False Friends and Blocks
Before starting this article I would like to tell you that I have gone through a very difficult situation that many of you will understand and others will not. It is not easy just to live with the surplus of what will happen in the country where I live. In a crisis that every day looks worse and worse. I am a quiet student of just 15 years old, who when returning from classes to my home I have almost died thanks to the impact of a bullet from the national police, in the bus where I was sitting. What was the reason why they fired? I do not know. The only thing I know; is that even though I try to be a good person, they wanted to kill me for no reason. Apparently today was not my day (May 22, 2019).
(Note from Harry: I discussed the incident when it happened with Emmanuel. The window next to his head exploded over him. He said at the time the police were targeting the students generally for protesting or fighting. Some of his friends were hit by rubber bullets and suffered injuries. There is no way to know whether a bullet that goes past your head is rubber or not though and they all feel pretty similar. For anybody who hasn’t almost been killed it’s a messed up experience/process that I will go into another post. It generally doesn’t hit you until a few weeks later and then you cry a bunch. Strangely even though you survive it can leave you feeling suicidal and/or depressed and unable to move. For a week or two you feel completely fine then you will just start shaking at random things/noises/making sure people don’t walk behind you or that your back faces the wall etc and feeling kind of sick if you remember it.)
Today I will talk about what a crisis is, where supposed allies say that they will help your country, or where people who are your supposed friends but at the moment of truth and needing help they are not there. They are only with you through the good times. It is important to tell them apart, to learn to differentiate what is a real friend, and who is interested more in themselves. A person who would be or is with you in difficult situations. And one that is only when you are well, or when you need something from you.
The government of the United States has imposed a blockade on Venezuela, which does not allow as far as I understand it for Venezuelan oil to be converted into gasoline. In this way it is a way to repress the dictatorial government in order to cease its operations in the country and finally leave. Thanks to this, massive lines for gasoline are seen. I have seen friends of my mother stay up to 3 days in a queue to fill the tank of their car. Thanks to this, transportation problems have been unleashed, and now thanks to that I have to go to school every day on foot. I can barely go on the return bus without the risk of being killed. As happened yesterday.
I am surprised by the fact that Venezuela is currently one of the countries with the largest oil reserves in the world but produces less oil than Colombia. (Note from Harry: It’s worth looking at EROEI on venezuelan oil reserves, they are not the cheapest in the world to pump. You can have all the oil you want in the ground but if it’s expensive to pump it’s staying there. That is an added issue on top of oil sanctions.) All this was affected by the fact that getting electricity is now like pulling teeth in Venezuela. With the famous rationing that began with a month, we are going for more than 2 months with power outages programmed by the government. In order to be able to solve the alleged terrorist or fascist attacks on the country’s hydroelectric plant. How is this possible? This desperation to see that every day they are damaging appliances (Another note from Harry: Emmanuel’s hard disk had corrupted system data saving because of power cuts, windows 10 failed to start), that you can not work, you can not trust a bank, or the money on a card. Because when the electricity goes away the internet goes away, and the banking connections.
Currently all the electricity of the country is produced in a single hydroelectric plant. Being that Venezuela at this moment has 5 hydroelectric plants. Of which 4 do not work, and only one maintains the country’s electricity. Is this fair? A country that should be developed; not only basing its economy purely on oil but focusing its eyes on its own electricity, one of the most fundamental resources in a country.
(Oil Note from Harry again: There is speculation that Venezuela relied heavily on hydro because it enabled them to export most of their oil. The profits from oil exports could then be used to subsidize social government programs. Essentially they bought off their citizens to placate them. Which worked great until it didn’t. There is also debate as to whether it was drought that initially knocked the hydro plants out. It would make sense that such an event would catalyze economic failure. It doesn’t take long without electricity for complex supply chains to fail.)
In these situations I start to question what life will be like for all of us who live here in this country. Those of us who are still struggling to study and get a degree that in the long run will not be useful for almost anything. Where the money every day is worth less and the price of everything is touched by inflation. Where to collect or save money is useless; where going out on the street has become a danger for everyone. When before it was very safe. Now you can not talk calmly your opinion on the street because if someone bothers you, a person of high command, a corrupt policeman, a political thief or a false friend, they can betray you, they can kill you and nobody would answer for you.
Many will say that I am totally exaggerating what it is to live in Venezuela. But if you analyze carefully Venezuela is the place where nobody wants to live. Where nobody wants to go. Where nobody wants to survive.
When before having a car was a luxury: Now it’s even worse; without any type of fuel as before. Thanks to this blockade it can be said that a petrol can of 20 – 25 liters of gasoline at this moment thanks to this will cost about 4 minimum monthly wages.
Right now we realize that Venezuela is a poor country, a nightmare, something that takes away from anyone the will to live. The desire to study, to work, to love, and above all, of wanting to keep going.