By Maria Gutierrez-Salem Danniella
Writing about Venezuela has become an obituary, one that tells about its past life without talking about its future. As sad as it sounds, it is the utter reality. Venezuelans have lost almost everything; we have only fear left to lose, although it seems that we also lost that, as in recent weeks there have been a number of protests throughout Venezuela, resulting in the death of many innocent people, including children, at the hands of the National Guard (state security agency). You may ask, what qualifies me to comment about Venezuela? I can generalize by saying that I am Venezuelan by birth, lawyer by profession, daughter of longtime farmers and an opponent of all unrighteousness conviction.
I always felt lucky to be born in the land of Simon Bolivar, who is justly honored and who has statues all over the world. Today we are accused of being guilty for turning the country that has the biggest oil reserves in the world into a latrine, where there is no food, medicine, safety and much less work. I wish I could say we are not guilty, but most of the people who now lament were the ones who voted for the late Hugo Chavez, and then for current president Nicolas Maduro. We now pay the price of ignorance. With our vote, we gave way to corruption, we allowed the military to govern rather than protect. Despotism, depravity, and hatred in the name of so-called Socialism of the 21st century was established, and all it brought was misery.
Socialism is the lie of those who want to win the votes of people who do not want to work or pay taxes and won’t acknowledge the word “improvement”. As a lawyer, I lived amongst people with disrespect for the law, corruption in most judges, procedural delays and partiality.
My father was born and died a farmer. He always believed that the noblest work he could do was work the land. We now have no food in Venezuela as a result of farm expropriations, government sponsored incursions, lack of crop seeds, and using foreign currency for purchasing seeds that no longer served, or expired goods. There are a number of corrupt military and civilian government sympathizers who got rich by plunging the entire nation into scarcity and then blaming the “economic war”. The same happened in each industry, such as automotive, electric, construction, among others. Corruption devoured everything.
I belonged in one of the many parties that now make UNITY, who tirelessly seeks a constitutional way out. But we are throwing stones at a dragon. As long as the Democratic Charter is not applied, the world will turn its back on Venezuela. The cancer of corruption has spread all over ALBA countries. Politics cannot be above the welfare of humanity. Yes, humanity, because Venezuela is only the beginning. Corruption’s recipe for success hidden behind socialism will affect us all, directly or indirectly. Religious radicals are not the only dangerous ones but also socialist radicals. Venezuela is in agony but still alive, and we will not surrender our fight for freedom, from either within or outside the country, justice will eventually prevail!