Living in Venezuela: The Unpleasant Part of the story

My beloved Venezuela… How can this country, that have taught me so much and shown me so much love, be so incredible messed up? How is it possible to have the experiences of a lifetime in a country that is slowly falling apart? My heart aches for you Venezuela because your people deserve better. Without taking political sides, this is what I see. Do not misunderstand. I truly love the Venezuelan culture and its people, but despite the wonderful experiences and new long-lasting friendships… living in Venezuela is exhausting! This is an attempt to explain (from a neutral point of view) to non-Venezuelans what is happening in this country right now.

In an attempt of describing the situation in a balance between ignorance and being paranoid I have to say: I do not feel safe in Venezuela. This does not mean I am inside my house all the time. I am just being honest. The feeling of insecurity is not based on stories from the news; it is based on the fact that my friends have been robbed in so many different parts of the city at any hour of the day. When I walk outside, or when I take the bus or even when I take a taxi, I am always alert. I know who is behind me at all times and constantly taking precautions no matter what I am doing. The insecurity is definitely the hardest thing to deal with living here.

Despite the fact that I am enjoying a new culture, I have to admit that I am starting to feel exhausted because I always have to be careful. There are few moments when safety is not part of my thoughts. I can only imagine how it must feel to live here permanently. Reading this you might wonder why on earth I am still here? Sometimes I ask myself the same question and always come to the same conclusion: Venezuela is teaching me who I am, but in the big picture that does not matter at all. The real question is: what is Venezuela teaching its people?

The food stores lack the basic groceries like toilet paper, milk, butter, oil, flower, soap and the list goes on. This forces people to get in line whenever a store receives these products. The stores puts restrictions on how many products one person can buy. This consequently makes entire families go to the supermarket during work and school hours in order to get food on the table. I have not been in the supermarket the last two months because every time I am there the line continues around the building. Sometimes I long back to Norway where there is a grocery store in every corner and we complain about a 10 minutes line. In the beginning I laughed about these things finding them so ridiculous, following the Venezuelan humor laughing about everything. Now it has come to a point where I realize how extremely exhausted people must be from making these lines. In Oslo I see people making lines for the new H&M collection, in Venezuela people are making lines for basic food products.

I will not call myself an economist. That would be a straight up lie. Nevertheless I am sure that the economy in Venezuela is going downhill. When I came here four months ago I bought a meal for 40Bs. Today the same meal costs 80Bs. I would be on thin ice trying to explain this with economical terms and analyses, but 100 per cent increase in prices over a four month period makes warning signs pop up in my head. In terms of salaries I know they have not been raised by 100 per cent the last four months. What does this mean for Venezuelans? It means they cannot afford the same things anymore. It also means working more, but not working more because they are saving for a vacation. Rather, they are working more in order to have food on the table. The obvious question is of course: why is this happening?

This is when it becomes tricky leaving politics out of the story, but I will try. When I came here I knew about a “black market” for selling dollars. This means selling dollars to private people instead of changing dollars through the official system. I thought this seemed very dangerous and criminal, but I quickly understood that using the “black market” is as common as eating an empanada for breakfast. The first dollar I sold was at the rate of 40Bs per $1. In comparison to the official rate around 6Bs per $1 (at that time), this was good business for a foreigner. The reason for the black market is that there are restrictions on the dollar. It took me quite some time to understand this because I had never heard of anything like that before in my life.

Venezuelans, no matter how rich they are, cannot get more than a certain amount a dollar per year for travelling. To get these dollars there are several requirements you have to fulfill (I will not get into these details). The point is that there are people who want more dollars than the amount that is allowed per year. This creates the black market where people can buy dollars unofficially. Another consequence of the black market is that imported products are extremely expensive and makes it almost impossible for the average Venezuelan to buy certain things. The black market also seems to determine the prices in general, but the salaries are not being regulated based on the black market. This is why things are getting more and more expensive for the Venezuelans.

A couple of weeks ago the official rate went from 6Bs to 11Bs per 1$.  As I said, I sold my first dollar for 40Bs. Today the black market rate is almost at 90Bs per 1$, so you can only imagine how the prices are increasing. It can be debated how this restriction of dollars limits Venezuelan’s freedom, but it definitely causes some serious effects on the lives of Venezuelans regardless if they want to travel or not. There are several issues in this country (that I have mysteriously become so fond of), but the last thing I want to talk about is how democracy seems to be taken away from the Venezuelans… little by little.

What made me realize that Venezuela is falling more and more into a non-democratic state is the previous four days of demonstrations. Protests are still going on and this is strictly about politics, which I determinately am trying to avoid. That is why I can only tell you my experience of what is currently happening in Venezuela.

Wednesday February 12th I was having lunch with my friends. We were talking about whether or not to take part in the student demonstrations that had already started. I asked what the demonstrations were about and was told several things. Among them was that it was only a student walk marking the “youth day”. Others told me it was meant to be student protests, but that people supporting the opposition decided to join the march against the government. Regardless of the intention of the demonstrations the fact was that people all over Venezuela were walking in the streets protesting against the government. My friends wanted to take part in this, but as I have promised my friends and family to take care of my self I decided I did not want to join the protests incase they got out of control.

On our way to a shopping mall (Paris) the march of people passed us in the street. It was peaceful and I was happy to see it because I had never experienced anything like it before. The crowd passed and we went into the mall. We had a good time at the café in the mall until we started to hear a lot of noise from the street outside. My friends went downstairs to see what was going on and when she came back she told us what was happening in the streets right outside. There were people running away from the demonstrations because they had turned violent, there were shootings and people were terrified and tried to escape into the mall. We went into the café where they closed the doors and we started looking for information through twitter.

I know Twitter tend to exaggerate events, but when you see photos of hurt and even dead young people at the same time as the streets outside is completely chaos, the heart starts beating a little faster than normal. Mostly I was scared because of the uncertainty, the unknown… what is going to happen now? And of course I was scared for my friends who I knew were in the middle of everything. We had to stay in the mall for some time until the streets had calmed down and we could take the other way out and go home.

At home we started to look for news on the events happening all over the country. This is where I realized how bad the democratic situation is here in Venezuela. All news had to be found through the social media. There was no media coverage of the situation on any TV channel or radio station. Some international web pages and channels even got shut down. This extreme censorship shocked me because I did not think the freedom of press was so restrained.

The last four days have been something I have never experienced before and I have to admit: I am scared. Mostly I am scared of not knowing what will happen the next days, but I am also scared of how Venezuela is slowly loosing its democratic features. Young people in Venezuela want international media attention regarding the situation in the country. Not only about the last couple of days, but also about how the everyday life of Venezuelans has become.

So, how is it living in Venezuela? Personally I have to say living here has taught me more than any university can ever teach me, but this time it is not about me. Because the point is: I can leave. I can go home and continue my life in a very comfortable way. Can I say the same for my Venezuelan friends? Honestly… I am terrified of the situation of the country. I can only hope the wonderful young people of Venezuela, my dear friends, that you will find a solution for the future because if you all leave…what will be left of this beautiful country?


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104 Responses to Living in Venezuela: The Unpleasant Part of the story

  1. Evelyn says:

    Hi Martine… it s totally right. Your explanation is exactly what is happening here. And …yes we are exhausted of everything here. Thats why many people now are living in diferents countries. Its sad and I have no idea what it will happen with us. Take care and thanks for your post.

  2. Melanie says:

    I knew it was only a matter of time before a post like this happened. My honeymoon in Venezuela ended after a few months too. I’m an American and have lived in Caracas over a year. I encourage you to look up the blog caracas chronicles. You will learn a lot there. Good luck and god bless. I too love Venezuela and the friends I have here… I’ve started having nightmares because every night I go to sleep listening to gunshots and explosions in chacao. My heart is broken for Venezuela. Tomorrow I plan to march and support the students… Be safe girl. Good luck.

  3. lycettescott says:

    Thank you! I wrote a really long comment and it got lost. However, thank you for saying what is happening, please take care of yourself.

    You made me cry

  4. Emily says:

    Everything you wrote is true and terribly terribly sad … but your last paragraph really made me cry. I can only say thank you for continuing here.

  5. Hanoi Reyes says:

    Thank you so much for be brave and tell the other part of the history. You are right about everything and Venezuelans are tired, it is impossible to be productive, to work, to study with this situation. I am from Venezuela but we are not there any more, we moved to USA 5 years ago. I had the opportunity but the rest of my family is there and I am worry, when the phone ring and the call is from Venezuela I always hope for good news.

  6. lycettescott says:

    I have to say that you made me remember the reasons why I move to the UK in September. I have been here thinking and thinking, I can not do anything, I don’t wanna go back, but I don’t wanna turn my back on my country.
    At the same time, I changed my career and I’m desperated trying to find a job placement that allows me to stay here.

    Is a shame that you discovered that Venezuela can be a heaven as much as it can be a hell.

  7. Veronica says:

    Martine your words reach deeply, how come a foreigner can love Venezuela more than some Venezuelans?… I wish many of them could only imagine what could be our country with all our resources well used, our quality of life enviable. I write this from Madrid but my heart is there, broken and hoping we wake up from this nightmare. We deserve a better country and a better life, many brave people are fighting there for that, we who live outside are now a bridge of information with the censorship, I never thought this could happen.

    Thanks for your heartfelt words and please stay safe from all of this.

    • How come she can love Venezuela more than Venezuelans? Well the answer ain’t easy, but I would start by saying that she just got here. Most Venezuelans have been living in that chaos for years. Also, she has the comfort of knowing that there’s a decent country for her to go back to.

    • Jeanmiguel says:

      Please! help the cause signing this petition and spreading with your friends! The world must condemn our situation!

  8. CFrick says:

    Reblogged this on Frick Out! and commented:
    Account of a Norwegian student of the current events in #Venezuela. Worth a good read

  9. Gracias por tus palabras, espero seas un medio para que se conozca más allá de nuestras fronteras y que tu pueblo y gobierno, hagan votos por la democracia en Venezuela.

  10. First of all I’ve been reading your posts quite a long ago and I know that political topic will show up.. It’s impossible not to. THANK YOU for being so inloved of my country as I am, THANK YOU for stay beside the everyday danger and a BIG THANK for telling all the people in the world who read your words what’s happening here, international support is like a light of hope for us telling us that we’re not alone and if we die someone outside will hear about it.

    P.D.: I apologize for my terrible english hahaha hugs from Valencia! #PrayForVenezuela

  11. d1m1 says:

    It seems the bad side of my country has caught up with you, and I’m very sorry to read that you are going through all of this with us. Because of that, I thank you for staying here with us through all of this, even though -as you say- you could always go back home. Please be safe, be careful, and help us spread the word outside.

  12. ana maria says:

    Martine, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, I have copied and pasted your article on my FB’s page, (of course always mentioning your name) for your words are so punctual that they really served me right to explain all my foreign friends my “over night” change. I utterly have enjoyed all your previous posts and I remained delighted by the fact that a foreigner were to love my country that way. Once again, thank you and if you are still here, please do take good care of yourself or perhaps you better leave for harder days are coming! 🙂

  13. Martine, if I were you, I’d leave as soon as possible and get back sometime in the future once things have calmed down (if they ever do, which is what we all want).

  14. angelblade says:

    ¿Y puedes escribir en castellano o te da pena hablar el idioma?

    • vicente rivero says:

      La idea de ella al escribirlo en ingles es para que sea conocido en todo el mundo. El ingles tampoco es su idioma natal.

  15. Jose Duarte says:

    Its nice to see after all you went up you still have those fond fellings over Venezuela, most foreigners fall in love of the beautiful country indeed it is, then they smash with the bad part, and they left hating it, for venezuelans its a relationship of love and hate, and the current situation its an inflexion point of a manifestation of a accumulated feeling of that exhausting you talk about. I will keep an eye on your posts to learn of your experiences in Venezuela as your point of view.
    Be Safe, take care of yourself.
    Ps: Do not believe anyone who rides a motorcycle, Surely your friends teach you that previously

  16. Jeffry says:

    Dra hjem. Det er ikke flink aa bli der; du har mye aa gi men ikke i et sted som dette. Er du snill, reis deg hjem!

  17. Hi Martine, I prefer you can leave my country as soon as possible, for your safety. Also, I am very touched by your words, so, thank you with tears in my eyes, I expect, this message can reach several people out there for knowing, what is going on Venezuela. So many thanks and take care. Regards.

  18. Tim says:

    Dear Martine, my name is Tim, I am from Germany, and I made a similar exerience some weeks ago – even though I only touched the surface.
    Destiny made it happen that my first holiday after more than seven years took me to Venezuela right after Christmas. It was not the classical holiday trip – some friends made it happen. Friends from Caracas – people who turned out to be the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. I stayed in a flat near the Chacaito metro station, and although I’ve been there for less than three weeks, the experiences I made were absolutely mind blowing. My mind is still working on it, trying to get all the pieces together like a big puzzle. For now I can say: I fell in love. I fell in love with Venezuela and the Venezuelan people. Although it has been only three weeks – it have been three weeks that changed my life. It was supposed to be an adventure – at the end it was like you said: I learned more than any university can teach you.
    On the airport in Puerto Ordaz I met a guy from England working for the UN as a consultant to help to build up democratic governments in countries that are shaken by crisis – like Iraq and Afghanistan. He is married with a girl from Venezuela: “My kids are going to be half Venezuelan, that’s why I want this country to be in a good shape.” Then he said. “I have the impression that they set up a list how to rule this country in a successful way – for doing the total opposite while shooting in their own legs.” And gosh – this country has the potential to be on the top!
    Here in Germany you don’t hear or read anything about what is happening there right now. Some superficial brief news in the international feeds hidden somewhere on the foot-note-frames of the news websites. For me following the news from Venezuela on Twitter and through my friends cause a very tactile and present pain. On the one hand I still don’t understand everything – and I am thankful for your blog that helps me to put together two more pieces of the puzzle – on the other hand there is the need to do something. And the fact that I can’t do anything to help leaves a feeling of “numbness” behind.
    Now I am back in Germany, where things just work – almost as good as in Norway. I learned to appreciate a lot of the things that we take for naturally given. Such as my freedom to move wherever I want, whenever I want, however I want. And that we can buy toilet paper when we need it.
    I have seen the Paradise in Venezuela. But I’ve also felt the gate to hell. It’s a shame what a political system can do with its people. It fills me with deep sadness.

    Thank you very much for sharing!

    Take care,

  19. X3MBoy says:

    I have to say that i found your blog looking my TL about the situation in my country. Someone twitt this post, and i can’t count how many of my friends have leave the country looking for something better.

    It’s a really hard situation, but i read all other posts and i have to tell ypu, thanks for make my night happy. I laugh so much, because sometimes we forgot that things should work in a way and here doesn’t. I’m from Barquisimeto, and don’t dance salsa either, just a liitle of “casino” because my wife make to took lessons, and i tell you: eurpeans and americans don’t know how to dance 😉

    You can continue traveling through Venezuela, test the “teleferico” to the Avila is a funny way to make a ride to that magical place.

    I’m sorry that you have to live this hard time from my beautiful country, just try to enjoy the rest of your time here, probably (and hopefully if you asked me) you’ll live a political transition in Venezuela, but this don’t have to make your time here a hard time.

    Thanks for loving us so much, be careful and take care of yourself. If i can give you some advice, go back to Barquisimeto, here in Caracas (i live here know) won’t be an easy place to stay in next days.

    Eduard Lucena

  20. Manu says:

    Im so sorry you have to experience tha bad things we have been dealing from time to time during the last 15 years. I hope you stay safe, keep learning about us and falling in love with our beloved country and people because Im sure you will! And hopefully you will see how we regain a free and democratic country before you go back home !

  21. Juan Fuentes says:

    I admire your courage in a way you can’t imagine
    I really doubt I would still be here if I was in your shoes. I know for fact that even when I’m Venezuelan and love this country and my city Caracas, sometimes I just want to get out and never look back. But I still have the will to fight for the future of this country. Even more knowing there’s some random girl from Norway who could go back back but still feels like staying.

  22. worried guy (again) says:

    Oh dear Martine I knew all of this eventually will happen to you, I posted a previous comment about all the horrible crimes taking place here. I don’t know if you read it, I was trying to warn you. Now that you know how is to live here, when you go back to your country please spread the word aloud about this appaling situation, we need HELP to put and end to this HELL. Insecurity will likely swallow you up if you decide to stay here in the long-term. If you just don’t stay alert one moment, it can be your very last. I’m really glad you could make life-lasting friendships, but remember life is first so take the utmost care while staying here. I’m thankful God sent an kind-hearted angel from Norway to see what’s really going on here.

  23. Laura V. says:

    I know it’s long, but I will attempt (and hopefully succeed) to explain the black market, regulation of prices (with counter example of non regulated prices) and even the airlines situarion to you a bit better:

    You forgot to explain that because we only produce oil and we have to import everything else (food and medicine included). Importing means having to pay a company from another country to sell their product here, and you have to pay them in dollars (or a currency they can actually use). The black market does not run on people wanting some extra cash to travel (those are, in fact, the people who less dollars consume, both official rate and non official). Black market runs the way it does because the government also controls how much money companies can get to import products, and more often than not it is not enough to supply the demand.

    Before we go on, let me try to explain why imports are so, well, huge. On top of only producing oil for export and exchanging it for other imports, there is also price control for some of the basic needs products. If a milk carton costs $2 to produce, the milk company will charge the suppliers (supermarkets) $2.50 and the supermarket will round it up to $3 so they both have their earnings margin. The government decided that basic-necessity products (from the “cesta básica alimentaria” and some medicines) will have their prices regulated, so those products’ prices do not rise with inflation. So they decided to freeze the price of milk carton a few years ago at, say, $2.50. Because this price does not change with inflation, and the cost of production rises (for example, cows and carton become more expensive), now the real price of just producing that milk carton is $4…. but because the price is stuck at $2.50, the company can’t even cover production costs. That drove many companies out of business. Many of the companies that weren’t driven out of business were expropriated by the state so they are now in charge of said production. But even they can’t do magic… and because of their own regulations they can only produce the minimum required to keep the company open. So instead of producing, say, a thousand cartons of milk a day, they produce 100. That’s why there’s scarcity and that’s why imports are so important: we have to import whatever we can’t produce. and that is A LOT. And because of scarcity, a lot of people buy the regulated products (with the cheap price) in bulk, and then re-sell it for a lot more in the streets precisely because the product is so scarce and people are willing to pay a lot more to get it.

    On top of that, there’s the aforementioned inflation rate, which makes companies lose money, so they charge you EVEN MORE so they can watch their backs and don’t lose money and go out of business. Example (with a non regulated product): I have been living in Spain for a while. I remember a dress I liked I saw in Zara that costed €12, add the 30% export tax and the price comes to €16 aprox. With the exchange rate at the time, it should have cost between 200 bolivares (official price) and 320 bolivares (black market price). I saw the exact same dress in the exact same store in Venezuela. Can you imagine what the price tag was? +500 bolivares. Why is that? Because by the time companies sell that dress and have to use the earnings IN BOLIVARES to change it TO DOLLARS to import more things, the dollar is worth a lot more bolivares. So these prices are an estimation of how fast inflation will grow, and they are just trying to run ahead in the race.

    I am sure you have heard about the situation with Airlines, and that’s exactly it. Airlines sell their tickets in bolivares in Venezuela, and the government should exchange those bolivares into dollars because they are international companies and they make their earnings in dollars. It’s not like AirFrance can pay its pilots and flight attendants from, say, Paris, in bolivares (because of the exchange control, precisely); and they have very, very few direct employees working on Venezuela (so that means that they can’t even re-invest the bolivares in the country). What has happened is that the government has not paid its debt to the airlines. They have a fuck ton of bolivares and can’t do anything with them. On top of that, they HAVE to freeze their prices. That is, if I buy a ticket today and its worth Bs 10.000, by the time the government actually changes those bolivares into dollars (and by the time I get to use the ticket), the inflation might have made the price rise to Bs.20.000, and the airlines lose all that money, and they simply cannot charge the customer the difference. So what is happening right now is that the airlines have reduced their offer as much as possible, and the prices are anywhere between Bs.60.000 and Bs. 120.000, so they don’t lose any more money while the government makes a decision.

    Sorry it was so long. Hope it’s a bit clearer for you now!

    • Melanie says:

      Great reply!

    • Marcos says:

      Supongo que es una manera más de que la gente en el exterior sepa cómo es realmente la cosa aquí… Por cierto, soy un estudiante de Idiomas Modernos y me gustaría contactar contigo para averiguar qué sabes de programas de intercambios… (Don’t worry, I mean no harm to you) jajaja 😦 bueno, saludos y cuídate. Dios te guarde. Ánimos con tan buen blog.

    • Alexandra says:

      Excellent! I was just about to comment on the subject. The reality is a bit more complicated than the goverment makes it out to be, just restricting the way we can buy and use dollars instead of fixing the real problem… which they caused in the first place!

  24. Nele Van Melckebeke says:

    Dear Martine

    I’m from Belgium. A week ago, my Venezuelan husband and I were at the point of buying tickets to Venezuela. We haven’t been there since december 2010, and our little boy of 2,5 years hasn’t met his uncle, aunt and nephews yet.
    I recognize what you write about… I was an exchange student too, as the matter of fact in Barquisimeto, in this other turbulent year, 2002.
    We are still in doubts whether to travel or not to travel to Venezuela this year. Time will make us wiser.

    Take care of yourself, Nele

  25. I wanted to say thank you for taking the time and writing about what is going on. I am a Venezuelan that left the country many years back for many of the things you have mentioned in your essay.

    It is sad how things keep on deteriorating in a rich and beautiful country, it is sad to see so much violence and the lack of interest from so many people.

    Most Venezuelans that I knew have left, the ones that stayed want peace and are tired of this political eternal cycle of nothing, and now the few that wanted to try to help and stayed are looking for safety and migrating.

    Again Thank you,

  26. Israel Balza says:

    You brought tears to my eyes. This what you are experiencing is what I often warn foreigners when they first get here and plan to stay for a while, is the hate love story of Venezuela. This the passion that take us and thorn us apart thinking of leaving but wanting with all of our hearts to stay. This is my Venezuela, a beautiful and dangerous flower.
    Thanks for letting yourself be that voice.
    Sincerely, Israel

  27. Valentina says:

    Martine, I’m from Caracas and I just want to thank you for everything you write, I honestly wish more venezuelans would think like you. Thank you and please take care.

  28. Celioski says:

    Thank you once again for sharing your view. It’s most valuable as a foreigner in the country to know your experience. I feel glad that you are, regardless of the terrible situation, taking the best out of this for your personal growth. I know our country has made a friend forever in you and I can only hope one day we will get out of this and you will come back and visit and remember all the smiles we got out of you.

    Take care on these troubled days.

  29. Raúl says:

    Interesting post… It’s nice to get an outsiders view on the country for a change and I think you’re pretty much spot on.

  30. Jose says:

    Thank you very much for your heartfelt post

  31. Mejor explicado imposile!.
    .. Gracias por tus palabras!! Y que el mundo entero logre enteder lo que esta sucediendo en mi hermoso país!!

  32. Manuel says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your experiences in Venezuela, for loving our country and your concern for Venezuelans. I left my country 12 years ago, hoping to return one day. My family still lives there and everyday I worry about their safety. When someone asks me about Venezuela, I tell them about the mountains, beaches, people, food and many other things that make it such a great country, but sadly, I also find myself forced to deter them from visiting for their own safety. I hope these demonstrations bring a change for the better… Thank you, again. Stay safe.

  33. adriale says:

    I laughed HARD with your previous posts about the Venezuelan culture.
    This time your words made me cry… cry in sadness but also in hope and, mostly, thankfulness for the love and care that you express for this country (and its people).
    Although, there’s so many young people who wants to leave the country for many reasons (I don’t blame or judge them), there’s also many citizens that have decided to stay to fight and restore the peace in Venezuela… it’s a very long way to walk, but we’re working on it.
    Please, stay safe…

  34. Christian says:

    Hei Martine!

    Takk for at du tørr si ifra! Jeg er halvt venezuelansk og halvt norsk, oppvokst i vzla men jeg flyttet til Norge nå for 10 år siden når det begynte å bli klart at det ville gå nedover. Har du lyst til å prate eller lurer på noe, bare ta kontakt på epostadressa… Foreldrene mine bor fortsatt der, men i østen.

  35. OLESJA says:

    Hola Martine,

    Your post pretty much told my experience in Venezuela 10 years ago. Like you, I fell in love with this beautiful country and its people but unfortunately had to see and experience the kind of mess it’s in. Many of my friends have immigrated and the few that stayed have nowhere to go. There is no freedom, no security, no peace and it feels like you are living in a cage while the criminals are walking free outside. I pray that things will get better and Venezuela will become what it used to be. Stay safe.

  36. Paola Otero says:

    Thank you for writing about my country Martine. I have read and watch videos in facebook and twitter, but you certainly put tears in me eyes. When you say what would be left if we all leave, that’s exactly how I feel because I left, safe and guilty a t the same time.
    So far I didn’t share any information regarding Venezuela’s situation but this I will share.

    Thanks again and be carefull


  37. Diego Chávez Mogrovejo says:

    Thanx… thank u for loving my country, thank you for being worry for your venezuelans friends, thank you for helping spread the word. I’m sad you have to live in this Venezuela (not the one i grew up) but am happy you say what you say, the way you say it.
    Thank you once again! XOXO and S.O.S

  38. Jeanmiguel says:

    To help. To support. To spread this information to the International Community. Sign this petition and help the figth that venezuelan students get known by the world!

  39. Judith says:

    Thank you so much for this post – it is incredibely important for the student protesters that people from abroad show support, even more people that experience Venezuela themselves. I read so many comments from people outside of Venezuela demonizing the students when all they do is fight for a better life…I also enjoy your neutral look on the events in Venezuela. So please keep going. As you said yourself the social networks are the only reliable source and help people like me (from Germany) to put this puzzle of unclear information together.

  40. You’re feeling the exhilareting experience of socialism ruining a country… Fasten your seat belt. Next stop: Cuba.

  41. Mauricio Hernández says:

    Congratulations!… you are a courageous woman… it must not be easy for you to be here experiencing all of whats going on… your words have touched my heart with every story you have written… since the day you got here.

    I can’t even imagine how you must feel with everything that is going on since you come from a country so different. I once was an exchange student in the united states… it is a life changing experience… but im sure this reality has make you think different about life…

    Im proud of your words…. those words of love for the people you have met…

    You have shown us a lot with your words… this society can do so much better… and we can make difference in the world… Keep up the sharing… weather its good thought or bad thoughts about what you are living… i know a lot of Venezuelans reading this are learning a lot from you…

    Be safe!

    Mauricio Hernández

  42. Ramon says:

    I want to thank you for this post, thank you for write about what is happening in Venezuela from a foreign point of view… I just shared this post to my friends in other latitudes who are wondering what the hell is going on here…

    Thanks again for your support and love for our country

    Greetings from Maracay

  43. Dear Martine, Just keep spreading the word…

  44. lagunex says:

    Hola Martine.
    He disfrutado mucho leyendo tus posts. Los he leídos todos de una sentada. Encontré este a través de Facebook, pues he estado buscando información por todos lados sobre lo que ha pasado estos últimos días.
    Me encanta tu descripción de mi país, de nosotros y nuestras costumbres y me alegra que estés disfrutando tu vida allí. Yo soy de Maracaibo, aunque ha vivido gran parte de mi vida en Caracas y además tengo familia en Barquisimeto. Ahora vivo en Barcelona, España.
    Te animo a seguir escribiendo. Tienes un lector asegurado.
    Saludos y si alguna vez vienes a Barcelona y necesitas algo, avísame. Me encantaría conocerte y que conozcas a mi familia.

  45. Paúl says:

    Thanks a lot for posting this.
    Yo soy de Barquisimeto. La visión objetiva de alguien que no es venezolana puede ayudar a mucha gente de afuera a conocer lo que realmente pasa en este país. Este post de tu blog está corriendo por facebook. Gracias por escribirlo.

  46. lol, even you understand about selling dollars in blackmarket, imagine what it mean for us living here making money with almost no value at all,

    also, you should be a little worried about flying tickets, it is a new pain to travel outside, you should have a ticket just in case things will turn even more uglier

  47. Pingback: Protestas masivas en Venezuela - Page 472

  48. Iris says:

    I loved how you simplified the complicated our lives are so that anyone who lives ooutside can understand it. How lovely you love this country! Thank you for bearing so much and telling us about it! Please be careful! I think the worst is yet to come!

  49. Asdrubal Navas says:

    Hang in there…Venezuelan living in Poland and still “bleeding” from my country

  50. Tuva says:

    Så flink, sterk og tøff du er Martine! Bra du skriver om dette.

  51. Very good analysis of what is (sadly) going on.

  52. Is this the same kind of protests several years ago? How is it different? I would love to see you elaborate on that. A great read. Thanks for sharing.

  53. Maggie says:

    My heart aches for what is happening in Venezuela, and to see the lives of young people thrown to waste, when no international authorities or press is even covering these events, and until then there will be no resolution..
    Thanks for loving Venezuela, and for sharing your views about the situation.

  54. vikesfan47 says:

    I am American and married to a Venezuelan and have been there 10 times (maybe more) since 2005. My wife was held up at gunpoint last year and we said that’s it… no more visits. It hurts my soul to know that we cannot, in good conscience, go there with our 5 yr old. Watching from afar (and up close) the deterioration of the country is absolutely heartbreaking. Your account of daily life in Vzla is so fantastic and so sad at the same time…

  55. Susanaghm says:

    Dear Martine,
    I was intrigued by your post and took the time to read it because I wanted to truly hear an objective perspective of what is happening in Venezuela. All your observations and experiences seem like a true representation of what is happening there. I have experienced those frustrations and fears myself. However, I believe that as most of us at some point or another have been tricked into focusing on the tip of the iceberg, which is only the result and symptom of a bigger disease that has been affecting our country and that has grown to the point where it is hard to tell where or when it started. My heart truly aches for my country, I am sad to hear the multiple stories of crime, fear and desperation because of the lack of basis products. But my heart aches even deeper by the fact that nobody realizes how much we are part of the problem. Corruption, lack of integrity, a propensity to choose the easy and most profitable gain regardless of the way it affects others, and in general a self-deserving attitude abounds in the hearts and therefore in the actions of many of us. If I am to be objective I have to accept that we all carry on our shoulders as much of the fault as the solutions to many of the problems in Venezuela (leaders in power and the people that decide to follow or not follow these leaders). What I am trying to say is that every single problem that is facing the country could be different if each of us did what is right for our country. Let’s take the black market for example, which is a vicious cycle. The government, which I believe is composed of people with the same faults that I am talking about, applied currency control measures many years ago as an emergency measure due to the economic instability the country was facing at time (the result of more corruption), it was supposed to be a temporary measure and they were to figure out a way to keep dollars coming to the country and not just leaving it. However things were not fixed in a timely manner and the black market became popular as yet another way of taking advantage of regulations and the government’s lack of follow-through with punishment measures. Now here is how we make things worse, we took advantage of the currency control to benefit ourselves regardless of the harm that this did to our country. Companies, and people took the easy way to make money and instead of working and getting a reasonable margin of gain, they went for the way that profited them the most regardless of the consequences to others (they took dollars and instead of investing them in production, imports, etc., they “invested them” in the black market). As a result more restrictions came into place but again no follow up and no punishment for not following the regulations. Dollars keep flying out of the hands of people and government, (again there are as many people taking advantage of this in the government as in the private sector and then eventually just regular and ordinary people on the streets). So there is a problem, our reserves are running low, oil brings dollars but we are making sure that it all leaves and does not return, we complain about the regulations but we do nothing to fix the problem from which they originated, in fact we continue taking advantage of it and so we continue robbing our own mother country. It is a common thing to get dollars from the government and sell them in the black market, we continue bringing dollars that are supposed to come to our country but that never see our soil because they are sold into the black market. Buying or selling in the black market contributes to our misery and we are too short sighted to see it because we want immediate rewards regardless of the harm that it causes, and we are too quick to justify our motives. Believe it or not, I am not into politics, I am just a mom, a wife and a homemaker but I do know that it takes a lot of effort to recognize when we are part of the problem, but when we are humble and do so we are able to make changes that could change the rest of our lives and in this case of our country. No one can do everything (for good or for bad) but everyone can do something (for the best or for the worst). If we can start changing our ways, putting others first, (not cutting the lines in the stores, banks, etc., not benefiting from illegal gain, learning, respecting and following laws and regulations, being on time and giving the best we have in our jobs) what a different country we might have. How I yearn for a better government for our country, but most of all I yearn for better Venezuelans. I have not lost hope, but I know it will take tremendous power of will and a bigger heart for our country.

    • lcgbv says:

      Susana, coincido contigo en que la viveza criolla, derivada en corrupcion a todo nivel posible, nos ha hecho mucho danio, pero me parece que estas cayendo en la trampa del gobierno de querer culpar al mercado negro del desastre economico. La culpa no es del raspacupos. Ni siquiera del empresario de maletin que robo millones (y ambos merecen el castigo apropiado y proporcional a sus acciones, por supuesto que si). La culpa del desastre que vivimos es del gobierno que ha manejado la economia y el pais como una pulperia, sin control ni planificacion. Sirviendo a una agenda dictada de afuera que pretende (y se dice que ya ha logrado), controlarnos.

      Por favor, no caigan en el juego de la “guerra economica”. Es una cortina de humo y leyendo los comentarios que felicitan a Martine por su explicacion sobre el problema economico generado por los viajeros, me desespero, porque EL problema no son los raspacupos! Es propaganda del gobierno para tapar su propia incompetencia. Martine es extrajera, lleva en Vzla 4 o 5 piches meses, no tiene por que saber ni entender nada de esto, pero nosotros si deberiamos ser capaces de ver mas alla y NO lo estamos haciendo, estamos cayendo en la trampa de culpar al raspacupos por algo que si bien es parte del problema, es una parte INFIMA!!

      Y sabes que? Esto esto va un poco mas alla que la viveza criolla en su peor expresion, la corrupcion. Esto tiene que ver con la Libertad con Mayusculas. Porque tomas a un pueblo y le restringes la vida, y le quitas libertades, y es como una olla a presion que trata de soltar por donde puede. Esta forma (ilegal e incorrecta) de burlar al gobierno es una forma de buscar y expresar Libertad. Me jodes por aqui, pero te jodo por alla. No podemos salir a la calle porque nos matan. Nos deslomamos trabajando para que no nos alcance para nada y si nos alcanzara igual no lo conseguimos… entonces que? Viajamos precariamente para comprar fuera unas cuantas cositas (que capaz y nos quitan en el aeropuerto); y sacamos de ese ridiculamente bajo cupo lo mas posible en efectivo para intentar venderlo en el mercado paralelo y asi tener una ligeramente mejor calidad de vida… o para ahorrarlo, para el caso de tener que salir corriendo.

      Mis mejores deseos y POR FAVOR, no te dejes, NO NOS DEJEMOS ENGANIAR COMO PENDEJOS!! LA CULPA ES DE ELLOS!!!

  56. lcgbv says:

    Hi! I love your blog and I check frequently for new entries. I’m not in Venezuela anymore, and you have made me laugh and cry, and long even more for my country and my people.

    I think you are brave. In the current situation, it would be even insulting to write about anything else, but being a foreigner makes it difficult. You do have to be as neutral as possible. You had the choice to remain quiet, but you succeeded in voicing your vision and experiences in the most respectful way possible.

    I just need to point out that, even though you made it clear that you are not an economist (and neither am I), you simplified the hugely complicated economy issues by sort of putting the blame on travelers who buy some extra dollars in the black market. And that’s not only over simplifying an important issue, it’s leaving out THE issue. You did not judge, I’ll give you that, and even confessed a crime! (BTW, I suggest you edit that RIGHT AWAY- even though it is as common as an empanada for breakfast, it’s still a crime with serious penal consequences y la masa no esta pa’ bollo!!).

    Someone already explained the situation a bit further, but If you allow me, I think is important to add some things:

    Venezuela doesn’t have enough local production.

    Why? The government has KILLED the private industry with regulated prices, not giving them dollars to import the materials needed for local production; expropriating for political reasons a bunch of healthy medium-sized companies, and putting them on incompetent hands that drove them to bankruptcy; and passing laws that, in short, make operation unprofitable, and thus making companies close.

    If you don’t have enough production to cover your basic needs you need to import.

    But Venezuela doesn’t have enough dollars. Why?

    * Having killed the private industry, the main source of income in foreign currency (dollars), is the oil company, PDVSA, owned by the State.
    * The oil production (hence, the income), has decreased significantly, due to the poor management and operation of PDVSA.
    * Venezuela gives away oil to Cuba and other allied countries almost for free.
    * Venezuela borrowed A LOT of money from China and is paying them with oil (at a fixed price below market)
    * Corruption (and this is a HUGE issue with very ramifications, but it’s very political, so we’re leaving it at that).

    If you have to buy, but don’t have the money to do so, you have scarcity.

    I hope that readers who are not familiar with the situation in Venezuela read the comments, so they can get a slightly broader vision of the economy issues.

    Thank you very much for caring.
    Be safe.

    • OLESJA says:

      lcgbv, thank you for explaining the economic situation in Venezuela. I lived there for a year but never fully understood how it got there and why it was so difficult to fix. Ideally, if every citizen understood that avoiding shortcuts like bribing and supporting the black market collectively would make the situation better. But unfortunately, most people are not thinking that way. They are just in the survival mode trying to make ends meet. Moreover, the more restrictions the government puts up, the more people will look for loopholes and ways around. Not justifying anyone but rather speaking from my experience.

      • lcgbv says:

        Hi Olesja. I just want to make sure that you and everyone else reading this understands something.

        The government wants its own people and the rest of the world to believe that the black market is to blame for the economic disaster, because the general perception is that the black market is mostly used by the opposition. So the government kills two birds with one stone: discredits the opposition and avoids taking responsibility for the situation.

        That perception is fallacious, because most of the dollars in the black market come from chavistas who use their influences and connections to get dollars at the legal rate, and then sell them at the black market.

        The black market is the twin brother of the exchange control. They were born together in 2002. But it has become a REAL problem in the last year and a half, because the government is not getting enough dollars from PDVSA (see original post), so it doesn’t give dollars to the companies or individuals that require them (unless they have the right connections, of course…). But these companies HAVE to honor their responsibilities, so they turn to the black market. And like any other market, it’s regulated by offer and demand: few dollars + high demand = High prices. Part of the market are regular people buying/selling the dollars for they own private reasons, but the volume of those transactions is not really relevant to economy of a Country!!

        It saddens me to see that the government not only succeeded in selling the “Blame it on the black market” propaganda to their own accolades. It sold it to everyone!!! And even though the black market is part of the problem, it’s not the biggest, nor the most important part. The economy is as damaged as it is because for 15 years the government has been managing the country and the economy irresponsibly and incompetently.

        So much for trying to stay out of politics….

  57. Dear Martine,
    Welcome to Venezuelan reality!
    This regime started limiting our democracy from its very beginning, 15 years ago, and it has been an exhausting task to survive fighting for our rights all along. No foreign soul believed us when we claimed we were on the way to a tyrannical dictatorship, because the Venezuelan government had spent millions of dollars in propaganda and bribery of consciousness, selling a virtual reality of an ideal country that had never existed. And, of course, no nation in the world would ever have risked the huge profits offered by Venezuela, so they just became blind and decided to ignore us, the citizens, and our legitimate complaints.
    For the first time so far, social media have helped us spread the facts and events as they are taking place, without the interference of any possible interpretation influenced by particular interests, and that is why in this occasion the world is listening to us, the Venezuelan people, instead of getting just the official version of what is going on in our country. That is encouraging our students and all of us to go on with our protests.
    Unfortunately, we do not have any guarantee of success, and we are aware this process of recovering of our democratic institutions could take some time and many lives.
    Thank you for your support. Take care, my child.

  58. Richard Davies says:

    Dear friends concerned about Venezuela.
    I am British and have lived in Mexico for a good part of 20 yrs now. I have always had this overpowering desire to travel to Venezuela since childhood. I have made many Venezuelan friends here in Mexico and they are truly my best friends. I saddens me so much to see them suffering and so sad everyday when they are so concerned with their loved ones and family back in their homeland. There are so many stories my friends have told me about when and how this decline in social liberty started. It must be very very heartbreaking to see your once beautiful and open country go down the drain so quickly. I couldn’t imagine what it must feel like to see from afar and even worse to live it. We, foreigners sometimes take so much for granted and it is so heartwarming to see so many that are genuinely very worried for the Venezuelan people. I sincerely hope and pray that one day Venezuela will be at peace and that the people can get back their beautiful personality and smiles again. We are praying for you all. UNITED FOR VENEZUELA:

  59. Pingback: Living in Venezuela: The Unpleasant Part of the story | elianneferrer

  60. javo1190 says:

    Reblogged this on The Digital Pulp and commented:
    An interesting inside story by a Norwegian girl of the current political situation of Venezuela.

  61. paul says:

    There are many people who support the true people and wish them a safe life.

  62. Mariana Bialek says:

    Venezuela has been destroyed by these rulers for the past 15 years. Every aspect of this nation has been destroyed with the years, economically, democracy, freedom especially, human rights have gotten lost throughout the way. Now we face these situations in which people like you, or like any Venezuelan has to live, they live with fear, not knowing if they are going to get robbed, or if they are going to be able to afford food to bring anything to the table. This is horrible, actions have to be taken upon these horrible acts against democracy and humanity. I hope that the sacrifices made by students and innocent civilians are valued and taken into consideration, in the end these people are the generation that has to make a change before this gets worst, people leave their nation, people die, but the essence of Venezuela or the Latin American culture, is pretty much lost. Unfortunately, this is a tendency that is spreading throughout Latin America, it sounds like the future of Argentina, country which has already started following Venezuela’s steps with the dollar situation, the black market, the limit of dollars you can buy, and how much explanation you have to give before going on vacations, or taking money outside of the country, the crazy taxes people are charged upon. Argentina’s insecurity is about to reach Venezuela’s, both of these countries have always been the top of the top in Latin America, always with so much potential, until these presidents came and decided to ruin everything that has been done throughout the years. For this, people like you or like me have to face their fears, face insecurity, risking their lives to finally be heard. This is chaos, its insane how these presidents can still think they are doing the right thing when their people are dying or leaving due to these conditions.

  63. ana isabel says:

    Thank you for being a voice for my country, I am venezuelan and is really depressing how the people from other countries think that Chavez and its revolution are the best. It is important to spread the real facts, it is important for Venezuela but is also important for other countries to show them that is vital lo elect good people be in the government

  64. Daniel says:

    This is a Swedish girl who also is trying to understand to situation with the students in Venezuelaa:

  65. I have always said that Venezuela is like a beautiful woman in an abusive relationship. The beauty of Venezuela is breath taking, the amount of natural resources is unbelievable yet the benefits of this wealth is only shared with the few. When I lived in Venezuela Rafael Caldera was in power, it was 1998. At first I lived in El Limon, Maracay then moved to Merida in the mountains of Los Andes. I totally fell in love with Merida and discovered that Venezuela and it’s wonderful people are just like me and my people, the Irish. Just like the Irish, Venezuelans love to joke around and don’t take anything too seriously. Family and friends are very important and and preserving culture and tradition is very evident as they are a proud people…just like the Irish. I was embraced by everyone I encountered and I could not get enough of the energy of Venezuela. I embraced the Venezuelan culture so much so, that I learned how to speak Spanish (with Venezuelan accent) and hung out with my chamos y mis mejores panas (my best friends) eating empanadas, caraotas y carne mechada. This red headed Irishman had become Venezuelan. Mind you, the fact that my beautiful, exotic, Wife is Venezuelan, helped. I walked the streets of Maracay and Merida without any fear, in fact, people were intrigued to hear a white, red headed, Irishman speak Spanish with a Venezuelan accent. In 1999, there was a wave of hope spreading across Venezuela. This hope was Chavez. The energy was electrifying. You could feel the sense of hope in the air and that things would change for the better. In 2000 my Wife, Son and I moved back to Canada where we had met and where our Son was born. It breaks my heart to see how Venezuela has fallen apart over the years, all because of one Man’s ideology. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” and it’s the People who suffer. But the People can only suffer for so long until they become tired. I think Venezuela had reached this point and now its time for the People to take back THEIR country. People of Venezuela…you have my love and support. Dios bendiga a Venezuela.

  66. Migadmin says:

    Nicely written. I’ve been visiting Venezuela since 1996. I was there the day Chavez won the election in 1998. Although its been a few years since I’ve been there i do have friends there that i routinely hear from. A lot of what you say about the people and the country I find very familiar as I’ve experienced much the same so I recognize what you say as truth that is not exaggerated or twisted by purpose. I will be sharing this blog with venezolanos I know, extranjeros like me who love the place and with those in my country of Canada whose impressions of Venezuela are based on the inaccurate stories published by our media.

  67. Xioli Lara says:

    I’m totally agree, my country is a mess. In my opinion, this social decomposition began many years ago and I think is reaching its end to start another cycle, based on the same causes. The main reason for this is the lack of love of its inhabitants, joined to the ignorance of the majority (those that give votes) and the lust of power of many others, which take advantages and manipulate popular masses in order to achieve theirs goals that a nation, rich in petroleum and natural resources, can provide.

  68. Venisse Carolina says:

    Hi Martine!!

    I love reading your blog! Last year i when with my best friend to Oslo and i was so funny how we try to bring some “venezuelan spirit” to the norwegians; we carry some bottles of rhum (Santa Teresa, of course), we try to make friends of everyone (and we did!!) and we dance… a lot!!

    Thank you for explaining to the world how is Venezuela and for your nice words about us.

    One thing i want to tell you is that you wrote that you sold dollars one time. Selling dollars it’s a crime, it’s actually punishable by law and i know everybody does it but your blog is quite famous here, let’s try to avoid a bad experience in this country so you can continue eating empanadas and arepas 🙂

    If you ever come to Caracas, you have to write me!! My best friend and I always talk about our trip to Oslo and it will be so fun to share it with you!!

    Take Care!

  69. jose says:

    Es el primero de tu post que no me da risa pero sigue siendo totalmente cierto al igual que los otros… me da pena en lo que se convierte mi pais es el pais que amo y el unico que tengo de verdad no me quiero ir… disculpa por lo que tuviste que pasar…

  70. Xavier says:

    This is exactly why i left Venezuela in 2010, after having lived here for 2 years. I came back to France, but i kept in touch with my friends; some of them moved in France or Germany. I am absolutly AMAZED that the medias almost don’t talk about what is happening now in Venezuela. All is about Ukrenia.

  71. Tina says:

    I love Venezuela and the people there. I sincerely hope the people on both sides of disagreement have enough love for the country and enough common sense to avoid violence at any cost, because when there is violence nobody wins, everybody is a looser. If you look at the history of humanity, you will see that revolutions are nothing but a replacement of elites(all vultures, and the new bunch is hungrier than the old one) and the countries and people are never better off as a result, but always worse off + lots of blood. God bless Venezuela and Venezolanos with love, peace and prosperity!

  72. Maria says:

    I love your post, made me cry a lot! I am a Venezuelan living in USA. I love your positivism and appreciation for Venezuelan people. I am scared too and truly sad for all that’s going on. Keep writing and I’ll keep regarding. Wish you the best!

  73. jorge garreton says:

    I lived in Caracas from 1977 to 1993… from what I learned in 1973 here in chile……there are still lots of more deaths to come and the pauperization of the society..and then …the military coup …end of the game…sooner or later but still a well announced the meantime..keepon in the rows to buy all kind of stuff..

  74. Silvana says:

    I don’t know you but I feel just like you do. I left Venezuela when I was 7 and in England now for over 25 years. I love England and feel very lucky to be here as it has given me my freedom, my education, my wonderful husband and amazing children and with all that I have security, for me and more importantly for my children and their future. But my heart and my home is my country, where my cousins, aunts and uncles are, and that is Venezuela. Seeing and hearing the news, the comments and pictures makes me so sad an so nervous for my family. I wish I could take them all out of there and bring them here! How can life be made so different for so many people because of the actions of one man. I longed too to take my children back and to show them how weekends are meant to be about spending days on the beach with your cousins, how shopping isn’t shopping unless you go to the big mall, have Oreo ice creams in the sun and then home to arepas again, how a party isn’t a party unless you’ve dance all night and your feet hurt at the end of the night. I longed for them to know and love every member of their wonderful venezuelan family and feel venezuelan in their hearts too. But the reality is that I’m too frightened to take them there and that makes shiver and cry every time I think of that. I feel guilty that I am here safe and secure and that my family are struggling and fighting for a basic right.
    I don’t normally write emotional posts but I felt like it was me too. It’s made me realise how many others like me there must be out there. Maybe by writing a little it will make a little difference. Whether its to gain support, give strength or at least show Venezuela that we love her.

    • Maria says:

      Silvana, I relate to you, your feelings and emotions. Thanks for writing this. It is very saddening that no one knows Venezuela as we do. It is sad that those are memories and we cannot replicate them or show them to the ones we love. It is basically all gone. Breaks my heart seeing all the streets where I grew up and used to run errands with my mom, streets where there was so much love and specially HAPPINESS at one point. And now it’s sorrow and looks like a battlefield. I’ve been sharing lots of news via FB and Twitter. I feel like this is the least I could do.
      Thanks for your post & stay strong!

  75. Jerry duke says:

    Living in Venezuela changed my life. Lovely, loving people. Absolutely beautiful country. Keep up the fight, your country is worth it!

  76. Please check my video dedication to Venezuela on YouTube. I also composed the music. Enjoy!

  77. jose says:

    greetings from punto fijo!!!

  78. Thank you, Martine… You’re so special, it’s incredible how you can make us laugh and cry through your posts and remember us we have this amazing country. My heart broke while reading this post, specially the last lines: “I can only hope the wonderful young people of Venezuela, my dear friends, that you will find a solution for the future because if you all leave…what will be left of this beautiful country?” Yes, you’re right. We have to find a way… We have to work for a better future. Thank you. I hope you’re okay.

  79. Mauricio says:

    Tack Martine!

    Har läst dej flera gånger nu och gillar ditt sätt att skriva.

    Gillar mest att se mitt land genom dina beskrivningar.



  80. charliemays says:

    “if you all leave…what will be left of this beautiful country?”… this is exactly how I feel when some friend talks about leaving :o(

  81. Daniel Custodio says:

    Thanks for writing about Venezuela with such an unbiased point of view, I will send your articles to my friends on other countries to explain what is occurring here. May God really bless you

  82. Pingback: Venezuela’s Steel Workers and Electricians Want Better | shitsunknown

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