March of 2019 is upon us; I don’t know if it’s just me but this year is certainly going fast. Venezuela continues to go through its latest political crisis, one that’s poised to be a slow and meticulous game. Maduro’s regime is being fought at a diplomatic level and at a surgical one as well, the goal is to dismantle—or rather, strip the regime of assets and resources in order to undermine their fierce grip on the country.

The way I see this unfolding is the same as I’ve seen it in the past: a major internal fracture within the regime’s military ranks is the missing catalyst that can set the stage for a snowball effect that culminates into the regime’s collapse—otherwise they’ll keep stalling and buying time while the opposition exhaust its rounds and international support wanes, it’s their tried and true tactic.

While the narrative of the regime’s media machine and those that are siding with Maduro (be it by their desire to protect their interests or simply because they dislike America) says otherwise, the prospect of a US-led military intervention seems less likely right now unless an unlikely and radical event shifts the board. Then again, there’s Article 187 of our Constitution, but I’m pretty sure that I can’t be enacted unless all the pieces are in place (and only if it comes to that—which no one really wants in the end).

East and West continue to move their pieces around and the regime has shown signs of weakness but hasn’t completely tripped over yet. As usual, their media apparatus brazenly boasts their “victory” against the latest “Extreme right attacks led by the US Empire” while they celebrated the sixth anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s “sowing” (According to socialist rhetoric, leaders don’t die, they’re “sown” into the land and into the hearts of the people, Cuba did something similar with Fidel Castro.)

While this methodical political game rages on, the country continues to be stuck in the same old tiresome and entropic status quo. 

In all honestly, the country feels like it’s encased in a small temporal bubble, stuck even. Nothing feels like it’s moving forward, nothing has really changed in our day to day activities ever since this crisis started—everything just feels to have fallen into stagnation.

Even hyperinflation has slowed down it’s unstoppable march. Certain items such as cheese have been noticeably lowered in price, much to our collective surprise; still, its cost is still prohibitively expensive for most.

The political landscape continues to be split between Maduro’s regime and Guaido’s interim presidency; yet, our woes are the same as usual, if not slightly worse.

Caracas had no running water during the last week of February, courtesy of our water company’s glaring incompetence. They had scheduled a routine maintenance work that was only meant to affect a few select zones in Caracas for 36 hours—turns out that they lied and the entire city was deprived of the service for almost a week.

Power blackouts and brownouts have become more prevalent over the past days, as a matter of fact, I’m writing this post using my old laptop amidst an almost nation-wide blackout. This banged up laptop’s screen is the only form of illumination in my room.

The regime’s ever-evolving censorship schemes have reached new levels. YouTube, Google, Social Media, and other websites/services are now being selectively blocked during specific hours and dates; these blocks usually occur when the opposition figureheads carry out their announcements via stream since TV and radio have long been censored and there’s no way that they’d be granted airspace for these types of broadcasts unless the TV channel or radio station wants to risk getting shut down. 

Aside from the blocks, disruptions in internet access are becoming more common as well, with their infamous throttling once more becoming a nuisance—even my usual tricks to bypass it have become less effective. The most used free VPN services have been completely blocked as well.

A handful more international TV channels were banned from airing in the country because they broadcasted the “Venezuela Aid Live” concert that took place some days ago.

Life as usual I suppose, but with a very present entropy slowly eroding this uneasy “snapshotted reality” that we’ve been going through for the past weeks. I think the unusual nature of these past days is the reason why I feel like the year is going faster than 2018 did.

Click On a more personal level, I just went through a very stressing February. I was overwhelmed by so many things and concerns that collectively took a toll on me both physically and mentally. There are still things going on that are causing me quite the distress but I’ve managed to overcome the mental anguish for the most part; I cannot let it devour me as I still have so much to do.

That being said, not all is doom and gloom in my life. Finally, there’s a glimmer of hope in the horizon.

While I’m not in the liberty to say much yet, there is now a viable (albeit long-ish) path towards migrating for both my brother and I. A very unlikely scenario that’s quite different from what I was originally aiming for but it is one that’s very much welcomed nonetheless.

Venezuela’s political “game” might unstuck and ramp up over the next days, no one knows for sure. Still, my efforts, willpower, and what little energy I have these days are focused on the following:

I) Work towards this new plan: While viable and very much tangible, it’s timetable depends on factors (and actors) beyond my control. It essentially relies on acquiring five specific items or goals—let’s call them cards for now. Once I have all five in my hand then I can make my move and board a plane with my brother towards a better tomorrow.

Said plan in a nutshell:

I wasn’t expecting this scenario to be honest, given how unlikely it is, but with most embassies closed and most doors shut down as a result, this might very well be our best play—even if it’s not the most ideal one. With all that has happened over the past weeks well, we don’t have much control over our lives, however, once this plan goes through then I’ll finally have some control over our future.

II) Work towards publishing Sword of the Nation: The second draft of the first chapter in my fiction universe project is done. I’m currently waiting for feedback and evaluating my options, considering all the limitations and obstacles that Venezuela impose on this right now. I know it’s still far from perfect but with proper editing then this raw draft will become a unique and shining diamond.

Once Sword is on his way to publishing then I’ll start to give form to the second book’s draft.

III) Continue working towards surviving: I don’t know how long this plan will take, but once we have our hands on the central and most crucial card then obtaining the rest of the set will be smooth sailing. Until then then we’ll have to continue surviving through this Socialist Utopia™ the way we’ve been doing it for the past years. Things have become a bit rougher around these parts and some upcoming changes might affect us, but as we’ve done so many times in the past, we’ll adapt if needed—and overcome everything that life throws at us.

I’m sure that everything will go just fine.

In the meantime, the Venezuelan show calamity must go on. I don’t know how long can we keep going through this stalemate, but this current uneasy calm period is unsustainable. The sooner the regime cracks to the pressure it’s being subject of, the better, as it’ll open a road to freedom and much needed change in this country.

March of 2019 is also the one year anniversary of the worst month of our lives, when our mother’s health took a turn for the worse and lost her fight against cancer because she wasn’t able to receive proper chemotherapy. I’m not going to lie, everything she went through, those final days, her tragic passing—it’s still an open wound for me, but I cannot give up. I promised her that I would take care of my brother and that he’ll have a happy future.

Escaping while being able to take my brother with me certainly has proven harder than I originally anticipated, but with this new path ahead of us, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

We’re all gonna make it lads.


1 Comment

Pitch Black | ckaleb[dot]com · June 1, 2020 at 12:17 pm

[…] really isn’t a dull moment in Venezuela; in my previous post I mentioned an unsustainable “Snapshotted reality” and how everything seemed to be stuck and […]

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