Things down here continue down the same path they’ve been for the past two years or so. The pandemic is not officially over, and yet, life goes on as it was, no one really cares anymore for the most part. The same old stagnant mirage carries on, to the point that even the whole ‘Venezuela is fixed!’ ironic quasi-meme has gotten extremely stale as of late.

People carry on with their lives to the best of their abilities, but no one is at fault for wanting to just live their lives these days, especially considering the utter abyss we were collectively sunken down to during the past decade.

Any degree of improvement and tranquility that’s perceived in Venezuela these days is paradise compared to what many had to go through — besides, it’s not like there’s any pathways or solutions to the political crisis and it’s not like there’s gonna be any change in the country anymore, it is what it is, might as well try to live.

Yet, many continue to suffer on a daily basis against the still existing collapse of the country, it’s just that their plights are obfuscated by the faux normality that some have chosen to accept.

Therein lies the ongoing problem of it all, the fact that it’s all an artificial, superficial peace. Sure, there’s no more shortages, food rationing, or ID scanners these days, and I certainly don’t miss the breadlines at all, but the sheer majority of the country cannot afford that which was once hard to find in the shelves.

The illusion is finicky at best, and the greenbacks and foreign cash can only forestall inflation for so long. Food has gone up 50% since last year, last month had 10% inflation for a whopping 34% in 2022 so far, and there was 151% overall inflation between May 2021 and May 2022

If you’re still expecting the regime (or the opposition) to provide any solutions to the sheer majority that live in extreme poverty, well, you best not wait standing. The idea is not to fix things, but rather, make it look like things are all fine and dandy, put on a smile, and drench yourself in false positivity if that’s your thing.

Now that the opposition is functionally all but done, and no one believes in them anymore, Maduro and his buddies can now comfortably ramp up their ongoing campaign to wash their image and to make it seem like they’re fixing things up — the fact that things are royally messed up all around the world works in their favor, if you think about it.

But make no mistake, their ideology has not changed, and right now they’re ramping up to resume the same tired antics and rhetoric that undid us in the first place, except now they don’t have much of a political opposition left to stand against them. After 23 years (and counting) of Revolution, the utopian promise of Bolivarian Socialism, which they claim they’re still building after all these years, has a deadline: 2030.

Usually, when there’s an official visit of high importance, governments tend to clean things up, repair roads, and repaint the areas that the VIP in question will transit through. You could say that some people do this on a smaller scale in their homes as well — the point is that this is what the socialist party is trying to achieve these days in Caracas for the past year or so, they’ve been even doing surveys on their Chinese-inspired Fatherland platform and telling their sympathizers to organize as part of their new ‘Good Government’ plan.

Setting aside all that, the most recent and most blatant example of the faux normality has to be the news about the arrival of white lions from the Chezch Republic to a local Zoo in Venezuela to ‘bring joy to the poor.’

It sure is some good ol’ fashioned bread and circus (if you can afford the bread, that is). By the way, the reason Zoos are lacking animals is because many of them died of starvation, and others got outright abducted, never to be seen again, the general consensus is that they got eaten — that’s how bad things were here.

Now it’s no that restoring the country’s Zoos shouldn’t happen, but it’s just that there’s a mountainload of more important things to do first, and if you’re so hellbent on continuing ruling and spending God knows how much on apps and ‘Good Government’ programs, then you should, I don’t know, focus on the most critical elements, such as health.

Then again, what do I know?

Sure, Venezuela has always had a dual public and private healthcare system, public healthcare has never been perfect, but it’s what most can access to. The latter is prohibitively expensive for the majority, and inflation makes sure to help keep it that way, that much I can attest as the son of two doctors that worked in both sectors.

Private healthcare had its fair share of low points when the country was at its worst, but it certainly managed to weather the storm and make it through, public healthcare here, however, is, for the lack of a better word, fucked up.

Hospitals are still devoid of supplies, and with an ever diminishing workforce because the staff can only go on earning literally pennies every month for so long before eventually giving up. Because public healthcare facilities don’t even have supplies to treat patients or perform surgeries with, doctors have been asking patients and their families to supply them so that they can perform whatever procedure they have to perform on the respective patients.

Because this goes against the narrative of improvement and good government, instead of addressing the problem at its root, the regime has opted to instead ban doctors from asking for supplies, and have started to arrest doctors for this ‘crime.’

Recently, the Hospital my mother worked at for sixteen years had to suspend all surgeries because they did not have a single working elevator to transport patients.
Many cancer patients continue to die here because of a lack of treatment through public means. A few days ago, female cancer patients protested outside the same pharmacy I used to accompany my mom at in search of chemotherapy.

Now, if you’re allegedly a ‘good government’ then what should the priority be? Paint some streets, import some lions, and pay ‘feminist’ groups to defend your socialist regime abroad or, you know, start fixing the hospitals and import meds for the people you supposedly serve? I don’t expect them to pay healthcare workers any kind of worthy salaries, that’d be asking too much of them.

This is kind of a personal matter to me, given what my mother had to go through, it’s something that pains me, because I don’t wish that on anyone, which is why one of my life goals is to eventually have the means to help others avoid the same pain and fate my mother went through.

I don’t even have to mention the fact that the excuse has, is, and will continue to be ‘muh sanctions,’ but you gotta ask yourself, how come these sanctions don’t seem to affect the import of exotic white lions.

You could even take it one step further, and just have the regime ask their Chinese overlords for some spare parts to repair the hospital elevators at least. After all, the socialist party has partaken in deals with Chinese companies for elevator repairs and installations, surely they can arrange something and add it to the debt trap tally, right? After all, what’s another stripe to a tiger, as we say here.

So yeah, things are better because now we have lions to ‘bring joy to the poor’ that you can visit for $1 per ticket, nevermind the fact that people continue to die on a daily basis because our healthcare is utterly demolished in the country. And don’t get me started on education, inflation, or my ongoing nightmare, paperwork bureaucracy…

See you on the next one,