(Whether there is a case for helping me or not, is up to you to decide)
Here it is:
-Food rationing is coming to Venezuela, and is coming now as an official policy, sanctioned and imposed by the Venezuelan state. After years of enduring on-and-off shortages on almost every basic article imaginable (from toilet paper, to shampoo, to diapers), not only we are not getting any improvement on this big issue. Now we are being forced to give our fingerprints as a way to “get food” and other basic supplies. And get it in a rationed way, with quotas established by the state (our very own libreta de racionamiento , electronic version). The Venezuelan president went so far as to say what would be the allotted amount of say chicken or corn flour allowed per family, on national TV. So, yes, communism is coming to Venezuela. Have no doubts about that. (https://news.vice.com/article/want-milk-or-toilet-paper-the-venezuelan-government-wants-your-fingerprints)
-On a related subject, scarcity is now pervasive in Venezuela. The no hay (we have none of it) is the common answer, to be expected wherever you go, no matter what you are looking for (whether it is bread, or a tool to work with), most of the time what you are going to get is a no hay . Some things gone missing are a nuisance (deodorant, shampoo, soap, be prepared to enter in fist fights for those when they appear) but not near as inconvenient when you are dealing with missing drugs. Currently, there are no drugs to treat diabetics or hypertensive patients, and there is a lot of stuff missing for those suffering from any form of cancer. No matter how many drug stores or pharmacies you go, the answer will be the same. Also, situation is much, much worse in the provinces than in the capital, Caracas. Nowadays is common to see people from the provinces looking desperately for a drug they need for a treatment in Caracas. (And on on top of that, we have a Chikungunya outbreak in both the Caracas, and the provinces)
-Scarcity does have an impact also in every major and minor economic activity (something that is not difficult to see, if you go to a mall, or retail store, or supermarket), but not as much as our concerns with security, or the lack of it. The streets and alleys of Caracas, and pretty much of every city in this country, are emptied after 8pm. Sometimes sooner. And why would this circumstance be a strange one for Venezuelans, if we are accustomed to the notion (the tacit mandate) that we can’t use our cell phones in the streets for fear of being murdered (not robbed, mind you, that would be too soft on us) to relieve us of them? In Venezuela, there is no safe place, not even the inside of your house, apartment, etc. Not even a movie theater (the inside of it, while you are watching a movie), where robberies have occurred at gunpoint. This is the reason why many are leaving (persons, businesses and companies). And if many are leaving, and many more are conditioning their activities to what criminals and thieves do not touch or get through robberies, express kidnappings and murders, what is left, for us here? How to feel defended, protected, when an official newspaper, paid with our taxes, write an editorial directed to malandros (thugs, thieves), asking them “OK, beat the sons of bitches (that’s us, common citizens), but don’t kill them”?
-The spaces and places for non-political activities, and for people either against, or (less common) indifferent to the Venezuelan chavista government are definitively on the way out. Almost everything is polluted (directly, or indirectly) with prochavista, pro-government messages, where the logic that prevails is: If you are against the government, you are not only a traitor, you are less than a Venezuelan and also, less than a human being. You can’t have a different opinion because, how dare you?
I don’t want to live in a place like this, anymore. So I want to leave.
Why do I need your help to leave?
These are the reasons:
-We Venezuelans are not able to buy foreign currency. Buying foreign currency, other than the measly quotas allowed by the government (only for “legally declared and sworn uses”, like travelling, and studying abroad) is illegal, and doing so is punishable with jail time. So, if I wanted to exchange all of my savings, or the sale of my few belongings to buy some greenbacks, that would simply not be possible. Period. My only chance would be the black market, and exchange rates over there (not to mention, the dangers of being cheated with counterfeit currency, or being arrested) are not an option.
-Air tickets (or seats on an airplane, if you like) are incredibly difficult to find in Venezuela. The Venezuelan government owes a humongous amount of cash to international airlines due to the big swindle that is the Venezuelan controlled exchange market: Airlines, at first, received the tickets in local currency ( Bolívar Fuerte , VEB) and the government (supposedly) honored the payment in foreign currency. But that hasn't happened in a long time, so logically, the airlines now loaded with lots of worthless Venezuelan monopoly bills, are not very much interested in keeping their business (and routes) down here. Both seats and routes have been slashed. And the few seats that remain available, are mostly for online sale, in foreign currency, and are sold by thrice (or more) of its average price. So, unless you have a savings account overseas (not my case) or loads and loads of local currency to buy in the black market (again, not my case), you are screwed. And locked in this country.
-Inflation has obliterated the value of our money. Although official data shows a 60% + of inflation (currently, one of the highest in the world, if we are to believe this data) some of us suspects it is even higher. From official to black market, we have at least 4 exchange rates (from 6.3 per dollar, a rate no one but the government officials and well connected people get, to almost 100 per dollar, which is the current rate in the black market), and you guessed it, the higher one is for average joes such as myself. That’s the one that converts my few savings in, well, peanuts. Just to give you an idea, on black market rate, my current salary is less than 50 USD (really)
This is the why. The Venezuelan government has managed to do to us, Venezuelans, what was unimaginable ten years ago: To put a lock on our borders. Not a physical one, but a virtual one: Yes, sure, you can leave, as long as you have the money (your devalued money, that you cannot exchange) or the air tickets (that you can’t afford, or won’t even get)
This is not a “take it, or leave it”. This is a “take it, or take it. I dare you to try to leave”
So, this is it. I won’t take anymore of your time, thank you for reading.
If you want to help me, send me an email (to firstname.lastname@example.org) with the amount you want to donate (my deepest apologies for the rudeness, but this is the way Paypal, my last piece of digital and economic liberty, operates) and a #leaving tag in the subject. I will reply with a request from PayPal.
If you do not want to donate, may I ask you to share this? I will appreciate it, deeply...
Starting tomorrow and until January 4th you can buy Numbers at Home for $0.99 on Google Play
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