show up where Venezuelans are moving en masse. We are not talking about marginal numbers, especially in South American countries: According to the International Migration Organization (IOM), in 2015, the number of Venezuelans abroad was 697,562, the majority residing in the United States, Spain, Italy and Portugal. These are the countries from which we received a lot of immigrants during our golden age, so now we see how the pendulum swings both ways.

However, flows have recently diversified. The IOM also reports that, in 2017, the number of Venezuelans abroad was 1,622,109, representing a growth of 133%, and most of it has been in the region, particularly in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. In 2015, only 88,975 Venezuelans resided in these countries, while for 2017, the figure was 885,891. A 895% increase in just three years.

In 2017, the number of Venezuelans abroad was 1,622,109, representing a growth of 133%, and most of it has been in the region.

Migration can be a positive phenomenon, but not everything is color de rosa when it’s sudden and forced —as is the case of Venezuelan migrants and refugees— and one of the undesired effects is xenophobia.

Xenophobia is the product of stereotypes and prejudices that lead nationals of a destination country to reject, assault and discriminate against immigrants, their culture and their customs, just because they’re different. It’s often related to the fear and resentment emerging when nationals of a destination see that foreigners come to benefit from resources and opportunities already scarce for their fellow countrymen and women. We shouldn’t excuse that behavior, but it’s important to remember where it comes from.

Unfortunately, there have been public and aggressive manifestations of xenophobia against Venezuelans. Starting this year, as Brazil started to see an increase in the number of Venezuelans coming to Roraima, we saw violent attacks and arson crimes against the houses of Venezuelan migrants and against Venezuelans themselves. This is not a new thing; in Panama, opponents of Venezuelan migration organized a march of protest in 2016.

Unfortunately, there have been public and aggressive manifestations of xenophobia against Venezuelans.

There is also a display of passive-aggressive manifestations, comments, looks and discriminatory actions. This is the case of people who put their properties up for rent, asking Venezuelans not to show up. Others look for employees, but reject Venezuelans with work permits, and there are reported incidents at the hands of those who must welcome people in need: immigration officers.

So far, it’s all (fortunately) in the field of anecdotes and isolated events, but whether systematic or not, we better keep an eye on this. This is something worth monitoring.

The good news is that these behaviors respond to prejudices, and prejudices can be “unlearned” with education and awareness.

What can we do? To Venezuelans abroad: Let’s be an example of civility, let’s be grateful to the country that welcomes us by respecting its laws, contributing positively to the development of communities where we’re taking root. To the nationals of receiving countries: Nurture the feeling of solidarity amongst nations and try to “unlearn” values that lead us to hate what’s different after all, diversity is part of nature. Let’s encourage the people and governments of the region who have, so kindly, opened their doors in solidarity to Venezuelan migrants and refugees, to continue to do so.

We’re counting on you.

***

DISCLAIMER: The views are personal and do not represent the position of the OAS.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

72 COMMENTS

  1. Leaving a country is always difficult, but it is always a more easy way out than standing up to the oppression. The result of not standing up bit taking an easier way out is massive influx of Venezuelan migrants. So maybe its time to sort out our own stuff. Like standing up..

    • Time is clicking on you guys to SOLVE YOUR OWN ISSUES and not creating migration, financial, social problems at your neighbors’ expense

  2. Pardon my xenophobia but if you want to immigrate to MY country, then you are going to have to overcome YOUR “prejudices” and indicate a willingness to “unlearn” those cultural characteristics that turned YOUR country into a shit-hole.

    I am growing weary of being lectured as to how I should change MY culture, that I have spent a lifetime nurturing and preserving, in order to make someone from YOUR culture feel more comfortable in MY country.

    Look! The USA has had one constitution since the eighteenth century. Venezuela has had twenty-seven. Does that hint at maybe a little difference in cultures? Need I list other examples?

    You want to come to my country, learn my culture, work your ass off to become an asset to the USA, then you are my kind of people and you are welcome.

      • A little pious dont you think kepler…its the typical …..We dont want Unproductive people living off social sevices as a lifestyle…aka..Venezuanos…or any other migrant group for that matter!!…educated..hardworking….anycolor. any country…..we welcome you.

      • @Kepler “Is your mother tongue Navajo or Cherokee?”

        Would it matter the slightest damn if it were?

        No. No it would not.

        And I find it incredibly ironic how often people try and bring up the Amerindians and their lamentable fate at the hands of incoming European colonists and their American descendants to try and browbeat people for supporting immigration control or assimilation.

        If the Powhatan League or the Navajo had stable borders and the ability to intercept squatters, raiders, or smugglers trying to get in to their territory there’s a much better chance I’d have to use Algonquin in my day to day life.

        But they didn’t, and as a result were swept away by a tide of Euro-American expansionism into their lands with atrocities, aggression, and scandal on both sides.

        And you had better damn well believe that the reservation governments have learned the lesson of their forebearers’ suffering and watch their territory like a hawk.

      • I’ve had the pleasure of associating with Amerindians. Some, in my youth, could remember the Indian wars.

        And you know what? I’ve never met a single Indian pining to go back to a hunter-gatherer, stone-age existence. They prefer their F-150s, cell phones, winchesters, cowboy boots, eyeglasses, Levis, etc. Just like the rest of us Americans.

        • My God:

          You get fucking stupider every day!

          While Canada plays this ridiculous tribute to Orginal Nations…or whatever other retarded term you use…Canada has been rejecting tourist visas from Venezuelans at unprecedented levels lately.

          You really are a self-denying fucking idiot, thinking you and your country are “morally superior” to the U.S.

      • What is often forgotten in discussing Indians/Native Americans in the US is that in the two hundred plus years of the frontier, there was a lot of intermarriage.

        On my father’s side, there is a Shawnee ancestor. For some historical irony, this European/Indian pair living in Pennsylvania once posted a notice about an escaped slave. Doesn’t fit the historical stereotypes. There was also a presumed uncle to the nth whom the Indians kidnapped when he was a child. After being freed, he went on the warpath against Indians but also lived more as an Indian than as a European. Later research indicated he was not related to us.

        Two of my aunts by marriage- representing half of my aunt/uncle pairs- were 1/8 Indian/Native American. Two of my cousins married women with Indian/Native American ancestry. My brother’s New England wife has an Indian/Native American ancestor.

        When my brother was going to high school in DC, his best friend had an Indian/Native American grandfather who had gotten off the Res and become a prominent DC attorney. His grandfather changed his name to sound as WASPy- straight off the Mayflower- as possible. When in Rome… 🙂 For another Indian/Native American who found success in DC, consider Charles Curtis..

        A cousin living near a Res does not have kind words for the way government money has undermined self-sufficiency and responsible behavior on the Res. Interior Secretary Watt was right. I don’t know what the solution is, but the current system is dysfunctional.

        Canucklehead, as you once wrote there were some Eastern Europeans in your family tree, might The Russlander have some resonance with you? Or at least some interest? (When staying with family friends in Paraguay, they told me they knew some Russian German Mennonites in town. I didn’t meet them, however.)

        • Boludo, one thing my ancestors passed down the generations was the ability to recognize bullshit offered up in defense of other less artfully pulled together bullshit.

          • Which is to say, your interest in your genealogy and history may be genuine, but you are perfectly capable of understanding what Lorenzo (Larry?) is talking about here.

          • We don’t agree on what Lorenzo said. I have well-documented reasons for disagreeing with you on defining “bullshit.” I see no point in further discussion on those issues.
            My bringing in the book was an attempt at finding common ground. Futile, apparently.

          • @Canucklehead “Boludo, one thing my ancestors passed down the generations was the ability to recognize bullshit offered up in defense of other less artfully pulled together bullshit.”

            Sorry Canucklehead, but I don’t believe you.

            Or that at minimum, that ability has diluted. Heavily. In favor of demonizing (to use the old cliche) Straight White Men.

            Let me count the ways…

            Firstly, in addition to peddling the old and disreputable idea that Trump’s a Russian puppet, you argued he was acting beyond GRU’s wildest dreams.

            This is stupid because GRU is military intelligence, actually creating a puppet POTUS would fall to the FSB and SVR. It’s also stupid because GRU *freaking murdered a Loyal Soviet Puppet in Afghanistan* because they didn’t trust him (see: Operation Storm-333).

            Secondly, on this very page you blathered a great deal about ultranationalist White Americans seeing a “galactic” divide between Venezuelan values and Western ones, implying that they were wrong and racist.

            This is stupid because the way political separation- and particularly totalitarian separation- warps cultures is easily documented. As I showed using one of your beloved articles, talking about how young South Koreans (SO OLD! SO WHITE!) no longer want reunification with North Korea and don’t see it as part of their country.

            I could go on. But these are sufficient to show that your BS Detection skills are not very good.

            “Which is to say, your interest in your genealogy and history may be genuine, but you are perfectly capable of understanding what Lorenzo (Larry?) is talking about here.”

            Not perfectly, but after a couple reads it went well enough. Took me a while to mentally map out the various tangles of geneology and which branch is connected to what, but I think I did a decent job.

            Now, could Lorenzo and BT be lying? Sure. Most of us are anonymous here.

            But the point stands.

  3. The writer forgets that Venezuela has the worst record of payment to anyone except to satisfy the service of the external debt contracted by the government. This reputation is not new. I’m retired but for many years working and living abroad in contact with many vendors and suppliers of the industry and individual. I was bullied many times because ”Venezuelans don’t pay”. The other factor is that Venezuela citizens don’t have any ”born with” rights as if they had blue blood. There are thousands of Venezuelans that left the shithole year’s ago when nobody believed this thing was coming. Those have strong careers, and not only that, they are loved by local communities as they learned the hard way to live in a civilized society, Europe’s or USA. NOW FOR SOME STRANGE REASONS, THEY ABANDON SHIP LIKE RATS BECAUSE OF THE SHIP IS SINKING. I’m sorry. Please twist or spin the article so your citizens learn something. There is no Paradise on earth and there is never a free ride to anywhere.

    • @Jose Well written, and I am sorry for your experiences.

      But right. That’s how you defeat prejudice and bigotry. Not by desperately praying the jagoffs change. But by RISING ABOVE their nonsense and proving them wrong.

  4. Considering how poorly we treated the colombian immigrants back in the day, I am shocked at how generously today’s colombians have dealt with the tsunami of venezuelans. The only explanation I can find is that after dodging a leftist takeover of their own country, the colombians are thinking to themselves “there by the grace of God go I”.

  5. From my wife’s area in Ecuador, her aunt and uncle have a six-unit apartment. One unit became free late last year, so she rented it to a family of eight recently arrived from Venezuela. Everything was fine except that after a month, the water and electricity usage went through the roof. She told them that the rent was going to have to go up, but they decided to move instead.

    There is also grumbling on the street since the thousands of arriving Venezuelan refugees have been taking a large share of the lowest paying jobs. Many in coastal Ecuador get by on $3-400 a month, so it’s hitting pretty hard. Ecuador’s economy isn’t too strong, especially after the earthquake in 2016. It’s not a question of xenophobia, but one of survival.

    On the bright side, my mother in law helped out a young single mother and her child by inviting her for a few meals and giving her some clothes. They were living in a one room bamboo shack on an alleyway in town. There is a lot of compassion, but it can’t go on forever…

  6. The US is falling each and every day further into the vast chasm of evil. I would not recommend any immigrants heading in our direction. Another travesty is being reported this morning. It seems the University of Wyoming has started using the racist and sexist term “Cowboy” in a new advertising campaign. Will the shame never end?

      • Spent many happy hours as a child playing “Bovine caretakers and native Americans” Back then it was called cowboys and Indians…….sooooo ashamed of myself. My deepest apologies to the “perpetually offended” crowd.

        • Ha! How about, “All of My Heroes Were Bovine Persons.” Or: “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cow Trannies?”

          • @filterspud,. sonny boy oops I mean sonny person us ol wranglers just pokin a little fun at snowflakes.

          • You all seem pretty obsessed with sex and gender…

            Yes, there is an obsession in the US with sex and gender, but WHO is obsessed? Tends to be the progs/libs/lefties who are obsessed.
            University of Wyoming profs protest ‘Cowboys’ slogan.

            Wyoming university slogan about cowboys triggers race, gender debate.

            It isn’t difficult to find out that the ethnic/racial background of cowboys has long been quite varied. Vaquero- buckaroo, for example. Regarding sex/gender, my cousin worked two years as a cowgirl. She could handle a horse and could put up with the cold winters. That’s all that counted. As such, the lefties are full of something that cows and bulls produce in abundance.

          • Considering Univ of Wyoming has an engineering building named after Dick Cheney (or at least they did when I toured it with one of our kids 8-9 years ago), I’m surprised the professors and students would even step foot on campus, since Cheney’s name would be very triggering to them. My kid decided that snow on the ground in early April was triggering, so he stayed in Calif for school.

            Univ of Wyoming is well funded by the state (compared with most state universities), as has good merit-based scholarships for engineering majors from out of state, since they want (need) to attract out of state students. Wyoming population is small and winter weather is harsh, so their own kids want to go south for school in warm places like Texas. Lots of Colorado kids go to Laramie since they are used to the weather and better scholarship opportunities than their own in state Colorado schools.

        • Hymietown!

          True story:

          I worked in NoHo (north of Houston) in the 80s, and used to have lunch every day with a coworker at SOB’s, Sounds of Brazil.

          (Well, they SERVED lunch, but we purchased other “refreshments” at the bar.)

          The place was a jumping nightclub, but for lunch, nada. It was dead. Nine times out of 10, it was just me and my friend!

          After a particularly long “lunch”…we were in advertising and this was normal for our creativity…we exit the door, only to find ourselves about 3 feet behind Jackson’s head, who did a campaign stop. His back was to the door.

          Well, my friend and I kind of lost confidence in the Secret Service that day.

          As we whisked past a startled Jackson, I yelled at him:

          “Hey, Jessie! You still owe me 5 bucks for that bag of weed you copped from me at Sharpton’s party!”

          The crowd laughed hysterically, even though the majority were supporters.

          • CDM—there seem to be just as many Pres. Trump supporters who are just as overly sensitive as the snowflakes on the left. Seems most these days need a thicker skin and to deal more with intention than on some possibly perceived intentional grievance.

          • CDM—there seem to be just as many Pres. Trump supporters who are just as overly sensitive as the snowflakes on the left.

            Seems and is are two different categories. I suggest you walk down the street in a MAGA cap. In Texas, of all places, teens have been harassed for wearing a MAGA cap- by a guy with a rap sheet in San Antonio and by a 50-something female city council member in posh West University Place (median house value – $869k). Imagine wearing a MAGA cap in Berserkeley, if doing so is problematic in Texas!

            Rap Sheet: ***447*** Acts of Media-Approved Violence and Harassment Against Trump Supporters. Granted, “Media-Approved” may seem a bit hyperbolic, but it isn’t difficult to find defenses of such acts in the media.

            I would point out that while CC has had numerous posts panning Donald Trump as both candidate and President, it didn’t devote such effort into panning President Obama- as Emiliana once admitted in a comment.

            Enough already. This is a blog in Venezuela.

    • Waltz partner there may be some truth to what you say but I will tell you this also. I have never in all my born days seen a trump supporter run to hide in a safe space after hearing an opinion that was different than their own. Happy trails!

      • Sarc on: how many days is that “born life”? More than four years? Sarc off.

        I am defending neither, people are way too sensitive these days. Symptom of society on both the “right and left”.

        • Waltz don’t need to be turning the sarcasm button on and off. We’re just talkin honestly man to man. Thats all. The boys were just having a little fun today with the notion that somebody or some group had claimed that the word cowboy is somehow racist and sexist. Well…that struck me as being so ridiculous that it was worth making a joke or two about it myself. If you think differently about it you are sure entitled to

  7. Stop flooding neighboring countries with jobless migrants. 400 thousand citizens from Venezuela in Peru until late june 2018 is clearly an excess. We have our own issues with the least trained peruvians who are now with a small bit of what they used to make for survival and, let me tell you, we-are-not-happy.
    Instead, stay in your home country and solve your VERY OWN PROBLEM. You have already created a huge, immense migration and social havoc in our region. Not fair guys, not fair.

  8. The Billion billion Bolvares question: you can take the monkey out of the jungle, but can you take the jungle out of the monkey?

    Venezuela is full of abusadores, who have behaved like abusadores all of their lives and think absolutely nothing of it. 100% completely oblivious to the fact that they are abusadores and you “Cant change stupid.”

    Betilde, you are absolutely right, to ask Venezuelans abroad to be civil is the only solution, and 90% of them are good people so we do not have to ask too much. It is the 10% of the venecos who are well…savages. And the savages ruin it all for the rest of us and give us the name “veneco” abroad. So the question is: how do you communicate this to mmg abusadores sin verguenza? That is the billion billion bolivares question. Many of these people are beyond help.

    So Betilde, how do you educate the 10% who are beyond help? Yes, education is the solution, but how do you educate those who will never listen or learn or think otherwise?

    Nevertheless, I hope this is a self reflective moment for everything that is wrong in Venezuelan culture…and rather than pointing the finger of blame at someone else (which the Chavistas excell at), we start blaming everything that is wrong with ourselves as a culture.

    Half of my friends have left, and we often joke over rum about all the scum who left that are ruining it for all the good hard working people.

  9. Considering many of the VZ migrants are transient…heading to greener pastures anyway…how in the world would a private landlord, a small “business owner,” take the risk of getting paid? Let alone finding the apartment stripped bare to the bone because everything was sold?

    Hell, there are landlords who won’t rent to their OWN countrymen if they can’t prove rental stability and reliability.

    The author here seems to be very generous with other people’s money.

  10. Reading the comments, I only have one thing to say.

    Fuck 99% of you.

    This site is, still, a great source of information and discourse for us with an interest in the situation of Venezuela and Venezuelans, for people that actually CARE.

    But the comment section? Please close it. It is worthless now.

    • If you have a problem with a full 99% of commenters is it possible even slightly possible the 99% are not really the problem?

    • @Jesus Couto Fandino “Reading the comments, I only have one thing to say.

      Fuck 99% of you.”

      > 36 Comments

      > Maybe 26 individual commentors, yourslef included.

      > 99% of us.

      26 x 99% = 25.74

      1% = 0.26 Commentator

      The math. It does not add up.

      “This site is, still, a great source of information and discourse for us with an interest in the situation of Venezuela and Venezuelans, for people that actually CARE.”

      Agreed.

      “But the comment section? Please close it. It is worthless now.”

      This is one of the stupidest things I’ve read on this site, and that includes the Collectivo nutbags that think trying to outdo the Dark Ages is a good thing.

      You think the site is still great? Well, how the FARQ do you think it keeps the lights on?

      That’s right. Donations.

      How do you think it keeps those donations? By providing a good product.

      How do you think it provides a good product?

      *BY BEING OPEN TO FREAKING FEEDBACK.*

      Namely via the comments section, troubled and sometimes septic as it can get (and I confess I can be guilty of it, like when I snapped at Bill Bass for being a dishonest idiot who thinks Mallet-Prevost could do no wrong in spite of him changing his story).

      You take away the comments section, you cut the feedback loop that keeps this site operational. You destroy the link between readers and writers.

      You wanna know how that works out? Try seeing what Michael J. Totten’s been up to.

  11. Suggestion: Everybody who left (competent only) at PDVSA, should arrange to move and work Fort Mac in Alberta. I known several people who have the change (mostly they were forced to after 2002 riots). Canada pays better. You have wear long underwear.

    (the Rockies in Alberta in are much more beautiful than Venezuela – and I didn’t live in Canada)

  12. A decent article.

    While I can sympathize with many of the people on here arguing that Venezuelans need to adjust to the lands they have emigrated to (which may become their new homelands) and agree that concerns about the work ethic and reliability are not imaginary…let’s face it. Branding everybody with the red brush just because of where they come from is bigoted and- maybe even more importantly- stupid. It’s bad business for one, cutting yourself out of possible good customers.

    It’s one thing to be cautious, suspicious, and even paranoid. But there’s no good way to justify “Favor no presentarse venezolanos.” And ultimately if these nations want to have this nightmare off their hands, they’re going to need good Venezuelans. One of the most important factors in that being their emigre populations.

    Also, I’d say Venezuelans need to coordinate and get together. Pool their resources.

    For one, it’ll help make these kinds of problems much, MUCH less of an issue. The established people in country can help the new arrivals, much like the ethnic communities off the boat from Angel and Ellis islands.

    Secondly, they should be careful. This sort of nonsense might not stop with housing prejudice. And while I’ll be one of the first to beat on about the need for a nation to vet the foreigners coming in and keep them manageable, I can also admit Xenophobia can be real and it can get *UGLY.*

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some anti-Venezuelan pogroms break out here or there before it is all over.

  13. Not usually mentioned is that a large part of the middle class emigres are people who have drunk deeply in the cult of american values and culture , that doesnt make them americans , but it certainly helps with the assimilation process . America represents in many ways an utopia , sure they might miss the warmth and easy intimacy of venezuelan culture and the food and the sights but at heart they love america in a way that sometimes is greater than the skimpy censorious ‘love’ many americans have for their country or its values….

    I remember my own dads idealization of america , he explained why so many people in the world found displeasure with america by saying , ‘you see son , americans are a great people ,and great people are always hated by those who can never be great’ ….when he finished his job in the US he was invited by his american hosts to remain in america (they then had the capacity to offer him a permanent place in america) but to him this was unthinkable for however much he loved things american he felt that in his heart nothing could ever substitute for the love he had for his country , so he chose to go back……!! He had another love affair, with Israel, but for reasons that it would be very difficult for americans to understand and which had nothing to with religion but with their way of life.

    Now I too have heard stories of Venezuelans (middle class professionals) who are surprised by the low professional quality or poor work ethic of people in some of the countries they emigrate to , somehow this comes out without their wanting to and earns them a lot of hatred. Not giving any names but venezuelans living there …KNOW !!

    • Well, Bill, it ain’t quite utopia yet, but us Trumpistas are working on it. And the more I hear about your Dad, the better I like him!

      And thanks for taking the effort to make your post more readable! I (and I am sure many others) appreciate it!

      Might all sound a bit condescending, but when I am forced to complement someone, it is about the best I can do.

    • No offense.

      But do you really think anyone gives a shit about your dad besides you?

      There was no substance in what you wrote. Just some nonsense based on your dad’s opinion.

      You do claim to be a historian, right? And you’re quoting your dad as proof of anything…exactly how?

        • For a very specific demographic that has taken over the comments section, that being ageing, angry, ultra nationalist white American men who have Venezuelan spouses, the cultural divide is planetary, apparently.

          Is it too late for Dr. Phil?

          • @Canucklehead

            A: One doesn’t have to be a part of that “specific demographic” you hate to view the divide as planatary, Canuckelehead. isn’t just a matter of “that specific demographic” you hate so much, Canucklehead.

            Take a freaking look at what Cuba has become since the Castros took over and the vast gulf between Cubans suffering on the island and those in exile like the Cuban-American diaspora communiities.

            Or hell, just take a look at KOREA.

            Yes, Korea. And let’s even use an article from one of those established newspapers you think are oh so credible, The Washington (Com)Post.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/younger-south-koreans-are-deeply-skeptical-of-north-koreas-diplomatic-offensive/2018/02/12/934dd486-0fc0-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?noredirect=on

            ““We don’t need unification with North Korea, so I hope we don’t try to make it happen,” said Chung Seok-ho, 39. “We have too much to lose from unifying with North Korea, and so many things are on the line. It’ll be much better for us to just be two separate systems existing side by side.””

            I guess young South Koreans are now ageing, angry, ultranationalist white American men according to you.

            Have they also married Venezuelan spouses?

            And yeah, the partition of Korea has been going on for a while- just over 70 years now. But it ain’t THAT long. It is still around the same time period of the 80 Years’ War that decisively broke the Northern and Southern Netherlands into the nations of Belgium and the Netherlands.

            So this is a real issue and not just from the strawmen-err, white men.

            B: Yeah, about that.

            Your racial nonsense is starting to get pretty damn creepy and redundant. Cut it out.

        • @J “You do realize Venezuela shares western values right? It’s not fucking China or Russia.
          Its in the Americas.”

          Yeah, so’s Cuba. In fact, Cuba’s the mother of “Western” settlement in the Americas, wth Habana being the oldest European city in the hemisphere.

          But over half a century of Castro nonsense has certainly taken its toll and warped Cuban society by the demands of its tyrants and the reactions of those trying to survive.

          So was East Germany, but it still had the Stasi.

          And I can go on.

      • @Ira “No offense.

        But do you really think anyone gives a shit about your dad besides you?”

        Well, I for one do.

        I may not care all that much about Bill lately, but I find the story very interesting.

        And frankly, Ira, the way you write is almost guarenteed to cause offense.

        “There was no substance in what you wrote. Just some nonsense based on your dad’s opinion.

        You do claim to be a historian, right? And you’re quoting your dad as proof of anything…exactly how?”

        To be fair, there is such a thing as anecdote. And people write what they know.

  14. Anerican culture and life epitomizes not just the values of its own nationals , but the values of people all over the world , its values have an universal appeal , the american dream is not just the dream of americans born there but the dreams of a great many who live in places where those ideals have failed to bwcome materialized or where the attempt to realize them has not proven succesful , cant blame people for wanting to live that dream, to make it theirs …..of course a countrys first obligation is to defend itself from allowing into its territory people who dont meet the standards of character and morality of its own people , or which presence in the territory is going to become a burden for those who are already citizens of that country ….thats only natural ….but some americans have forgoten what a beacon of hope of a better life america represents for many many people abroad …., letting go of your dreams is always hard so maybe even if they are misguided some of the people wanting to enter the US to make a life there dont deserve the somemtimes exagerated characterizations that they are given …….
    A great many Venezuelans who perhaps are not followers of the current regime see the US as their ideal , share with sincerity the values that most americans cherish and moreover have lived part of the american dream , that which projects itself to all countries in the world so that when soemtimes they are allowed in they do rapidly become throughly americanized in a very short time.
    Many americans shortchange the worth of their own values and ideals , think that all foreigners who want in are people who want to live the good life at the US govts expense , but thats not true of the vast mayority of those that dream about living in america.
    My own dad was an example of the many people who felt deeply attracted to the american way of life and to its people , with a difference , he could not countenance leaving his own country whatever the advantages of living in america ……and the invitations he recieved to do so . He was first and foremost a Venezuelan who even if loving what america stood for , was always thinking of going back home , to where his roots lay………!! Times are different now , and conditions in Venezuela have become ‘unlivable’ so cant judge todays venezuelan inmigrants to my dad who could live in a different Venezuela.
    When MPJ was dictator in Venezuela , one of the exiled leader of the democratic opposition to the regime discovered he had a lethal form of cancer , they gave him a year to live , he realized then that dying in a foreign country was something he could not bear , so he went back to Venezuela , was inmediately jailed and spent his dying days a prisioner in one of the dictators dungeons……..!!
    Wonder what in a like situation most writers to this blog would do !!

  15. The comments here are just plain awful… like nobody even read the whole article. Not sure why this site is such a magnet for assholes

      • @Gringo X Frankly, he seems less mad than half the commentariat here, myself often included.

        But even if he was, it isn’t like he doesn’t have justification.

    • @Luis Santana Indeed, and my apologies for that. Sometimes I wonder why I keep wading in after reading the articles- disagree or agree- and do it.

      “Not sure why this site is such a magnet for assholes”

      Well, if I may, I think I might try and take a stab.

      Firstly, it’s worth talking about the internet in general. GIFT is a thing, and give a number of people on it half the chance and they will throw mud on pretty much any forum.

      Secondly, if I may be so bold, a fish rots from the head down. The leadership of a given thing do a great job at setting the tone, and I think Quico and the staff have done that in both good and bad ways, but which contribute to the whole unrest

      On the one hand, they have been quite admirable on letting free, almost unvetted discourse on this site. And I think that is generally a good thing, because it involves a lack of abusive mods and censors going around screwing with people they don’t like. But it also means there’s less of a check on people acting like jagoffs. And that’s the price of freedom.

      But on the other hand, while they do strike me as being quite committed to free discoruse I do think they have a number of axes to grind (not all of them universally agreeable), and a combativeness in how they show it.

      A lot of people may rant on about the 2016 election and Trump, and as one of the Trumpistas I am inclined to agree, but I think that’s a symptom of the wider thing.

      Take for instance this thing about the Guarimbas, who wanted to man the barricades against Chavismo. https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2016/09/27/lilian-shows-civil-disobedience-not-just-guarimbas/

      It certainly is relevant and on topic, but it also is combative against a large chunk of what was then the Venezuelan oppo.

      They were also willing to wade in to the comments, though they’ve done it a lot less lately. Don’t get me wrong, no death threats or overly abusive material (and particularly less than a lot of commentors), but still barbed and critical towards some. And I think the combination of these two helped breed a commentor who was free wheeling and combative, even caustic.

      And of course there’s personal responsibility for each poster. Some will choose to be hard cases.

      On the whole I think the overall characteristics of CC are good, but I do think it has a few ingredients that make it likely to explode. And while I don’t think there is really a substitute for free discussion when conducted with virtue (virtue I have sometimes not displayed myself), it can lead to problems.

      Hope that kind of helps?

      Regards!

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