In November 1998, a month before the presidential elections, former President of Venezuela Carlos Andrés Pérez said that "we are going to sink the country into a tragedy that Venezuela should never be forced to live through [...] this will become a dictatorship”. Pérez was referring to the political, economic, and social chaos that would be generated if the candidate and coup leader, Hugo Chávez (who denied being left-wing), was elected president.
Almost 20 years later, Pérez played out to be the Latin American Nostradamus. In the richest country of the region, there are no medicines, people are starving to death, and are, slowly but surely, wanting change.
The whole world looks on helplessly at how the fundamental rights of people, in a social state of law, are being violated. Many, who wanted to shield their democracy from dubious actions, began their resistance the same month Chavez took over as president with a 56% rate of approval.
The legacy of the 'Commander', now being lead by President Nicolás Maduro, shows how the land that gave birth to the liberator Simón Bolívar implores for the right and assistance to meet their basic needs.
The hospital corridors fill up faster than before. Clinics have become a place where hopelessness is worse than the justified indifference of doctors and nurses because of the lack of medicines. This prompted the Venezuelan Parliament to declare the current situation a "humanitarian health crisis" back in 2016.
Supply centers, shops, and markets have become large warehouses of empty shelves, crying out to be filled, not only in the hopes to recover the jobs that also disappeared, but to make the hungry stomachs feel at ease once more.
The lack of necessities has made a monotonous and unbalanced diet for Venezuelans placing the country at a possible threshold of famine. The local food production only satisfies 30% of the people’s needs; the rest must be imported.
Despair is a common denominator on the Venezuelan streets. Constantly, thousands of citizens who make up the opposition march with anger and sadness so that their voice can be heard. The regime defends itself with brutality.
Agents of the Guard and the Bolivarian National Police shoot to kill against their fellow Venezuelans, leaving a trail of wounded and dead; many of them between the ages of 17 and 22.
Hundreds of parents are constantly in distress because of the uncertainty their kids may face. They can be caught between unfriendly fire or perhaps, full of stupid heroism, want to take matters into their own hands and face the National Guard but, sadly, end up being another dead body on the street.
The crisis has exploded in Maduro’s face. The country is ruined and the citizens are paying the price. How many more tombstones need to be erected in Venezuelan cemeteries so that the international community can do something about Maduro?
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Felipe Guerrero C.
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto