12 de abril de 2009

Venezuela (2)

Dear Cousin:

Yesterday I talked with a friend who lives in England, he is from Argentina but lived many years here in Venezuela. Talking about good and bad of both our countries. In the end, like most discussions of this kind, we do not reach any conclusion but I stayed with the restlessness in my thoughts. To be honest, I love my country. I love its atmosphere, its climate, beaches, mountains. This is where I learned to live and where I want to continue living. But I feel a deep pain when I see the damage that our society has come.

The values have been invested, is the world upside down, the end justifies the means (as Maquivelo). Corruption, dishonesty, bribery and the pursuit of easy money is the daily bread. If you are an honest person, you're seen as a fool, like an idiot, as someone who does not know the opportunities. I do not want you think I'm selling as a saint, I am not and do not pretend to be. Neither is true that the whole society is so corrupt, but who unfortunately is now dominates, is dishonesty. This crisis of values has contributed to that crime has reached extraordinary levels, murder by contract, problems of drug use and drug trafficking, money laundering and "express" kidnappings are our daily bread. Unfortunately, as I said in my previous post, this is a situation that had been brewing for decades. Inequality, bad examples, injustice and mismanagement of the state (among others) which is causing our society today. To make matters worse, the current government, which has had a historic opportunity to reverse this trend, has achieved the opposite.

Now, this administration has invented a "Socialism of the 21st century." Trying to give a modern touch to communism that we all know (especially you in Europe). They have gradually taken steps to go in that direction: the closure of a television that was opposed to government; expropriation of land and companys; nationalization of public services, centralization of state functions. In addition made "democratically" amendments to the constitution to allow indefinite re-election (eternal) of public officials, including president but restricting the powers of governors and mayors. When in fact what the people want is that they start to rule to resolve community problems, insecurity, lack of medical care, quality of public services, promote jobs through a plan that stimulates development of free private enterprise, that is what any citizen WANT. But the government says only one thing: the solution is socialism. That is rubbish.

The saddest thing is that the government has won most of the times in which it was subject to popular election. Cheating or not, the president has great popular support, here is a sort of "popular revenge" against the people who ruled in the past. In addition to the large amount of crap that made the opposition leaders during the early years of the current government.

As the conversation with my friend, I have not reached any conclusion, it is too early for this (or too late), I can only take precautions, at least for now.

About the Easter, in Venezuela is celebrated in two ways. One is the religious and the other is to travel on vacation.

This is a Catholic country, and religious activities are going on around the church. There are also activities such as processions in the street or "via crucis" with theater actors. On this website you can view photos to understand what I mean with "via crucis": http://www.noticias24.com/fotos/1154/en-fotos-la-impactante-celebracion-del-via-crucis-en-petare

However, at least half the population prefers to take the whole week of vacation and travel. After the Christmas and New Year holidays, this is the time when most people take vacations. No matter if there is money or not, no matter if the country is burning, but many people go on holiday.

The food is the best, is based on fish or exotic foods such as the chigüire (capybara). My wife prepared a "cuajao" that is a cake of shredded fish made with eggs, bananas, raisins, capers and olives. The Catholic tradition says that these days we should eat food of poor people and avoid red meat. So what of the fish and other animals. However, the recipes are sophisticated. If you want to know what a is a chigüire (capybara) can go to this site: http://www.venezuelatuya.com/natura/047.htm

5 de abril de 2009

Los Niños Aprenden lo que Viven

Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

Si los niños viven con crítica, aprenden a condenar.

Si los niños viven con hostilidad, aprenden a pelear.

Si los niños viven con miedo, aprenden a ser aprensivos.

Si los niños viven con lástima, aprenden a sentir pena por ellos mismos.

Si los niños viven con ridículo, aprenden a sentir timidez.

Si los niños viven con celos, aprenden a sentir envidia.

Si los niños viven con vergüenza, aprenden a sentir culpa.

Si los niños viven con ánimo, aprenden la confianza.

Si los niños viven con tolerancia, aprenden la paciencia.

Si los niños viven con elogios, aprenden la apreciación.

Si los niños viven con aceptación, aprenden a amar.

Si los niños viven con aprobación, aprenden a quererse.

Si los niños viven con reconocimiento, aprenden que es bueno tener una meta.

Si los niños viven compartiendo, aprenden la generosidad.

Si los niños viven con honestidad, aprenden la sinceridad.

Si los niños viven con imparcialidad, aprenden la justicia.

Si los niños viven con amabilidad y consideración, aprenden el respeto.

Si los niños viven con seguridad, aprenden a tener confianza en si mismos y en aquellos a su alrededor.

Si los niños viven con amistad, aprenden que el mundo es un lindo lugar donde vivir.

2 de abril de 2009


En los últimos meses he estado frecuentemente en contacto con una prima (prima hermana) que vive en Hungría. Recientemente le escribí unas pocas líneas en las que trato de explicar la situación de Venezuela.

In recent months I have had frequent contact with a cousin (first cousin) who lives in Hungary. Recently I wrote a few lines where I try to explain the situation in Venezuela.


Dear Cousin,

Like I promised, I wrote a few lines trying to explain the situation in Venezuela.

In principle I can say that has not stopped the bloodshed in this country for several centuries. From 1810 until 1830 (the war of independence), then the Federal war, caudillos (chieftains) and other dictators until Juan Vicente Gómez who ruled from 1908 to 1935. Then came a brief period of democracy that ended in a coup in 1948 that served as a prelude of ten years of blood and dictatorship headed first by a Governing Board and then the presidency Marcos Perez Jimenez who is overthrown by a coup in 1958. Once the fall of the government of Pérez Jiménez, begins a difficult but successful process of democracy in our country. From 1958 to 1992 does not happen again any rebellion of great magnitude. But in 1992, Hugo Chávez, together with another group of military officers, commanded a coup against the president, Carlos Andrés Pérez. Although not achieved its objective, the fact gave him a fame. Later he won the elections in 1998.

On the economic side, Venezuela in the 19th century was an agricultural country, we say with pride that our land produce the best cocoa in the world and one of the best coffee beans. With the onset of the petroleum era (during the rule of Juan Vicente Gómez) the agricultural economy was replaced gradually by the oil economy, the farmers moved to large cities to seek higher incomes but many of them began to populate the current misery belts that surround our capitals. Inequality was growing exponentially but also a middle class professional (with a lot of effort). However, the low income population has become 80% of the total according to the latest censuses. It is in these people that the president has focused his strategy.

Hugo Chávez arrives to public life in a very timely manner, democracy was at its worst moment, traditional leaders have lost credibility and the economy collapsing. The levels of corruption, mismanagement and excessive economic inequality became the ideal breeding ground for the arrival of an alternative leader who emerge from the masses and speak their language.

Then, everything happened quickly: between 1999 and 2000 changed the country's Constitution; 2000 and 2002 was a battle between the ruling classes and the new power represented by Chávez: Strikes, street protests, small rebellions and even a military coup that took him out of power for two days; from 2003 to 2006, consolidated the power of Hugo Chávez with the defeat of those opposed in different electoral battlegrounds; 2007 to today began a more radical step: the closure of media, restrictions on freedom of expression and property, centralization of resources and responsibilities; attacks to the private company (using a union) and psychological warfare on people to through state media.

I keep in touch. Every day something new happens...