How Venezuela is testing our relationship

© Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Ali and I ended up fighting last night and to be honest, it did not even surprise me. I somehow expected that the tension of the past days and weeks would sooner or later be released within our interactions. I don’t even remember how it all started but the primary reason was an opinion I picked up from this blog article. The (foreign) author living in Venezuela argues that it seems like many Venezuelans rely on and hope for foreign (foremost U.S.) intervention to improve the situation in Venezuela. I have read numerous tweets and comments like that on the internet as well, so I mentioned this to Ali. I said that maybe one of the reasons why Ukrainians have been more successful in their protests is the level of organisation among the opposition and people relying less on influence from the outside and more on their own actions – even at risk of their own death.

Well, to put it mildly, Ali wasn’t too happy about my remarks and felt like I had just accused the entire nation of his homeland of being lazy couch potatoes – and well, maybe without wanting to I did.

It is true that I – as a foreigner who has only spent a few months in Venezuela and has only basic Spanish language skills – am not as involved and informed as any Venezuelan citizen, although I try my best to keep up with domestic politics. What I can offer, though, are neutral opinions about what I read and experience – something many Venezuelans seem to have willingly forgotten. I think it’s critical to demand press freedom and at the same time not considering anything that differs from your own solid notions. Not everyone who doesn’t completely agree with you is automatically your enemy. That being said I know it is far easier to ask for such virtous behavior when I am not directly affected by the events in Venezuela. I am, however, indirectly affected: with Ali wanting to leave as soon as possible I will have to adjust my future plans as well and of course I identify with his home country.

And just to be clear about this and before I receive hate comments, I would never dare to blame or criticize anyone for being too afraid to go out and demonstrate when you cannot besure if you will be shot on the spot. I’m pretty sure I wouldn not be brave enough myself. I am merely saying that the people of Ukraine seemed more reckless at the end than Venezuelans are at the moment – which might have been one of the reasons they have overthrown their government when protests in Venezuela seem rather smoldering to me. And God forbid, I am not calling for violence in any way. What Venezuela really needs, in my opinion, is national reconciliation and an end to thinking in social classes. 

The essence of our fight would probably be me acting less omiscient when it comes to Venezuelan politics and Ali reconsidering his attitude towards views conflicting with his own opinion. Maybe a lesson everyone in the discussion about recent protest in Venezuela should take to their hearts? Certainly.

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5 thoughts on “How Venezuela is testing our relationship

  1. I’m sorry to hear that you two had a fight about it. It’s is hard to ask for press freedom when they are sending journalists back to their countries and treating them like criminals. During this situation I think you should show him your support and don’t “criticize” his country or compare it with others..living between deaths and fears is not a good scenario And that affects how he feels and reacts. I know you guys will work it out :)

    • Hey there,
      I didn’t argue that expelling journalists or diplomats is wrong because it is against freedom of speech. But freedom of speech means acknowledging other opinions, too. And that is what I’m asking for – not only from him but everyone. It is too easy to get caught up in hatred for your “enemies”, it doesn’t bring peace though. I used the comparison to Ukraine because many protesters seem to get “inspired” by the recent events there…
      And I have no doubt we will be alright – we are far beyond the point of breaking up over something so silly ;)

  2. Hey!
    Sorry for posting on an old entry, I just happened to find this and I wanted to say something about it;
    I’m a Venezuelan, living in Venezuela, and I must admit I actually agree with you there.
    The main problem of we venezuelan people is that it seems we’re constantly waiting for a saviour, a messiah who would magically fix everything for us. When you go back in history, this is actually pretty clear. Whether it was first with Simón Bolivar (our liberator, the one who “saved” us from the spain colonization), or later on with some other Presidents who were elected in the hope they will fix all our problems and saved us from the “bad guys” (or the bad situations), it has always been like this.
    We, venezuelans, seem to not have a very good memory.
    It’s not like we don’t want to overcome our problems, or that we aren’t “brave” enough… is more like we keep waiting for a leader who would organize and unite the masses…yet , that hasn’t happened so far.
    We seem to be divided all the time, even inside the Oposition, there are divisions that doesn’t help the cause.

    Anyway, I’m glad I found your blog, even if it hasn’t been any updates lately…
    Im gonna take a look around to the other posts.

    • Hi SK,
      I should have picked up writing long ago, especially because my 42h/week and the marriage paperwork process keep me so busy but at the same time generate a lot worth writing about. It’s a dilemma.
      I am not surprised, however, that with recent events people find their mysterious ways to my blog again. Anyway, to me it feels like history repeating itself – just that this time the overall conditions for the overall population are much worse. And the political situation is different. Will that change anything? I don’t know, honestly. Venzuela is like those undetonated bombs from WW2 they sometimes still find here in Germany to me: It could have blown up all this time and yet it hasn’t, and you just keep wondering why or if it would ever have. I have started living with this fear that something big-bad will happen in Venezuela that will have the power to divide Ali and me even further for the past years now. By now we are so close to finally get married I just try to push that thought apart…

      Anyhow, change – may it be in the political system or the society – always has to be carried by a majority of the people, else it will neither work nor survive for long. But it’s easy to say as a German. We are doing well, yet people complain about a few refugees, and our change has also been externally brought to us by the Allies. I wish all the best to you and Venezuela. The country deserves a brighter future.
      Cheers,
      Judith

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