Venezuela’s fourteenth month of ‘fourteen days to flatten the curve’ is over, and it’s time to get ready for the fifteenth.

The continued failing of our public infrastructure, namely, water and power, the shortages of gasoline, and the increasing breach between those with access to foreign currency and those without is what continues to dictate the pace in this country.

Generally speaking, ‘not much’ continues to be the general trend of our stagnated lives down here. Life goes on as usual in this new normal of ours, with everything slowly but surely worsening due to the ever so inexorable entropy. We got a brand new minimum wage raise that ultimately amounts to nothing, the death of certain regime higher ups, and a most bizarre visit by actor/Russian envoy Steven Seagal is how the month of May started for us here.

As Venezuela citizens continue to juggle between wrestling against the ongoing collapse of our country and the still ongoing pandemic to the best of their ability and resources, the ‘opposition’ ramps up itself for another round of that which they know how to do best: the perpetuation of our status quo alongside the socialist regime.

Talks about yet another round of negotiation between the regime and the ‘opposition’ have once again became the spotlight. I have honestly lost count of how many times has this scenario repeated itself over the past twenty two years, sometimes with different actors and in different venues—but always with the same outcome: nothing changes, the opposition gets some scraps, the regime ends up winning in the end. Both sides end up happier (and richer as a result), while citizens continue their excruciatingly slow withering.

In the end all it does is breathe oxygen into the regime.

At the same time, these political figures continue to contort themselves and move towards coercing the electorate to participate in the impending (rigged) regional elections that will be held towards the end of 2021.

Yes, I’m sure the opposition will be allowed to win a governor seat or two as a sign of goodwill—but the moment they overstep their boundaries the regime will simply impose a ‘protector’ figure that supersedes the governor in terms of power and resources, thereby neutering them completely. It’s happened so many times in the past, and it will continue to happen.

I’ve been saying this for years, and I most likely sound like a broken record by now, but this status quo is simply good business for both the regime and the opposition, so why would they even want to change it in the first place? The regime continues to be in power while China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and others continue to strip us of our resources. The opposition continues to travel around making deals and businesses that benefit themselves. Time and time again it has happened, and it’ll keep happening.

So, the country is still a mess, another political circus is about to unfold over the next months, and we’re still going through a perpetual lockdown of an intermittent intensity that cycles through a weekly basis. What about the vaccines and all that?

Vaccination is a cause for concern for many here, regardless of their political stance. With the recent arrival of 500,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine, the regime has begun to deploy the second phase of their vaccination campaign. However, this is Venezuela, and nothing is straightforward here.

The vaccines are to be distributed through the regime’s Fatherland system, that same system that’s inspired by China’s Social Score system, a system that’s becoming more mandatory as time goes on.

If the randomly assigned money stipends didn’t sway you to sign up for it in the past, if the access to monthly subsidized gasoline rations didn’t entice you to get a card, then the vaccines will surely do the trick.

The Fatherland system will ‘randomly’ assign vaccination appointments to people, but we know just how ‘random’ these types of things truly are. The 29th of May was the first day of vaccination under this new phase. With massive lines mostly composed of elderly men and women. Only those that have signed up for the Fatherland System were allowed to receive a shot.

The Fatherland system ‘randomly’ assigns vaccination appointments to people, but we know just how ‘random’ these types of things truly are. The 29th of May was the first day of vaccination under this new phase. With massive lines mostly composed of elderly men and women. Only those that have signed up for the Fatherland System were allowed to receive a shot.

If you want to be vaccinated, but refuse to sign up for the Fatherland system then you gotta sign up through a different website—a much slower second-rate process, I’m certain of it. 

As with almost everything in this country, the vaccines will definitely be used as a political tool, more so with the upcoming regional elections at hand. Expect narratives to be woven between vaccines and elections soon.

Between the political collaborationist among both sides, the crumbling infrastructure, and the whole ordeal with the vaccines lies a country that’s no longer mostly inhabited by citizens, but rather, by survivors, wrestling against a collapsed country with no hopes of ever winning—just doing their best to delay the inevitable, because at the end of the day, this country will defeat you. This is an unwinnable scenario, after all.

Yes, you can continue to shield yourself from it all if you’re fortunate enough to have access to foreign currency, but sooner or later, the reality will pierce through that shield.

One such reminder of our grim reality is the clamor of cancer patients.

A recent protest held by oncologic patients demanding access to treatment reminded us that in this country, many have been sentenced to die. This hits too close to home because that’s how I lost my mom. Without access to proper chemo there was nothing she or anyone else could do in her fight against cancer.

One day I hope I’m able to help others, especially those that have to fight a fight similar to the one my mom had to carry out, but I still have a long road to walk before I’m even remotely capable of doing so. The country continues its entropic descent, and I’ve opted to detach myself as much as possible from it all. I’ve maintained myself occupied carrying out a myriad of tasks, wrapping up personal affairs and bringing closure to certain things in my life as I continue my efforts towards obtaining a visa. Building a good future for my brother and attaining the means to help others and pay forward all the help I’ve gotten is my main driving force.

Stay safe, take it easy, and remain cool. We’re all gonna make it, Kings.

Until the next one,