They were shooting at my home…it was time to leave!

I am back in Norway trying hard to understand how things could go so terrible wrong. Since my last post the situation in Venezuela kept getting worse every day. It was after the National Guard had been shooting and throwing gas bombs at my residence I made the decision to leave the country.

As I try to write about what happened (and is still happening) I cannot keep the tears away, I am heartbroken. I have learned to love Venezuela, even with its obvious flaws. I have met people who have touched my heart in ways i cannot describe. I have left a country and it’s people who are desperately fighting for their freedom, democracy and a better future, but at what cost?

Innocent people are being killed, hurt and taken to prison where they are treated with violence and torture. Why? Because they using their right to demonstrate against a government who fails to provide its people with basic needs like food, work and security. The military who has sworn to protect its people are the ones killing and hurting them. This is something I personally got to experience.

The last two weeks in Venezuela was a nightmare I thought I would never experience in my life. Because demonstrations were getting violent l I was advised to stay indoor as much as possible, so I did. Basically trapped inside all I could do was checking Twitter and Facebook for information, all other media was being blocked by the Government. The demonstrations passed my house everyday, people in the apartments were making noise with casseroles as support and cars honking constantly. I tried to take some breaks from the social media and spend time with friends, but the constant noises made it impossible to forget that injustice and crime were happening right outside.

After a little less then a week spent mostly indoors the situation went from bad to horrible. The arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez had made hundreds of thousands take to the street and by night the demonstrations went violent. The following day major roads were blocked by the protesters and it became extremely hard to move around the city. The government answered with more violence, not only in the streets. The National Guard started attacking private residences with shots and gas bombs as well as entering apartments arresting for students.

It was then I decided it was time to go back. It was not an easy decision to make and the following night was spent in tears, heartbroken by the thought of leaving my friends behind in this mess. I could not help but feel guilty for leaving, but when the National Guard started shooting at my house the following day I knew I had made the right decision. We received texts from friends telling us the situation were even worse in other places in the country and in San Cristobal they had even taken their internet, the only way of getting information.

As the shooting continued outside we got news that the National Guard were entering buildings looking for students. We locked the door and hid in the bedroom. A friend was telling me how to use vinegar if the gas came into the apartment and how to make clean water. I started to panic, was this really happening? How can a government make its people live in fear of their lives without having done anything wrong? I realized that Venezuela is in more trouble than I first thought. Being a foreigner I had the opportunity to leave this nightmare, an opportunity most Venezuelans don’t have. They are left in an everyday life where they have no idea what will happen tomorrow. Uncertainty is a horrible feeling and living this day by day is extremely exhausting.

I packed my things and moved to a safer place until my departure. This was not an easy task as most roads were blocked, but we managed to convince a taxi driver to take us. The last days I tried my best to create some good memories with my friends. This is not easy as the world was falling apart not just in front of us, but on us. We said goodbye on my 25th birthday and I left Venezuela with an endless stream of tears.

I will continue to write about Venezuela. The media is not covering these events enough and it is more important than ever that the people of the world spread the news about what is happening in Venezuela. Be a voice for Venezuela and let everyone know that Venezuelans are fighting for its freedom!!!

P.S: Venezuela: I will be back. You have my heart.

 

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116 Responses to They were shooting at my home…it was time to leave!

  1. Maggie says:

    Thank you for being a voice for Venezuela!!!!! May God bless you, and protect Venezuela.
    I am sorry you had to suffer all these… As I read your blog I am in tears, feeling frustrated about the situation and not being able to do anything.

  2. Judith says:

    Oh dear, I’m so sorry for you 😦 I feel horrible here in Germany, too, when my boyfriend is trapped in Barquisimeto and there is not much I can do. He is desperately looking for ways to leave at least temporarily – like so many others – right now but there are so many obstacles Venezuelans without EU nationality have to overcome, it’s simply frustrating.

  3. lycettescott says:

    Dear Marttine,

    Don’t feel guilty, you did what you have to do. Thank you for your support and for getting to love our country. Nobody is sleeping, I have friends who are still living in Venezuela that said “all I can hear is shots and screams” and for those like me who left, we are all the time in social media and trying to have constant communication with our friends and relatives over there.

    If you and your friends need to have information, there is a team of people living in Vzla and abroad (including myself) verifying information and publishing it at twitter. The idea is to try to fight the censorship, the account is @infoConfirmada

    Anyway, you made me cry again. Is a shame that you got to know that sad Venezuela, that bizarre place that it has become, the “Venezuela de nuestros amores”.

    Hugs for you… glad to know that you’re safe now.

  4. willcastillo says:

    Muchas gracias por todo Martine… Por escribir, por querer conocer a Venezuela, por haberla conocido y por haberte enamorado de ella.

    Te fuiste de Venezuela, pero Venezuela no se ira de ti. Ya veras…

    • Ana says:

      Que bonitas palabras Will… la verdad que Venezuela mas que un país es un sentimiento. No he podido irme, porque sencillamente siento que si lo hago dejaré mi país en manos de delincuentes chupasangres, y así como yo se que hay muchos y lograremos emancipar Venezuela de esta tiranía, para que puedan volver quienes se han ido y para los que aqui seguimos tengamos el futuro que merecemos en una tierra como esta. Bendiciones!

  5. Hanoi Reyes says:

    My family and I were thinking on you and hoping you were OK, the situation have been very dificult but at least as Venezuelans we can manage it in a better way. God bless you… We appreciate your help to show the world what is really happening in our country… We as Venezuelan feel alone, all the Latin-american countries only want to receive their free oil barrels and don´t care about our people. I am leaving in USA but my family is there, this have been a terrible month… Being out of the country, feeling bad for not been there to help my people… My son is only 12 and developed this video during the weekend about the Venezuelan situation. http://youtu.be/0kRfzcru9fs
    He is worry that here the news only talk about Ucrania, we know that is a difficult problem also but Venezuela is more near…. The world believe all the lies that Chavez an Maduro have told during the last 15 years… I shared your post….. Thank you so much for your support

  6. Dear Martine,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You have been very brave and I am glad that you are safe now. I encourage you to continue to tell the world about what is happening in Venezuela. You might also consider writing to your representatives in the Norwegian Parliament, to ask them to pressure the government of Nicolás Maduro into respecting human rights. The world must raise its voice to condemn what is happening in Venezuela.
    ¡Un abrazo!

  7. ThaisGomez says:

    I’m so happy and relieve that you are ok, I was wondering how were you going with all this situation. One thing you could do is participate in the demonstrations Venezuelans are having around the world. Here in Adelaide we are constantly doing activities to inform what is going on in Venezuela. It might not be much but at least is something. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. Abdón Morales says:

    Se que es una tarea más difícil que escribir un blog sobre las noticias que te llegarán desde Venezuela, pero te pido que te dirijas al legislativo o al ejecutivo del país para que puedas contar tu experiencia y pidas sus buenos oficios para tratar diplomáticamente lo que sucede en Venezuela.

    No creo que esto pueda resolver nada, pero hay que crear consciencia de lo que sucede acá. Mis mejores deseos para ti y espero que pronto puedas volver a una mejor Venezuela.

  9. Rafael Verde says:

    I am glad you had the chance to get out. I am sure it was a great experience, one that you will never forget. I was born in Barquisimeto, I do not live there now (left in 1989), and as for many of us, it is heart breaking to see what is happening.

    My brother in law is an american, and I forwarded him one of your blog as it seems that you were describing my family.

    I am now an US citizen and had the opportunity to live in Argentina (3 years) and Mexico (2years). Now, I am back in the USA. When I did my MBA; I spent time in Grenoble, France and Geneva, SW; I never vision Venezuela becoming a developed country, but when I compared them with Argentina and Mexico, it is sad to realize that we live in worst condition that them. I am not talking about the Super rich and the extreme poor; I am talking about a hard working couple holding professional jobs. Access to capital is near impossible in Venezuela, although it is not easy in Mexico or Argentina when compared with developed countries, it is easier than Venezuela.

    Whether is communism (China), Socialism or capitalism, our main issue is that the institutions of the country do not work independently. For the best of the country. Chavez, I am sure coached by the Castro made sure to make all the institutions dependent of his political party that now, they controlled them.

    I heard Maduro in CNN and he tried to convinced the reporter that the USA has problems too. We all have problems, otherwise, it means that we will not focus in continuous improvements, but to try to compare that the problems in Venezuela are the same than the USA, It is such a difference that no one in Venezuela can understand it.

    He kept saying that education is Free in Venezuela and it is very costly in the usa. Believe me, I wish education would be free here, my oldest daughter is going to NYU and feel free to checked the tuition there, it is not FREE, but we are proud to work hard and give her such an education and make us feel really good, that not everybody gets to go there. Only the once the school choose and then the ones that can afford.

    Venezuela is a beautiful country, and as Barquisimetano, I do think we have the best people, the best food, the best dancing and the best places. My parents taught me that way and I teach my kids that way. Although I think there are beautiful places, when you see other places, you realize the beauty all around the world.

    Hopefully, you can continue your internship in another South American country; it is a great culture and has a lot to teach to someone like you. it will enrich your background.

    My best sincere wishes, it was a pleasure reading your blogs.

  10. Hi Martine
    Glad to know that that you back in Norway. Its a shame that you lived that terrible situation in my Country.I left Venezuela 20 years ago and it was another Venezuela.I suffer everyday because my parents and sister still there feeling so sad for all that terrible situation..it’s simply frustrating.
    You were very brave !!Thank you so much for your support

  11. I´m so deeply sadly worry. This is what we live now. Hope to end well soon. Thank you so much for spread the world and for the love you shared here.

  12. Jose de pool says:

    Hi Martine
    I’m glad you are okay. I live in Maracaibo and things here are not as bad as the other states, but there’s still violence in the street. Just last night the killed a student not far from where I live.
    What I don’t understand is, how did you leave? As far as I know, the airlines are not selling tickets to Europe from Venezuela.
    Thank you for believing in Venezuela. It is indeed a beautiful country.

  13. Thanks for sharing, I am so sad that you had to live through that in my country. God bless you.

  14. Three months ago i told you to leave and run for your life. I was not joking, i was dead serious.

    And you deleted my comment.

    I´m glad you left unharmed, and sorely sorry for what you had to endure here. You came to this country just in it´s worst – ever – .

    Good luck and thanks for your insight 🙂

  15. chaspy says:

    Martine thanks for everything, the classes you gave us were really interesting, we loved talking with you, it gave us a break from class and politics, hearing a foreign talking about Venezuela with such innocence and happiness gave us a big smile! We grew up with the situation getting worse and worse each day, we got used to many bad things but also learnt to laugh about them, sometimes we forgot the fact that we lived in such a wonderful country.
    Now that our happiness is being perturbed we want to get the happy times back, but we are aware that we’ll never reach real happiness until we stop caring about when something will arrive to the super market or about when will someone take my live or the live of my loved ones, we endured difficult times with a little parties, talking to friends or watching tv, we were suffocated with inefficient politics so we looked away from them.
    Venezuela woke up from a dream, they accumulated more sadness and despair than they could hold, protest are the only thing left so we don’t feel useless, many venezuelans are ready to throw their lives away for this beautiful country, the mask with a smile we were always using broke, there’s no other way to achieve the happiness we seek for

    Martine thanks THANKS THANKS THANKS for being you, for being here with us, for traveling around Venezuela, for talking to our people, for caring so much about us, for spending your tears in our cause, you are a venezuelan and don’t let anybody tell you you are not. You were like a little puppy to us, scared by some things but completely amused by others, happy when people were good to you but lost when they stared at you like: what is she doing?, haha just like a little kid talking about her first time in a zoo, you described your experiences here in a way only someone who knows how a country should work can. You gave us a lot, don’t feel bad about leaving, don’t regret your decision, DON’T YOU DARE REGRET IT, be happy that you are safe, Venezuela is in construction and we’ll be waiting for you so don’t feel down, when you come back bring everyone you can! and show them the country you fell in love with

  16. Gustavo Ortega says:

    Thanks for write about Venezuela the people, the food, and all crazy things that make you smile.

    Be the voice of Venezuelans in Norway. I’m sure that all the Venezuelans that read your blog support you, don’t forget the good times that have you spend in Venezuela.

    Venezuela is allways open for any people, i hope you come back and live new and fantastic experiences

  17. Björn says:

    You wrote several times with such a happiness about us and now, see you describing lately all what is going on make me broke in tears…
    At least you saw all by yourself and can be a voice for us outside there.
    We need as much voices and help as possible…
    Hugs to you.

  18. Danny S says:

    I am grateful that you took the time to write this post. I’m glad you are doing well and thanks for your support.

  19. martis says:

    Thanks; thanks a lot for taking a moment to spread the word, and let the world knows. Thank you so much for your support Martine.

  20. Karen says:

    You made me cry.. thank you for loving my country. I hope you can return soon. You still need to know more than my lovely Venezuela!! Meanwhile, be our voice in Norway.

  21. María says:

    I totally understand you, I still live here and definitely this situation is not easy to live. Just to know, which part of the city did you live in?

  22. Hello Martine Retting my name is Maximiliano Ruocco and Im a Venezuelan born in Caracas currently living in Valencia… (This is my first comment)

    I want to/must thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul for this Blog… Thank you for every kind word and for every harsh word about Venezuela and its People

    I also want you to know that I feel bad for everything you had to experience this past few weeks and that I hope this turmoil ends soon for every Venezuelan and we go back to “normal” That normal “Mundo Loco” you fell in love with…

    Your friends are in my thoughts and prayers, as well as every fellow Venezuelan. Its so good to hear (read) that you got out in time and that you are safe because I thought that, because of the current situation, some international destinations were unreachable but Im glad that I was wrong…

    Again… Thank you so much for everything! And specially this lasts posts that shine a light in the media darkness that covers Venezuela… People compare help efforts with grains of sand, but for me what you have done means SO MUCH MORE than that…

    I will be reading you soon. I Hope… : )

    -MAXIMILIANO RUOCCO RODRIGUEZ

  23. Chloe Cumbow says:

    keep safe, Martine.

  24. metodex says:

    You should come back soon. If there is something this country needs, then it is people who love it,and are willing to fight for it.

  25. Kathleen Cerrada says:

    Dear Martine, my name is Kathleen Cerrada, I am Venezuelan and lived currently in Germany.
    Like many others already did, I want to thank you for this wonderfull blog and specially for this las post.
    As I read your words my tears drop, like almost everyday in the past weeks. I feel so helpless..
    I am also very sorry for what you have to experience and I was really hoping to hear ( read) from you, just to know that you were ok. I am glad you got out and back in your country.
    Thank you again for been a voice for Venezuela.

  26. freddyrios says:

    Hi Martine,

    I am sorry to hear about the awful experience you lived. There are so many Venezuelans out of the country because we already knew what the government was capable of. We knew it was a dictatorship disguised as a democracy. We knew it was a matter of time for things to turn that way, and it may be worst.

    Something that has changed, is that there are lots of Venezuelans that have realized they don’t really want to leave their country and culture. There are others that have realized it is more difficult than ever. Even during the last year, you got to see the other side of Venezuela that explains this feeling. For those of us who left, that feeling is still there reminding us every day we want to go back and we are not there to make it happen. We try to support our country in different ways, like trying to counteract the international network to hide reality the Chavez government built in 15 years. And it may help, but it is not fair to the rest of Venezuelans that are facing a criminal government to regain the country, so I make no excuse for myself.

    I hope, just like you do, that this ends with a real solution and we get to see our country again. Remember You carry Venezuela in your heart, that makes you on of us.

    Best regards,
    Freddy

  27. Damian says:

    I thank you for these amazing posts about my country and its so sad it had to end this way 😦

    I know you get this a lot, but if you are ever in Stockholm, you can always contact a friendly venezuelan here.

    All the best

    Damian

  28. Dago says:

    Dear Martine:

    I’m very, very happy to know that you’re safe now. I know it was a difficult decision to leave (as an expatriate Venezuelan, I very well know it), but it was the right one.

    And now you have an extremely important life experience for your future: As you have realized by now, it is not a thing about Right government or Left government, but the issue is about a government that is not effective doing the basic things any government is supposed to do: Crime control, law enforcement, economic stability, basic education and health.

    Please remember this: The old Left-vs-Right discussion is just a pathetic excuse used by politicians to deviate the attention from their failures doing the basic things citizens demand from them. That is true in Venezuela, and it is also true in Europe and the rest of the world.

    Also, by now you should also realize that democracy is much more than holding elections, because elections can be rigged in many ways. Democracy is about having free and FAIR elections, about balance of powers, about not letting anyone to accumulate enough power to smash or silence his opponents and, last but not least, democracy is a system where the government is accountable to the citizens. Those are the reasons Venezuela is not currently a democracy.

    Finally, I want you to also realize how lucky you are living in a country like Norway. If you look at all the petro-states: Venezuela, Nigeria, Libya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc., you’ll see that they lack the characteristics of true democracies. Their governments don’t need their citizens to survive, because those governments directly keep all the money coming from oil, and taxing the citizens is no longer important for them.

    As a consequence, those governments no longer feel they need to be accountable to their citizens, and become increasingly repressive. The citizens stop to be citizens, and gradually become beggars, trying to get as much trinkets the government decides to give them (Mercal, PDVAL, DAKA come to my mind in the Venezuelan case).

    So, you should be very grateful for the wisdom of Norwegian leaders, because Norway is ALSO a petro-state. But your leaders decided to set most of the oil money apart from their own control, and save it for future generations, at the same time keeping the government accountable to Norwegian citizens. For this wise decision, quite unique in the world, you Norwegians should be very proud.

    Be safe and be happy. I hope to keep reading things from you in the future.

    Dago

    • jeroen candel says:

      Dago excellent comments. I have learned that we always take the news, the paper, the press and media for granted but my experiences here in Caracas have opened my conscience to the vital role the press and free media play in a free and democratic society.

  29. venesverige says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    The story of a Norwegian girl in Caracas during the past weeks

  30. Dear Martine:
    I appreciate so much you have been sharing your testimony on the Venezuelan situation. It helps a lot since -as you mentioned- there is lack of information and understanding about it; and the vision of a foreigner brings a different perspective into the debate. Great that you could manage to get out unharmed! Thanks once again.
    Sandra Guevara

  31. Kepler says:

    Martine,

    I know almost all Norwegians read English, but still, like with anyone else, things that touch them the most are most often written in their own language.

    If you can, it would be great if you could write in Norwegian a short account of the latest things you saw in Venezuela. I am Venezuelan and I am trying to do that in German, others are doing it in English, in French. It would be great if the Norwegian government becomes more aware of what is happening in Venezuela.

    I hope one day you can return to my country and find it has become a peaceful and secure place, without shortages and so much political hatred. It was like that when I was a child and I think it can get back to that point after a lot of effort and some years. First we all can help to create awareness about how bad the situation is right now and how real change is urgently required.

    Take care

  32. I’m so sorry that you had to go through all that.
    Thanks for spreading the word!

  33. Raul Echezuria says:

    Thanks… we are trying to fix this, for people like you can comeback here and enjoy the real beauty of our country …. thank you for the bottom of my heart.

  34. I feel sad that you have to see and experience all of this. Your text is so touching, thank you for this. A hug from Venezuela: hope you can come back in a better time, in better days, when you will see (i´m sure) the best of my country.

  35. Nel says:

    Querida,

    I can only say I am glad you are save and sound.
    Do not feel guilty, but if you can’t help the feeling, know that life took you to our troubled Venezuela to teach you more than dancing and the existence of arepas. You have now a bigger mission as a voice of Venezuela, specially living in a socialist rich oil country such as Norway where your stories and point of view make you look like you are over exaggerating.

    Rise your voice and hopefully you will find fulfilled on doing so.

    Best,

    Nel

  36. Estefaniam says:

    Querida Martine,

    Comencé a leer tu blog desde el post sobre “How to become a Venezuelan” y me encantó.
    Luego leí “Living in Venezuela: The Unpleasant Part of the story” y tuve que llorar porque todo lo que escribes es en verdad todo lo que nosotros como Venezolanos sentimos, a veces creemos que puede ser un invento de nuestra mente y que quizás estamos equivocados pero sabemos en el fondo que no es así, es muy difícil vivir aquí sintiéndote seguro, los sentimientos de inseguridad e incertidumbre son los sentimientos mas recurrentes en nuestro ser, aunque al mismo tiempo amor por nuestro país y nuestros hermanos venezolanos.
    Te agradezco mucho lo que haces, a pesar que esto es un blog personal y escribes tus sentimientos, nos das la opinión de un extranjero, una persona que en verdad sabe lo que es tener calidad de vida y se da cuenta de lo horrible de las cosas que suceden aca. Muchas personas aun apoyan lo que esta pasando porque no saben que pudiesen vivir mejor, porque simplemente no saben que, al igual que todos tenemos derechos como ciudadanos de un país.
    Este último post me arrugó el corazón, siento muchísimo que te tuvieras que devolver a Noruega, pero también me alegra que puedas estar segura con tus amigos y familia. Venezuela siempre te tendrá en su corazón, al igual que todos tus amigos de aquí.

    De nuevo, muchas gracias por escribir sobre lo que pasa aquí en Venezuela.
    Espero que muy pronto puedas volver!
    Muchos abrazos desde Venezuela

    Estefania

  37. Carlos says:

    Marttine,
    I was wondering of your whereabouts and started missing your notes about your experience in Venezuela.
    Good to hear you are safe and sound in your homeland.
    I am a Venezuelan living abroad for the last 14 years and your notes helped me to better describe what Venezuela is and, to some extend what it used to be, all from the eyes of a Scandinavian lady that had good time over there.
    When I left in year 2000 it was already too much for me to see the unfair situation that was being developed in a country that once used to be an example to follow.
    I have been few times in Norway and I sort of see your homeland like a perfect example of what our nation should be….but (unfortunately) we are not scandinavians.
    Thanks for promoting Venezuela although I tend to disagree such promotion as the chances for a foreigner to be in troubles would be quite high.
    Thanks God you did not experience such bad situation….well, at least I did not read of any unpleasant experience you had.
    Hope you can fulfil you dream to be back in Venezuela once this issue is over…..well hope this is over and we can see it in our generation :,(
    God bless,
    Carlos

  38. Isabel B says:

    Hi Martine,

    Just as many others I’m a venezuelan living abroad (Spain) … and just like you we decided to leave because we were looking for a better future, and we hope we can someday go back, because as you said Venezuela has our hearts.

    In one of your first posts I read: “Venezuelans are very political. There is hardly a conversation where politics are not mentioned. I do not want to write too much about this because I don’t understand the situation completely, but the Venezuelan people are definitely very polarized because of this.” … I loved your post back then, and I felt it was very true… we cannot thinking about politics 24/7…I guess now that you have lived it so close you are have become at least partly venezuelan… and now you´ll see how difficult it is for us to not be political in this type of situations.

    Thank you SO MUCH for your blog, and it’s great to have you as one of our voices! Thanks for your support, and I wish you the best back home.

  39. Charles says:

    Don’t know you but I love you already! many thanks for your unwavering support.

  40. Jose Sanchez says:

    Dear Martine,
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for publishing these posts about Venezuela. You ARE an important voice for our country. I admire how you’ ve made a great effort to evaluate everything you saw impartially and then share your conclusions. I know you will not forget us and I hope you can find the chance to be our voice in Norway. Thanks, thanks very much.

    Jose.

  41. ps says:

    Hi Martine,

    I can’t thank you enough for your warm feelings and kind words to my country. It really was a living paradise. Mostly of visiting foreigners felt in love with Venezuela. Since there are not perfection in this world, the venezuelan society has many flaws to get over in order to get better. Those flaws allowed that false ideologies of hate, bad feelings and false left promises like the cuban ideology hijacked the country, which has been exploited by them and national traitors. Since the future looked very complicated many years ago I decided to return to Europe as many childs of immigrants. Sad story for a great country that stills looks doomed to fail if continues under comunists in charge. I wish I was wrong and soon many of us could return to our country to rebuild it.

    Once again thanks for your effort and let this know to the world

  42. iliana says:

    Hi Martina, Thanks for writing this post.
    I’m sorry for your terrible experience. I am from Venezuela, and as many Venezuelan people I left Venezuela almost 7 years ago looking for a better quality of life. I leaved in Europe for 5 years and now I moved to Canada. I left Venezuela because in 2001 I had a gun in my head because some men want my car. I was “lucky” because they did’t do me anything else, right? In 2005, again I had another gun in my head in the mountain were I was doing exercise and breathing fresh air. This time I was “lucky” because I had in my pocket 10.000 Bolívares Fuertes. In 2006 I didn’t know if I was going to be “lucky” again and I left. I still have family there and I have never been able to sleep well since then. And now imagine…
    I’m using your space and telling you my story, because in Europe and now in Canada I met people that when I say ” I am from Venezuela” They smile, there eyes shine and they open their mouth to say: “Venezuela, Oh Chavez!” You don’t imagine how sick I feel when I hear that name. My country has never been the safety place on earth but since 1999 with Hugo Chavez Frías things got worst and worst.I just hope your message, your voice and our voice open the eyes of the world and specially the heart of the people that proclaim: ” Oh Chavez”

    I am glad that despite of all this nightmare you loved Venezuela, hope some day we will be able to go there and have fun. I will leave you my email in the log form, if you ever come to Montreal please e-mail me, it will be lovely to meet you.

  43. Oriana says:

    I am deeply sorry you have to experience this but as someone else said, Venezuela is under construction and you, as well as many others, will be welcome back in the near future.

    Thank you very much for loving our country as much as you do! Thanks for the laughs and the tears.

    Hoping to hear from you soon

  44. zoe says:

    Dear Martine, I’m sorry you had to leave. I’m a foreigner in Venezuela too, three years now, and living in a neighbourhood with active protests. I go outside every day to check up on the situation, and like you, I’ve often thought about leaving. Many of the situations you describe I see every day. But I don’t think things are so black and white. There’s a middle ground to this conflict very few people are willing to take into account, and reading your blog I can tell you haven’t been in touch with that pov at all. Don’t hesitate to contact me to exchange stories from the trenches.

  45. vgme says:

    Your words make me cry. Thanks for love this beatiful country. Wherever you will be please pray for Venezuela.

  46. Javier Soto says:

    I’m really proud to read all your blogs in your words your described the Venezuelans as they truly are I for one think that most of us wouldn’t be able to do such a fine job trying to explain what the Venezuelans are like,

    I am not sorry for what you had to live in my country because a think your testimony will be a inspiration to a lot of people. In your lack of knowledge about Venezuela you happen to discover all the wonders this country holds even the wonder of living in a society that follows no rules or laws witch for a moment makes living very relaxing and carefree but it also produces all of these things that are happening right now. The lack of law or the lack of applying the law is one of the main reason things are like they are in Venezuela just like your experience with a police officer, but in a larger scale.

    I’m really glad you made it out of here undamaged. If that weren’t the case the world would be missing what I at least consider a great Writer and it would be a shame to say that it happened in my country

  47. Maria Luisa Toca Flores says:

    Thank you for your kind words about venezuelans…..please keep in touch througt your blogspost.

  48. Alex says:

    Please sign this petition to help us fight for human rights in Venezuela. Thank you!

    https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Human_Rights_Council_Remove_Venezuela_from_the_Human_Rights_Council/?dBkdpbb&pv=13

  49. Ed says:

    ¿Ya ves por qué esa mierda de Bailar, ir a la playita, comer arepas y joder la vida como los venezolanos lo hacen, no tiene ningún sentido? Le dio gracias a Dios que estás bien. Que no te pasó nada y que estás sana y salva en tu casa. Que tu mamá te pudo ver otra vez y que estás con los tuyos. Lo agradezco al cielo profundamente. Pero también agradezco que te diste cuenta por ti misma que no todo en este país en bailar con arepas en las manos. Yo, como venezolano, por supuesto que siento orgullo y hasta amor por nuestras costumbres, pero estas no son suficientes y desde el 2002, estas no de debieron anteponer nunca frente a lo que los venezolanos hoy día estamos viviendo. Pues desde hace más de 15 años estamos padeciendo lo peor, lo que nosotros mismos, opositores o no; trajimos acá. Este país no se puede entender y comprender solamente yendo a la playa, es necesario revisar su historia. Entender por qué hay una inflación implícita desde la década de los 80 y por qué esta resolvió en una crisis política que luego pasó a ser una crisis social que se hunde en términos económicos, humanos, estructurales y hasta inclusive: espirituales. Por ello vuelvo a recomendartelo, busca el libro “La gestación de Hugo Chávez, 40 años de Luces y Sombras en la Democracia venezolana” de Manuel Caballero, para empezar. Lee también “El Hombre de Hierro” de Rufino Blanco Fombona y lee “Medio Milenio en Venezuela” de Arturo Uslar Pietri. Y sin embargo, estos libros no te lo dirán todo. Ya tú lo viste. Y llorar porque nosotros no nos merecemos esto no hace nada. Puedes hacer muchísimo por los venezolanos desde Noruega, pero para ello deberás primero dejar de lamentarte, porque acá, con este conflicto, los venezolano por primera vez decidieron no llorar a los caídos, sino honrarlos. Y no ir siquiera a las tan bellas playas. Por ello, respira profundo, abraza a tu mamá y pídale la bendición (espero que haya aprendido esa bella costumbre de Venezuela) y póngase a escribir, póngase a denunciar. Póngase a levantar su voz con dureza y bravura. Mande a hacer una Bandera de la Guerra a Muerte e ízela en su casa junto a la de Noruega y la de Venezuela. Siéntase reventada de orgullo y escriba duro y con poder. Pues tienes quien te escuche, y puedes hacer mucho. La vida te dio la oportunidad de entenderlo, de entendernos mejor y de entender al país. A esa Venezuela que inevitablemente se enamoró de ti. Te dio amor como tú le diste amor pero su realidad descarada te respondió con balas, como lo hace a diario contra quienes la amamos. Por ello grita, nada de lamentos. Alza la voz y revélate. El país necesita de tus gritos, De tu confrontación tácita con la realidad, y necesita inclusive de que vuelvas y esta vez, desde acá, apuntes y dispares con tus ideas ante las injusticias, y dejes los bailes y la jodezón a un lado y te comas en la cena una arepa tranquila y en silencio.

    Te deseo lo mejor. Y más que todo deseo que vuelvas y espero que seas valiente. Como de ahora en adelante deberás serlo, porque ese valor te lo regaló este país y te lo entregó en tus manos.

    Dios te bendiga.

    PD: I wrote in Spanish because I know you came here to practice your Spanish as well, So, read it as you wish. No problem if you decide translate it. Hope you are good today. Blessings.

    Ed.

  50. Sonia says:

    Dear Martine, I am touched with your story and hopeful that you will help spread the word in Norway of how terrible the situation in Venezuela really is.

    Most people here (in Norway) still believe that this is a battle of ideals, classes or political differences (socialism vs capitalism, left Vs right, rich vs poor, etc) and fail to understand that we are talking about corruption, rampant criminality, brutal repression, no freedom of expression, violation of human rights, etc. Many here fail to see that we are talking about a dictatorship of the worst kind ( if such concept can be categorized). Many people here will find it hard to believe that the Venezuelan Ombudsman (the advocate of the people, the very person responsible for ensuring that peoples rights are protected) publicly declared some days ago that torture is admisssible to obtain confessions from the students. But you know now. You know all these things and you know that there is a country out there full of wonderful people hoping for a chAnge, for a better future, for some security, for a dignified life, stuff that we take for granted in most places.

    You dont have to feel guilty for anything. This big mess precedes you and you could not do anyhting else than leave. From here however, you can do a lot of good just by spreading the word and sharing your experience. This is the only thing most of us Venezuelan abroad can do for our country and what persons like you can do for us. And for that we will always be inmensely grateful.

    Thanks for caring so much, cheer up and feel free to get in touch anytime.

  51. gio says:

    I’m sorry you had to go through all that.
    It is what we go through every single day. Sorry you had to see it and leave, like so many venezuelans did.
    Gio.

  52. Luiyin Alejandro Berbesi says:

    Hi! I feel really sorry for the situation in my Country and I am glad that you found a way to be safe back home. As a Venezuelan living in Norway, your blog and in particular this post brings me hope. Hope that at least more people in the world will listen about the things Venezuelans have to deal with, and I don’t mean only the food and safety issues, but also the freedom issue. You probably know all the kind of disrespectful and unfair kind or words that the government directs towards people who think like you do and who dare to say what they think. I don’t think the Norwegian press has provided enough information for people to understand what many Venezuelans are going through. You can be a voice for many of them

  53. Irene R. says:

    You left tons of houses that would love to have you as a guest. It’s heartbreaking for all of us. Take care and come back when things get better. And happy birthday, feliz cumpleaños atrasado.

    @BusinessIrene

  54. Hello May My name is Leonardo Molina I from Venezuela. Tanks a lot for you history can you help us and try to put this history in the newspaper from Sweden they need people ha the real history of what happens inside Venezuela i need you help because is very hard to put something in the news here thanks if you want contact me info@leonardomolina.se

  55. Mribel Ricupero Nilsson says:

    Martine we don’t know each other but I’m Venezuelan living in your beautiful Norway, in Oslo… We have 2 Facebook groups: Venezolanos en Oslo & Venezolanos Democraticos en Noruega… Working actively for The freedom of our Venezuela! My email is mricupero@yahoo.com if you want to get in contact with me!
    Maribel Ricupero Nilsson

  56. Reblogged this on born again brazilian and commented:
    An insider expat who has been sharing her experience in Venezuela and finally had to get out.

  57. sonia says:

    Martine, just wanted to let you know that I have shared your blog in my FB and posted it also in a message in Erna Solberg’ s FB page. I hope you dont mind. I also forgot to say: Let me know if you want to join me and my family for arepas one of these days 😉

  58. adriana says:

    hello, my name is Adriana. I was born un Vzla and I lived one year un sweden, in Lund, as exchange student in 2003. Please be a voice un Nordic countries and speak out. I was amazed to see how much propaganda was there about Chávez and people there believed the Revolution was the best just because they saw a TV show, just because he spoke nicely about socialism, and pleople against were all like Nazi rich people. I consider myself in the left side in politics and there is a huge space between SAY and actually DO, reality, living the vzlan reality. It was so hard to explain, maybe you can do better than me because you know nórdico culture.

  59. jose says:

    P.S: Venezuela: I will be back. You have my heart

    And you have ours… I hope you keep writing… be safe ❤

  60. Alejandra GT says:

    What you wrote made my eyes being filled with tears, and I can barely breath…Sorry you have to face the ugliest face of us as enemies grabbing at each other throat. I am sure, when all this will be over, you will come back to be one of us and help to rebulid our Venezuela. Please, be our voice elsewhere…Luv u!

  61. Rosemontower says:

    Reblogged this on Inked Roses… and commented:
    this so sad

  62. Jesús Mendoza says:

    In behalf of millions of Venezuelans I’ll say thank you very much. As you realized without free media is hard to inform outside Venezuela of what really happens, so your story makes a difference! God bless you, and I hope you can return in the future to a free, safe and prosper Venezuela!

  63. Alejandro O. says:

    i you could make a video, explaining who you are, and why you know about what we are living here, it would be great help, dont know why but thinks made by “foreigners” always have more impact on our ppl and goes viral…. plz help that way

  64. Luisa Mayorca says:

    It’s the first time I read you and it won´t be the last for I am touched and very grateful by and for your words… Thank God that you are safe now and that you can be part of the eco we need in order to be noticed and helped a little more each time… many of us here are willing to continue working hard and have no intention at all of losing hope for better times… mi cariño venezolano para ti!!!!

  65. Ane says:

    Mine too. I want to thank you for doing this. If more people cared about what happens around the world, we might live in a better place

  66. You are such a beautiful soul. I am so happy you loved it here, made friends and dedicated an area in your heart for Venezuela. I’m from Maracaibo and the situation isn’t as intense and violent as in other cities, but it still breaks my heart to see my country crumble into pieces while the government neglects reality. Thank you for speaking up and thank you for wanting to help us by spreading the word. My grandma used to talk to me about Venezuela as a “beautiful country where people from all over the world came to visit” – back in her time… I still hope it one day can return to that state…so I can finally see it for myself and walk outside without feeling paranoid, or come back home not having to thank God I’m alive.

    Much love,
    Patricia

  67. The adversary says:

    Jajjajajja what the hell doing a norwegian girl in Venezuela?? I dont believe you sorry!

  68. lorentema says:

    Thank you Martine!.
    For your blog, for loving our country, for sharing with us your live there.

  69. Luis Andrade says:

    Dear Martínez,

    I have to confess that I didn’t read all of your posts, but the ones I read touched me as Venezuelan. I’m very proud of you for your open mind and braveness to leave your country (a dreamed one for many inhabitants of the world) and experience other places like Venezuela. I left my country some years ago but visit my family there from time to time, progressively finding more difficulties and people more reactive, disrespectful and unmotivated. But you made me and many fellows remember that there are still many good people that dream a better living and share with other people and cultures like yours. I regret your bad experiences there but at the same time I thank that you witnessed them and accurately reported them. Because that’s the kind of feedback we need from around the world. I hope that sooner than later I can go back to my country to fairly do my expertise and that you can go back and enjoy a better country. Meanwhile I’ll continue using my voice and texts and voting for another better way. I keep trying.

    Regards. Luis

  70. I never met you, but I feel Venezuela is emptier without you. You shall be welcomed back, I am sure. Lots of love from Caracas.

  71. Alex Knight says:

    Martine.
    Thanks so much to bring your love to this country and his people, please tell to the world what really happens here. Tell them we are losing the freedom for some crazy people, I’m glad you’re okay I don’t know you really, but I’m glad you are safe and I hope you’ll get back here, to this wonderful land of gorgeous colors and cheering people. This your land now we miss you.

    Best regards.
    Alejandro.

  72. Martine, a little over three weeks ago, I wrote this comment on a previous post:

    “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).” (https://martineretting.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/living-in-venezuela-the-unpleasant-part-of-the-story/#comment-1002)

    I’m truly glad you left, safe and sound and that you wrote this post. You could help us by being a voice in Scandinavia regarding what’s going on here in Venezuela. You lived it, yours is not a third party account.

    Thanks for all you’ve shared so far, and be well!

  73. Vanessa Quintero says:

    I’m really jealous of you. I wish I had an opportunity to leave this nightmare, but I can’t. I started a career here and my family is here, and we have no resources but for eating and taxes.
    I wish you left with the happiest memories from this country in your mind. Good luck.

  74. Rosana says:

    Gracias chama!

    De verdad es un muy HERMOSO gesto de tu parte! Sé nuestra voz 😉

  75. Martine. I need contact you please look you email I has sent to you a good news if you one to put this history in the newspaper in Sweden please answer my email and
    Tanks again

  76. samaris says:

    I am 8 months pregnant. And i’m worry what kind of world my baby is going live in.What kind of life he’s going to have. i live in a small town so no violence is happening here. But i have family members in big cities. They are suffering. Little by little we are running out of food. So we are very scared, worry, desperate. Wondering what’s going to happend. God help us!

  77. AudreyAPL says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of months now and today your post made me cry. I have no words to describe how I feel about what happened to you, what we’re going through….

    I really have no words. My heart is with you. I love how you found the wonders of my homeland and learned to love all that. God will help us get through this nightmare and go back to the peaceful beautiful conutry we used to be.

    Let’s have hope… and bear in mind that if you fell in love with Venezuela at it’s worse, you’ll absolutly adore it when we’re free again!

    HUGS.

  78. DeniseMS says:

    Thank you for being our voice! I too live outside of Venezuela but my heart is there everyday. You made the right decision for now. Don’t doubt that.

  79. I have not had the pleasure of meeting you but I read your blog in the past about how Venezuelans are and I have to admit it made me laugh. You truly know the culture itself by living with us and among us.

    I do tell you that with your young age you have a lot of power, and that power is the power to reach others with your eloquence and factual documentation of events.

    For that, I thank you.

    I worked for a long time in Sweden, so I am familiar with the Nordic countries and cultures. You are methodical, determined and work hard all the time.

    Your offer to keep informing is something that is I know all Venezuelans would appreciate but I can not speak on behalf of everybody, I can only do it for me, so please I ask you to spread the word about what is happening.

    I have send letters to FOX news, CNN and even the Comedy Central cable channel, specifically to Jon Stewart to cover the events here in the US about what is happening.

    I am appalled by the fact that NOTHING is being said in the American media. I understand that Venezuela has imposed a big censorship to the Venezuelan media, but how can that be happening all over the world? How many corporations owned by politicians from foreign countries are part of this to keep the silence everywhere?

    Please, be the voice of Venezuela and continue to share what you know and see. Hopefully one day all of us from the outside can make the truth come out.

    Thanks again.

  80. Nelson says:

    Hey Martine,

    I’m actually glad you’re back in Norway. Please don’t feel guilty, you should be very proud of everything that you’ve done, and in writing this blog you automatically became one of the voices asking for a better future for Venezuela. I’m also glad that you got to know the best and worst of Venezuela. It is, as you now know, a country that is capable of the very best but at the same time of the worst a human being can take, I’m glad that you’re OK but I’m also glad that you got to see both faces, because a lot of foreigners when they go to Venezuela, come back to their countries saying “Well is not that bad as they say”, when it actually is. Reading your blog was a very exciting experience, I can only imagine how crazy it must have been for you, specially in Barquisimeto (my mother’s hometown, and one of mine’s since I’m Caracas born). I always tell people they should keep the good and throw away the bad, in this case I’m very happy that you fall in love with our country, I think you are a bit more “venezolana” now, and of course this is not the first case of a foreigner becoming a venezuelan that I see. But in this case I won’t tell you to throw away the bad, as a “venezolana” (even if you’re just a little bit “venezolana”) it’s not only your right, but also your duty to help us in this fight for our freedom, for a better democracy, for a better government and for a better country. Please help us spread the word about Venezuela and the situation there.

    Like all of us that have left, looking for a better life, you got out of there heartbroken and in tears, but I assure you that one day you’ll come back, and I cannot say with words how much you will love our country when this is all over and we got to be “Heaven’s branch office on earth” once again.

  81. Venezuela un pais de oportunidades que ahora despues de 15 años se ha vuelto un pais lleno de misieria, injusticias y corrupccion, Lo mejor de todo es que siempre Venezuela permanecera en ti y en tu corazon hasta que puedas volver.

  82. Gracias por tanto amor a nuestro pais #Venezuela

  83. Andrea says:

    Querida Martine,

    Thank you for raising your voice for us. I have loved every word in your blog, and was so glad that you found our country so amicable and open. I’m sorry your Venezuelan experience ended so horribly, but I’m sure you’re taking a piece of this beautiful country in your heart. We will keep working until people like you, who have fallen in love with Venezuela, can come back. Lots of love and good luck in Norway, and wherever life takes you.

    Dios te bendiga.

  84. Luis says:

    Hi, Martine. A lot of us didn’t get to know you personally, but we were all deeply touched when you wrote your first impressions on our culture and idiosincracy. It seems crazy how it was a few months back I told my mum of your articles and how we laughed acknowledging the truth of our defects and virtues through your vision, and how now it all went so out of control recently, and the fact you got to experience this chaos first hand. I’m happy to know there are people like you out there, who love my country and could see us for who we really are. At the same time, we’re happy you care for us, as well as heartbroken, feeling we somehow left you dissapointed.

    Wish you all the best. Un abrazo con cariño.

  85. Josemaria says:

    Hi. Do you think it’s better for all exchange students in Venezuela to leave and go back home?
    I think so 😦

  86. rodrigoelp says:

    Hello Martine,

    Needless to say (as everybody else has done it) I am truly grateful with you for including your voice into the crowd we are trying to build. My partner is from Czech Republic and it took me quite a while to explain to her the multiple oddities of Venezuela.

    I loved the country and I loved its people as much as I could (am Venezuelan as well) but I had to take the decision of moving overseas after a situation forced me to leave. It has certain “je ne sais quoi” casting a spell and keeping your heart there, doesn’t it?

    In the meanwhile, try to make contact with your government, raise your voice towards injustice and oppression my people are suffering. We (Venezuelans living in Australia) are doing it, yet the government has told us in a subtle way “we have more important things to do.”

    If you ever come to Australia, let me know and we can arrange something for you 😉 have you ever heard of CouchSurfing? our couch (in reality is a bed) is completely open for you 😉

  87. Beatriz says:

    I stumbled upon your blog entry through Facebook- girl! you are the talk of the community!
    I could not help but read your other entries. They made me laugh, blush (because of the honest observations), and at one point…cry. I miss my country terribly.
    But fret not! Venezuela will be there for you again. Don’t worry. Resilience is our game.
    And when you go back, she will have the same high spirits and friendly faces.

    Keep on writing! 😉

  88. guayi says:

    Quizás ahora en Noruega puedas hacer algo mas por la situación, quizás para que la comunidad internacional empiece hacer algo… Gracias!!!!!

  89. Sorodriguez says:

    Reblogged this on De las diosas, todas. and commented:
    Increíble las palabras y los sentimientos transmitidos por una extranjera en nuestro país, que vino en uno de los momentos más tensos de nuestra historia y la violencia la sacó a patadas de Venezuela…

    Ojalá pueda cumplir su PostData cuando las cosas mejoren en Venezuela.

  90. Welcome to socialism/communism/fascism.

  91. Nieve says:

    Thanks for help us to spreading the news and the real situation that my country is suffering, imaging how it feels when you are abroad and have your old parents and family living in Venezuela at the moment. The nightmare do not allow me to sleep anymore…..

  92. Juan Carlos Roa says:

    I´m from Barquisimeto Venezuela and I live in Spain. I´m really sad about what´s happening and not being able to do anything there, my brothers and cousins are in the street fighting and making resistance. I read this and I feel embarrassed that you had to leave us, however you had the opportunity to feel the heart and hospitality of our people. You will never forget this in spite of all of our chaos and disorganization about our living. There are many places and people you went and met, I´m sure these people will never forget about you and you won´t forge them. I only hope when things are better you can go back again, and I personally will show you the beautiful sunset of my city barquisimeto and the best musician of our country which are from Lara Venezuela. Time will come I´m sure…

    PS: I really loved Norway specially snowboarding and 5 year old kids beating me at it! I have to go back to see the fiordos!

  93. cat in the hat says:

    From a venezuelan to you, thank’s for your support, keep the voice up please!!!!

  94. alessandro zullo cervantes says:

    el pasado es nuestro, y en él hay soluciones que fueron ejecutadas ante situacion similar en venezuela. toda esta tragica historia de la venezuela actual tiene varios responsables. entiendo que la otrora dirigencia politica no hacia lo correcto, a pesar de que viviamos mucho mejor que ahora, la oposicion tiene su gran cuota de responsabilidad, crearon el escenario perfecto para que estos deshaprensivos dirigentes actuales hagan lo que les venga en ganas. todos somos responsables, unos mas y tros menos, la cuestion es: queremos que esto se acabe? queremos vivir en libertad? queremos realmente a nuestro pais? cuanto luchariamos hasta conseguir expulsar a todos estos señores politicos del oficialismo y de la oposicion que no hacen bien su trabajo?
    es realmente triste y hay que vivirlo para poder entenderlo, desde fuera todo se ve facil, obvio, pero lo que han hecho estos hombres y mujeres por la revolucion, es algo dantesco, se adueñaron del pais, asi como suena. la fortaleza y la ilusion no deben abandonarnos, hay que ser fuertes y no bajar la guardia, ellos caeran por su propio peso, ni venezuela soporta 6 años del gobierno actual, ni el presidente soportará la presión que el mismo ha generado…

  95. Pingback: Guilt | You can't live romance

  96. Minerva says:

    Thank you and YES please continue to let the world know, the truth of protests in Vzla. #SOSVENEZUELA

  97. Francisco says:

    Hello Mrs Martine

    First of all I have to say I enjoyed really every single word of all your previous posts where you described very well our culture with routinary activities such as traveling from one point to another. It is always great to know what other people think and see of our country, especially if when living the whole experience as in your case. I also felt really sad when I read your last blog when you explained the reasons that made you leave our country.

    Having that said, I would like to give you (and everybody who reads this) the opinion of somebody that is against the protests that are taken place in my country (without it meaning that I support Maduro).

    “Venezuela is fighting for its freedom…” Is it really? Is that really the motive force of the protests? Moreover, is all the country fighting or only part of it? Based on last electoral results we could assume that roughly half of the country supports Chávez/Maduro and the other half doesn’t (and if at this point somebody tells me that in his/her social circle everybody is against Maduro, I could easily refute that argument showing that in many areas of the country, a majority voted him and still support him)

    From the half of the country that does not want Maduro to be the president, there is a portion (in which I am included) that believes that blocking main streets daily, forcing losses of classes in Universities and colleges, and attacking buildings of governments institutions is NOT the right path to solve our country’s problems. We all claim to be democrats, but it is hard to act like one when our party is not elected. What about other venezuelans that support the president? And their right to have the president they elected for the period indicated in the Constitution? Will we protest and cause mess until Maduro quits, even though we are the minority of the venezuelan population? Does that sound right?

    We all (chavistas and not) suffer of insecurity, shortages, a fragile economy, among others. Our country’s problems affect us all. But we have to find other ways to solve them, and if we don’t want Maduro to be the president anymore, there are legal ways to get rid of him, without creating more violence in a country that already suffers of a deep social division.

    I hate violence. No matter where it comes from. I can’t accept seeing a National Guard using excessive force against a student, or an government-run armed group shooting pacific protests. I simply cannot take it. But creating more and more “guarimbas” daily only produces an increase in the violence and in the social division, worsening the already bad situation.

    Protests must end now. We have lost too much in this month and won nothing. Fight must be moved to a different arena.

    It’s kinda late here and I’m tired, so I hope all of this makes sense to you, the reader. I am open to any further discussion or exchange of points of view you all may have.

    Regards

    Francisco

  98. Lennie says:

    Thank you so much for speaking out about what is going on in Venezuela, my homeland. I live in Phoenix,az and have been out of the country since 1981, but my family is still there.. I worry everyday that someting horrible is going to happen to them.. I live their fear, I feel their pain.. Thank you for your support. I so appreciate it.. 🙂
    Lennie

  99. Lennie says:

    Francisco, with all due respect.. you are an ignorant if you think people voted for Chavez or Maduro because they support them and their regimen. The only reason why they “voted” was because they are getting paid . Plain and simple. Watch, when the governement runs out of money, which I pray it’s soon, and they can’t pay people anymore, how many people will actually be in support of this “regimen”.
    You will be surprised..

    • Francisco says:

      “With all due respect…” It’s funny how people can begin a sentence with that statement, only to throw an insult two words later.

      Lennie, you said in your other comment that you live outside the country since 1981, so I don’t think it makes you the proper person to describe why poor people support Chavez and Maduro. Believe me, I also didn’t know why. But my work in the last years made me travel all over the country, and visit so many places (poor and rich) that made me see that for a lot of people there’s a completely different reality that what it can be for a middle class or a high class person.

      I think that not recognizing the other group has been one of the worst mistakes Opposition has made during this 15 years. Only Capriles recently has shown a different attitude and has developed a Project of the Country where they are involved. Otherwise, we will continue to wait that chavistas get tired of their own people’s mistakes, instead of showing them that we can be much better.

      Regards

      Francisco

  100. Carola says:

    Hi, first I want to thank you for loving our culture that much. Second I’m really sorry that your stayed became a mess beacuse of the political and social conflict. It is so hard to live like this knowing that my country it is such a beautifull place and people like you would love it but now is not a safe place for anybody, not for venezuelans nor tourist.
    I just wanted to ask you, please be our voice..speak up…tell everybody in your country whats going on here…I know you will..and hopefully this will pass soon and you will come back to continue to joing our great nation.
    THANK YOU! ! !

  101. CFrick says:

    Martine, thank you so very much for spreading the word. I’m very sorry you had to go through such a terrible experience, but I do hope you get a chance to go back to Venezuela and once again enjoy its beauty.

    Please keep writing, keep spreading the word as you well know the Venezuelan media hasn’t been fair in their coverage.

    We, Venezuelans in foreign countries have a duty to keep informing the people in and out of Venezuela of what’s really going on and it seems to me that your heart is Venezuelan as well.

    Hope to read you again soon and hope we meet in twitter as well, my username is @frickc

    Take good care of yourself and thank you once again!

  102. CFrick says:

    Reblogged this on Frick Out! and commented:
    “The National Guard started attacking private residences with shots and gas bombs as well as entering apartments arresting for students.”

  103. Valeria says:

    Hei Martine, Jeg er venezuelaner og bor i Oslo. Takk for at du skrivet dette. Kan du sende det til stortinget?, eller aviser her?. ingen vet sannheter om Venezuela. Alle her i Norge tror at de er for Maduro fordi de er for venstre side men det er ikke som…Takk for hjelpen. Hilsen, Valeria Willassen- tlf 48803369

  104. Edgar says:

    With Love from Barquisimeto.

    I want you to take a good memory from us so I want to leave you with this video https://vimeo.com/89146571 which probably some friend of yours already sent you.

    Always remember that all european modern countries like yours has gone through a similar process, in some point of your history a generation must have lived a painful process of finding the path to get along with eachothers and live peacefully in the same land.

    You lived a piece of ours, you lived history in the process of making it. I have to say that I’m glad you visited us, and talked about us, because Venezuela feels pretty lonely in this world.

    Wish you the best in your life.

    Bests.

  105. Julia says:

    Venezuelans in Norway make a heartfelt flashmob

    I just thought of this blog when I saw it

  106. kbc says:

    its been a month since this post. Are you really going to keep writing about Venezuela? Are you going to spread the word of what is happening or will you just move on as we never touched your heart?

  107. switches says:

    Paragraph writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with after
    that you can write or else it is difficult to write.

  108. Manuel A. Mora says:

    thanks for sharing my country’s situation!

  109. Paola says:

    I am a 24 years old Venezuelan, living in Ohio, USA. I’ve lived here since I was 11, and at this point I’ve lived here longer than I lived in Venezuela. Sadly, I’ve only been back home twice – the last time ten years ago! I just took some time out of my day and read your entire blog from start to finish – and I have to tell you: I loved it!

    From the way you talk about the culture – the dancing, the loud music, the friendly people; all things that I try to carry with me even so far away from home (yes, culture shock is real! I’ve lived in USA and Germany and can completely relate) – to the your experiences and your travels; you’ve seen and enjoyed the beauties of the country more than I could ever hope to!

    As well as the more recent and sobering posts of what is happening in Venezuela to this day … I still have plenty of family living in Venezuela and social media have helped them communicate to us what they have been dealing with for so long. I’m truly glad that you made it home safe; and very appreciative to your representation of the country and your willingness to help spread the word. Thank you for sharing your stories and loving Venezuela as much as I do.

  110. Megan says:

    I’m not sure if you are even monitoring this blog any more, but I just wanted to let you know that I am happy that I found it and thank you for keeping it up even after you have left the country. I have been living in Venezuela for the past year and over the past several months I have been unable to write anything back home of my experiences. I start and then I am at a loss on how to phrase them so they didn’t completely freak out all my friends and family back home. But I realize it is important to have this information out on the web and not hide from it as if everything is ok. Things have calmed down a bit in my area in but after reading this post I know I need to remember that people throughout the country are still experiencing what you did. Thank you again for your posts.

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