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25 Years of ‘Revolution’ in Venezuela – and Nothing to Show for It

Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is celebrating its 25th anniversary since its establishment.

Twenty-five years ago, on February 2, 1999, I was a naive 11-year-old with no political aspirations. Today, as we celebrate a quarter of a century since the socialists came to power, I have finally made a new start, and my brother, who is under my care due to his mental illness, and I have finally managed to escape socialism.

While they celebrate, cheer, and rejoice, I leave everything behind and am here. My home, my remaining family, my neighbors, my friends. He only has 3 pieces of luggage. A worn-out laptop that was manufactured in 2011 with factory defects and is living on borrowed time. And some savings.

Chávez’s controversial leadership of the February 4, 1992 coup attempt caused concern in his initial bid for president.On that day, which is now also celebrated as a national “holiday,” Chavez became publicly known for giving speech He said the goals he had set out to achieve had not been achieved “so far.” He gave that speech at military headquarters, and it became his speech 21 years later. mausoleum.

People pay their respects to the grave of late President Hugo Chávez on the 10th anniversary of his death outside the fourth floor of Cuartel de la Montana where his remains are buried in Caracas, Venezuela, March 5, 2023. visitors. (Pedro Rances) Matti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

He built his presidential platform on “revolution.”he built it on the set lie. Among his lies were his claims that he would not nationalize anything, that he would not take control of the media, and that he would rule as a centrist president for only “five years.”he went this far phone Cuba became his regime’s closest ally, once colonizera dictatorship.

Once he consolidated his powers and went live, he revealed his true nature and sparked a continuous wave of “we told you sos” from people who understood him.

I remember when Chavez won the December 1998 election. I remember people cheering and celebrating, and some were upset about the outcome, but it was the right thing to do. I didn’t understand his whole “revolution” deal. At the time, all I cared about was what was going on in each episode of The Long Battle Between Goku and Frieza. dragon ball z at that time.

That moment of innocence surrounded by turmoil was probably the last time I would live under “normality.” Everything went downhill after that.

Chávez’s rise to power coincided with my family’s move to Caracas. At that time, we were in a rather dire situation regardless of the political development of the country. This move brought my mother a new life and new job prospects. Twenty-five years later, I am pursuing the same goal as an Italian citizen who speaks very little Italian.

I spent 25 of my 36 years under the same government and felt the shadow of the eternal struggle between our two countries. Chavez faction And that Esquaridos (a derogatory term for an opposition party) — a slow burn in which the regime in every act clings more and more to power, the “opposition” has no competent response, and the country continues to be pushed further and further into a state of complete failure. Theatrical entropy.

One day you become a teenager and start thinking about yourself. And suddenly you’re a young man forced to scan your fingerprints every Friday to receive a ration of flour or rice. My national ID card number ends with 8. That day was the 8th and 9th. ” This was part of our “normal” socialist life in the mid-2010s.

August 31, 2018, Caracas, Venezuela: A man holds a new gun.

A man with his new “carne de la patria” (homeland identity card). Registered government supporters, welfare recipients, and local public transport providers will be supported by direct grants. (Rayner Pena/Photo in partnership with Getty Images)

At best (if you are part of the regime) and at worst (everyone else), Venezuelans who have never experienced their lives not being affected by this socialist regime There’s not a single person left.

How many days of education have we lost to protests and strikes? How many hours of our lives have we spent dealing with water rationing and electricity problems? How many hours have we wasted in bakeries and nightmare bureaucracy? I can’t even begin to count. I lost my mind trying to survive in this situation with my brother. I tried to keep a low profile and avoid saying anything that would get me 20 years in prison for “hate speech.”

of Rey de la vida (“The Law of Life”) My family used to say it, and basically it means that the elderly will eventually pass away, leaving a path for new generations to follow. As older Venezuelans die of age, disease or fate, more and more of us are born without knowing anything other than socialist rule.

There are people in my family, mostly cousins, who don’t know life without this structure. It’s all they know because it was already there when they were born. Some of them have left the country, while others are still in the country. My godson, who left Venezuela around June 2022, was born in 2002, long after Chávez succeeded in amending the Venezuelan constitution.

My hometown of Zuria was one of the regions hardest hit by socialism. What was once a beautiful land “loved” by the occasional strong sun now suffers from almost daily power outages. Our precious and unique Lake Maracaibo ruined Due to socialist neglect, it has been abandoned by seemingly indifferent “environmentalists” who seem to turn a blind eye when polluters have the right ideology.

Children sail on a raft through the polluted waters of Lake Maracaibo in Maracaibo, Zulia state, Venezuela, June 13, 2019.  - The city of Maracaibo is the center of the country's oil industry, and its lake is a permanent oil spill.  .  (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP) (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP, Getty Images)

Children sail on a raft in the polluted waters of Lake Maracaibo in Maracaibo, Zulia state, Venezuela, June 13, 2019. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP, Getty Images)

You can name any other city in the country outside of Caracas, the regime’s center of power, and you’ll find the same level of extreme decline. Punto Fijo is my brother’s birthplace and where his father and his Italian family once put down roots, arriving by boat in the 1950s in search of a better life, essentially lost to the passage of time. It is a town where My father told me many times that running water only arrived a few days every few months, except on days when there was no power outage, and that the main hospital had become so corrupt that it had become global. news.

Garbage in front of the Petroleum de Venezuela (PDVSA) Amuay refinery at the Paraguana refinery complex in Punto Fijo, Falcón state, Venezuela, on Saturday, August 19, 2023. The Extraordinary Board of the Venezuelan Petroleum Company will extend the legal term of PDVSA's bonds, following an agreement earlier this week on sovereign debt.Photographer: Betty Laura Zapata/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A trash can in front of the Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) Amuay refinery at the Paraguana refinery complex in Punto Fijo, Falcón state, Venezuela, on August 19, 2023. (Betty Laura Zapata/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The story of this ongoing Venezuelan tragedy can be pieced together in many ways. It has 25 years worth of material and approximately 30 million stories to tell. The past 25 years have done irreparable damage to this country and all of us.

Trauma runs deep: Caselorazos (pot-bashing protests), over 20 fake elections, endless shortages, mass censorship, fingerprint scanners and food rationing riots, endless corruption, hyperinflation, forced broadcasting, China-created Motherland Platform, rotten CLAP food box, currency management exchange, Entufado Elite, for one of my neighborhood journalists, kidnapped It was in broad daylight in 2014.

President Nicolas Maduro has much to celebrate this month, but one that we all feel deeply sorry for. It marks the 11th anniversary of his administration, inheriting “innovation” from his predecessor. His grip on the country is stronger than it was years ago, thanks to U.S. President Joe Biden’s return to drug trafficking. nephew’shis main income sauceand even his top money laundererAlex Saab once expected to be seen experiencing some form of justice after a fair trial in the United States for his role in stealing our wealth.

The influence of President Maduro’s main international allies, China, Russia, and Iran, is also noticeable outside the country. In a rather childish move, foreign language descriptions for Maiketia International Airport are displayed in Russian, Chinese, and Farsi before being displayed in English. Just in case you need a reminder of who’s pulling the strings here.

Signs in Russian at Maiquetia Airport in Venezuela.

Signs in Russian at Maiquetia Airport in Venezuela. (Christian K. Calzo/Breitbart News)

Signs in Russian, Chinese and Persian at Maiquetia Airport in Venezuela.

Signs in Russian, Chinese and Persian at Maiquetia Airport in Venezuela. (Christian K. Calzo/Breitbart News)

I will never know how different my life would have been if Hugo Chavez had not come to power. Will you be in Caracas today? Is my mother alive now? The collapse of socialism made it impossible for her to receive the cancer treatment she desperately needed to survive in 2017, and she died the following year. What will happen to the remaining 7.7 million people who fled the country? Could they have done better?

With this colossal mistake, Venezuela lost a quarter of a century of its history – decades of time, millions of people, and billions of dollars that will never be returned. It’s a beautiful country. There’s so much to see in such a small country, from pristine beaches to unique natural wonders and warm, kind people. I want to do my best and share a fun time with everyone.

I don’t have much hope that the political situation will improve any time soon and that we will actually be able to hold free and fair elections, much less that the country will recover. Sure, ousting Maduro from office would be a start, but Venezuela now has an entirely new court system, a new parliament, an army separated from the clinging transnational drug cartels, a brand new local government, and some form of We need a nation. civil society. Venezuela also faces threats from militias and the influence of rogue foreign regimes, working tirelessly to block reform. Socialism has contaminated every aspect of our lives. It must be excised at a political, social and cultural level.

One day Venezuela may be free again – but right now, as defeatist as I may sound, I’m not going to bet money on that. All I want now is for my brother to have a good life. This is what I promised her mother on her deathbed. All I can do is contribute one word at a time to a grander testimony in the hope that the world heeds our warning. So that this tragedy will not be repeated, that no one will fall for the charms of socialism again.

I never voted for this mess. By the time I got her to turn 18 and be able to vote, this problem had been fixed. Like many others of my generation, I have simply inherited the misfortunes of others. I don’t want others to suffer the same tragedy that we did in the future.

Christian K. Caruso is a Venezuelan writer who chronicles life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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