Photo: Daniel Hernández / El Estímulo retrieved
Today is the first anniversary of the death of Fernando Albán, the opposition city councilman killed in the custody of Sebin. His widow, Meudy Osío, lives in New York, where I met her for lunch on an unseasonably hot day in late June. We found a table in the mezzanine of a restaurant near her office in Soho, and there Meudy told me her story.
It’s a love story. Meudy met Fernando when she was just 17. Some of the details of their romance, which I wrote about for the Washington Post, seemed almost too tender to be true. In the beginning, Fernando arranged for them to rent office space in the building where they lived, so that their babies would be just an elevator ride away. Near the end, during the year before his death, Meudy and Fernando had to live apart for the first time—and they talked for hours every day.
Hours. Every day. After 33 years of marriage.
In the Post, I wrote that Fernando Albán reminds us of the importance of dialogue. He equally reminds us of many other things, most obviously but also superfluously of the violence of the Maduro regime. He reminds us of a time in Venezuela when the son of a clerk and an auditor could earn multiple university degrees, co-found a successful company with his wife, and become a beloved city councilman. He reminds us of goodness in the divided and (often justly) maligned Venezuelan opposition. He reminds us of goodness, period.
Today, though, as I woke to the dispiriting specter of an Adobeless Venezuelan media, it was Meudy who served as a reminder. I thought of something she told me that didn’t appear in my article: Meudy plans to start a foundation. Though she has no money of her own, she envisions a foundation that would support good works in Venezuela, like the Olla Solidaria that she and Fernando ran side by side in the Parroquia Universitaria, like El Consejo Va a la Escuela, which taught school teachers and schoolchildren about human rights, like the Kilo de Amor food program for the poorest.
The Fernando Albán Foundation.
To pick up where her husband left off.