What is going on in Venezuela? #SOSVENEZUELA

As there is absolutely no way of sleeping tonight, all I can do is write. Write to the world about what is happening in Venezuela right outside our windows as I type these words. It has been a hard night for Venezuela and the uncertainty of tomorrow is what keeps us up. Let me tell you what has been happening the last week here in Venezuela.

I have hardly left my home because there is no way of knowing what will happen out on the street. People are being shot, hurt or captured. For what? For protesting! It all started with the student protest last Wednesday (February 12th #F12). The students were protesting against the government because of insecurity, inflation, the lack of food and the limited freedom of press. These demonstrations happened in all major cities in Venezuela, not just Caracas as the news portrait it. Unfortunately these demonstrations escalated and became violent. Who is to blame? All I know is that it is the National Guard who has the guns. Three people got killed while several others ended up in the hospital or prison.

The following days were somewhat calmer even though students kept protesting in the streets. What is happening right now is anything else than calm. Tuesday (February 18th #F18) opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez handed him self in to the police after marching together with thousands of students dressed in white to mark that they are walking in peace. This happened in Caracas, but people were protesting in the other cities all over Venezuela. People feared this day would become violent, and so it did.

I was at home like my friends had told me to be. Two of my friends came over to keep me company. There was no food in the house so they went out to get something at Sambil (the mall) but came back rather fast as there was a “burning wall” close to my house and everything was closed. We had to stay inside and tried to keep updated on twitter what was happening. We heard bangs and booms from outside the window; people yelling and hammering their cooking pans as sign of demonstration. My friend’s dad called telling us that a lot of the city was on fire, streets were blocked and he could hardly get home. This was in Barquisimeto. In other cities the situation is even worse.

We woke up today (19th of February #F19) and decided to go out and get basic groceries just because there is no way of knowing when things will close down. During the day we read that many streets were getting blocked around the city. Internet is the only way of getting information and according to photos friends posts on Facebook things are getting really messy out on the streets.

Streets are on fire, the National Guard is getting into apartment buildings, two more people have been killed and people are witnessing shootings outside their homes. People are scared, people are angry and people are sad. The uncertainty of tomorrow is unbearable. Rumor has it that the Government has closed down Internet in Tachira (San Cristobal) and we cannot know if this will happen here too. My friend’s sister cannot get from Valencia to Barquisimeto because it is too dangerous. Friends are sending movies of shootings outside their window. And who are shooting? Who has the guns?

SOS VENEZUELA! #PrayForVenezuela #ResistenciaVzla #SOSVenezuela

READ THIS:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/conzpreti/29-heartbreaking-images-from-the-protests-in-venezuela

 

 

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29 Responses to What is going on in Venezuela? #SOSVENEZUELA

  1. Antonio Bove says:

    Hold Tight…! #sosvenezuela

  2. Abdón Morales says:

    Lo único que puedo añadir es que te cuides mucho, pero no dejes que el miedo te paralice… Temo que esto te afecte en el tiempo (síndrome del estrés post traumático), evita abrumarte con el internet y sólo sigue cuentas serias que verifiquen la información.

  3. D S says:

    I feel a bit ashamed that you, being foreigner, had to experience all this. I love my contry and I’d love other peopple could say about us what you have said in all your posts. Thanks for your suppport and take care. I hope this can get fixed soon, and we, venezuelans, will create a safer contry, for you and for all of us.

  4. yvonne Correa Plaza says:

    Hello,
    I have followed your stories and loved them. I am married to a Venezuelan man and we live in Helsinki, Finland. Yesterday we were interviewed for TV and radio here about the situation over there and Saturday we will have a demonstration about the situation in Venezuela in the city square.
    This that is happening now has been coming for a long time. It should have happened after the last election in April when Caprilles won overwhelmingly the presidential seat. But he was cheated while the government fiddled the numbers of votes and made Maduro win by a small margin. The whole country knew that this was not right but accepted the defeat slowly and so this communist regime rolled on which is directed by Cuba. Nobody seems to mention this that Venezuela takes orders from Cuba. Even the army takes orders from Cuba. Now why hasn’t the army stepped in to defend it’s people???
    Over the last 14 years since Hugo Chavez took power the country has been depleted of it’s oil and natural resources behind a smoke screen of socialist promises to the poor. The poor and uneducated masses believed in a socialist future he promised. We have seen this been repeated in history. In Soviet Union etc. . The government has manipulated the masses and kept them poor and uneducated but still promising a better future. Instead of using the money from the oil to better the living standard, like here in Scandinavia.
    Venezuela is a very rich country and could be like Dubai if the share of the oil revenue would be distributed fairly among its citizens.
    The reality is that Cuba governs the country. All these soldiers killing and shooting in the streets are trained in Cuba. And more are being airlifted as we speak with helicopters from Cuba to join the National Guard. We are watching them come in on the internet. This will be a bloody power struggle and will escalate to a civil war unless USA or somebody interferes. You should have left when this started because now it might be too late or too dangerous. I hope you will stay safe. Get lots of food in and pray because this might go on for months.
    I just heard that the National Guards are picking up dead or injured and dumping them to keep down the number of deaths published in the media..keep writing because you have reached many over the world and that is a great thing. Lycka till!

    • Carlos says:

      Just out of curiosity, Yvonne, would “guarimbas” (people burning rubbish, blocking major city avenues and attacking those who dare to cross) like the one posted on Martine’s videos be allowed and/or lawful in the streets of Helsinki? Careful with the double standards.

      Plus, as you may know, the United Arab Emirates, where Dubai is located, is a merciless dictatorial monarchy (http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/31/uae-backsliding-human-rights).

      It’s a very strange example that you chose to illustrate considering the awful situation that the majority of Dubai residents find themselves in.

      • Javier Soto says:

        Carlos Guarimbas are not acceptable in any country that is logical, This protest are in order to put down a government filled with oppressors and corrupted entities. As it happened in Ukraine where the citizens destroyed a lot of public property. I can only assume that what Ukrainians did was not acceptable or allowed in any country as well, but it maid their thief president leave the country so I can only conclude that all that chaos changed the government. Cities can be re constructed but freedom cannot, it can only be fought for.

        And of course let me add that in previews occasions the leader of the opposition and loser of the last presidential elections in Venezuela Henrique Capriles is been called a coward because he has delivered hundreds of demands and evidence of not only the manipulation of the elections but also lots of corruption accusations and endless cases of human rights violations to the public organizations responsible for the law in Venezuela and none of these demands have been listened. This I include to explain that the peaceful ways of doing things has already been done, but here in Venezuela these options are not viable

        All of these protest are justified the people are not only hungry but also scared every second they are in the streets and even in their houses, they are also tired of doing endless line to only things like soap or toilet paper. While and its no secret to anyone that people who run the government are rich and protected by bodyguards

  5. Will says:

    Tengo ideas encontradas sobre ti y lo que estas viviendo y lo que estas haciendo.

    Por un lado, tengo un poco de miedo por ti, y que esta historia tan bonita termine de mala forma. Dios quiera que no! Ten mucho cuidado!

    Por otro lado, veo que estas viviendo y creandote una experiencia inigualable. Ningun libro vendra a decirte como son los venezolanos. Has conocido y disfrutado lo bueno y has vivido y sufrido lo malo. Ya veras como este conocimiento lo llevaras contigo a cualquier parte del mundo donde decidas hacer vida.

    Quizas lo estes, quizas no. Estas viviendo en carne propia como Venezuela intenta levantarse de sus cenizas. Como ya lo ha hecho y como lo esta haciendo. No es bonito, lo se. El 6 de Junio de 1944 tampoco lo fue.

    Muchas gracias por querer a Venezuela. Cuidate!

  6. Ange says:

    Gracias por ser una voz para Venezuela! Que Dios que cuide y cuide a todos mis hermanos Venezolanos.

  7. Dago says:

    Dear Martine:

    The current situation is very scary, but underneath there is an even scarier prospect: The food reserves have fallen to extremely low levels, and there is a clear danger of widespread famine from late March, early April on.

    The government can partially deal with this problem, but it implies severe adjustments in the way the economy is currently handled, so they may delay the solutions until it is too late.

    Therefore, you and your friends should store as many non-perishable food as possible, even if the food available is not tasty or healthy. Get as much cereals (rice, maize) and beans (lentejas, caraotas, etc) as you can. I know it is NOT easy right know because of the restrictions, but do your best.

    Also, get chlrorine (cloro para limpiar, lejía) in case you run out of drinking water: One small bottle cup (“tapita”) per liter of water should suffice to kill most pathogens. After adding chlorine, don’t forget to let the water still during one hour.

    Finally, don’t let ANYBODY know (except you closest friends) that you have food stored at home.

    Good luck and godspeed,

    Dago

  8. Maggie says:

    Thank you for being a voice!!!! May God bless and protect you, Be safe!!!!

  9. thamic17 says:

    Oh I’m so sorry you have to be living through this. I know things here have never been good but you could overlook most of the problems and enjoy your stay here. You have no idea how sad it is for a Venezuelan like me to see how your posts have changed from being fascinated with our culture to being terrified. I hope things will get better here but sadly, i think it can only get worse before it gets better.
    The only advice i could give you is to try to learn from this. You are living now in a historic time for us and even if the situation is horrible this experience can also teach you a lot.
    Also, try to find time to get out of the Internet and chill for a while. Even though it is our only source of information, spending all day looking at what twitter says can be a bit overwhelming. Enjoy some home made arepas, dance to your favorite music, or watch a movie.
    Thank you for helping us in letting the world know what is really happening here. Venezuelans ♥ you.

  10. Laurita says:

    Tack for sharing this. These days have been horrible, I know. I cry for my country, we don’t deserve this. Please, take care :(

  11. FC says:

    Lastima que hayan borrado mi comentario, pense que eras una persona de mente abierta a todas opiniones, y luego dicen que el Venezuela se esta ocultando lo que pasa. Pero, como siempre la VERDAD triunfara.

  12. Dago says:

    Dear Martine:

    I write you again because I made a big mistake in the proportions for the emergency water chlorination process: the “tapita” of bleach is meant for a full barrel (“tambor”) of water, not for one liter as I wrongly wrote.

    The proportion is a 1/8 spoon (~8 drops) of bleach per gallon (~3.5 liters) of water. For further information, you can check the USA Environmental Protection Agency website:

    http://water.epa.gov/drink/emerprep/emergencydisinfection.cfm

    Cheers,

    Dago

  13. Yenisbeth says:

    Pray!!!! God is with you . Lets all Pray for Venezuela and for all the world that suffers in slience . Dios te bendiga Ten Fe y cree en Dios que Pronto esto terminara . Pon tu mirada en EL saviendo que el es el unico que tiene el Poder Mayor que como el No hay nadie Solo te pido que seas fuerte . Estamos orando . Un Clamor para Venezuela . Amen!

  14. My dear,
    Don’t stop to keep a documentary of what is happening. I mean, what is happening to YOU. In the moment that you decide to go to Vnzla you didn’t know that you will have -the experience- of your life. So, is horrible, I know, but “El que se cansa pierde”. You have to keep stronger, take advatage of the situation and write, keep the pictures of your friends about the protest, your impression of how they feel, just write! you do it well. You can make it public now, or just, wait and wait what to do with that information. I’m pretty sure that “el momento más oscuro es justo antes del amanecer” and you can make it great.
    Of course, PLEASE, be safe. I would love to meet some day who remind me how crazy-happy we are.
    Mi casa es tu casa. Gracias.

  15. Please be cautious, trust your instincts and be as close to your friends as you can. Though i’d encourage you to start planning your way back to norway in case things go even crazier, I’m sure this whole venezuelan experience will change your life for good: oh, you’ll never be the same. You’ll gain something wonderful from this country – and i mean from us, venezuelans – some kind of wild courage, a raw approach to life, a very addictive, direct, and anarchy-driven fun. It’s all worth it, even some of the scariest parts. Please keep writting for we will keep reading. Be part of these present political events, try to understand it, but be smart, dont expose yourself too much.

  16. jose says:

    Take me with you to norway… dont get me wrong i love my country every corner of it but we are not living im peace rigth now

  17. I love reading you, and I’m sorry now I’m reading the bad side of Venezuela, sadly you are in a really bad situation in Venezuela right now and that is really sad because is not who we are, it’s not how this country was, but now you have to take good care of yourself because you’re alone and I know how hard it is to be alone in a diferent country, I know you’re scare but please wait and hope for the best, Venezuela is fighting for its freedom so people like you can come and feel secure and enjoy our beautiful country. If you feel really stresed the best thing you can do is go back to norway at least until this situation stops, because I guess you’re not working at the moment.

    Take care.

  18. Roduan says:

    I have really enjoyed your posts and the way you have nailed it on your descriptions of Venezuelans. But at the same time I am shock on the experiences you’ve had so far in this country. You have travel through Venezuela using means of transportations I would’ve never dared to use. And although it is evident how brave you are, I can’t help but feel concern about your well being. I am glad you have the good friends you seem to have. And yet if you find yourself in an emergency or need help I any way. Please contact me through my email, and I’ll try to do my best to help you. I am in Barquisimeto. Best of luck, you are experiencing a long over due chapter of our history, one that weights heavily in our hearts, none other than us Venezuelans should have to carry the burdain. Take care. d-.-b

  19. Melanie says:

    I left… it was a heartbreaking decision for me, and made me feel guilty that as an american with a credit card I can just quickly buy my way out. But it was the best decision for my well-being. I was getting depressed and unable to work well or study. It was the best decision for me. Do what’s best for you. In the end, it’s not your country and if you are scared and suffering there’s no reason you need to go through that. LIkewise, if you feel a calling to document and go through a wild experience, by all means. Just don’t be held back by guilt if you feel you need to leave. Good luck.

  20. lcgbv says:

    Hi, I hope you are well. I came across this… I thought you and your readers might enjoy it.
    Take care!!

  21. Stig says:

    I’m glad you discovered why Venezuela (and Colombia) is a fantastic place: It’s people. So open minded to us foreigners, so full of exuberance. Please try to bring a bit of that back to Norway when you come back, we need it. It will be difficult to explain how such a rotten society is at the same time a great place for it’s people,

  22. Tusen takk for det du skriver! Du er en verdifull stemme for mange i Venezuela. Du når ut. Håper du er trygg nå. Det er synd at du måte oppleve dette mens du var der borte. Må du hjem så må du hjem. Ikke tvil om det. Jeg håper du kan komme tilbake til en FRI Venezuela en gang. Varme hilsener fra Bergen.

  23. Carlos says:

    It seems that another Norwegian girl thinks quite differently from Martine:

    At the end of the day, Martine’s very subjective opinion is based on where she lives in Caracas. Everybody’s experience about Venezuela is unique and cannot be taken as absolute truths.

    • Dago says:

      An anonymous Norwegian girl whose name was not given, praising the Comandante Chavez and his revolution… uhmmmm.

      Carlos, if you had spent half a minute really reading Martine’s blog, instead of posting governmental propaganda, you’d have learnt that she WASN’T even living in Caracas…

  24. CFrick says:

    Reblogged this on Frick Out! and commented:
    The situation in #Venezuela seen though the eyes of a foreigner.

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