jueves, 15 de febrero de 2018

tales to believe

It went by about an hour after having lunch I guess. I was getting kind of sleepy. There was no internet service, well, there was really, but let’s say it was coming and going; like a tennis ball thrown to a wall. I think the word is intermittent, the internet service was intermittent. Despite of it, I could see some news meanwhile. I read some about a problem with the platform of Banco de Venezuela (so if you´ve followed some of this writings, or any of the news from here, you may have a picture of how banking has been even before this incident) We don’t know when will it be restored: they’re working on it (working hard, of course) It was a sabotage – I heard – it is always a sabotage, anyone can be guilty except the people who actually work at it. The same thing happens with the electricity: several cities of the country experience a daily blackout of an hour at least. Why? Sabotage, the empire (which means United States) and la derecha; among others, – and this is a little bit what I would like to imply – according to the spokesmen of the government, they are pretty much leftists, they claim it with pride, call themselves Marxists; worship Fidel Castro as a sort of deity, just like they’ve been doing it with Chávez but at least Chávez is Venezuelan. According to them left means awesome and right means evil, and as any epic duel evil must be defeated every battle (which we’re having everyday every time) like the electricity service, which important buildings are being watched by the army (because we’ll prevail from any intent of sabotage –curiously the sabotage always tend to happen – and whoever the guilty is we’ll find it) or the bank platform, where so many people have their money literally trapped until they solve it (until they struggle with this plan the evil has organized from the empire through la derecha; the opposition)  
This is romantic and it makes the population romantic too. Probably it is why so many of us, even the ones from the right, just hope for a kind of hero who save us all, like it actually were an epic duel, so it’s not only the supporters of the government, this is in everyone’s mind. 

Last year the opposition called for a plebiscite in which people answered whether they agreed or not with a new president election. It didn’t happen then, it is happening now, but the call was made this time by the government, so the opposition are not ok with it. They were ok with the call from last year, but last year the government wasn’t sure they would win. Now they are, and that’s why nothing came up from the negotiations of Dominican Republic. Well, something surely came up, but the citizens won’t know about, not now at least; there’s so much money to accommodate yet and perhaps it has something to do with the sabotage, or not, perhaps this is just another epic battle where the right (of this left) shall overcome… again, while we still get poorer and politicians tweet and journalists (like they were politicians too) lie, and since we don’t have news to trust… instead we have tales to believe.

domingo, 11 de febrero de 2018

After a sound made from opening a can of soda

I kept the sound in my head for a while, the sound of a can of soda just opened. I wasn’t even having it. I just thought of it. I’ve thought of it because some people were around me while I was trying to begin this. They were saying, telling, all these kinds of supportive arguments we still hear about the government… and yes, it is amazing, these guys, despite the hunger, the lack of supplies and all the things you’ve read we’re lacking: they still support the system.  

First of all, it is something everyone has to accept, even the most detractor ones: there’re people who actually are ok with this... then, we may wonder why, and this is what this post could be about.

After a sound made from opening a can of soda, if getting closer, you hear bubbles sparkling. It is less noisy but it lasts much longer, and that long lasting will depend on the hole’s size of the can (which is standard, but kind of small). We could see the hole and ignore the sparkling just like we did with the situation of the country, and now, although many claim (not without showing off) they had always known of this and therefore never been deceived, we’ve been having this impact in our pockets and this infantilism to suffer…

There weren´t few years hearing that poverty is caused by the rich, that privatizing industries means the destruction of the country, that only through the academy people achieve progress, that companies are in fact against citizens. All these bubbles were there when we’re just hearing the opening of the can. Now the can is empty, the government drank it all and we just get this impotence; an impotence which makes us behave as children, because now we don’t talk about science, tech, world economy; not the most at least. We talk about finding bread in a bakery, cash in the bank, medicines in drugstores and despite of it, some people are still supportive. Why? Because of the academic growth (there’s a lot of poor professionals but professionals nonetheless) the nationalized industries (which work less than a quarter of their potential but finally belong to the people) and the fact the government made clear that the enemies of the nation are just the rich and the companies, the ones inside the territory of course because according to them, the world is against us, which means them (for thieves obviously) but them is always us for our disgrace…

miércoles, 7 de febrero de 2018

the perception is nostalgia

There’s this article in which I could read some about time’s perception. It wasn’t too deep but what I usually remember from it is that we, –the almost forty in 2018- when saying something about the nineties, tend to think it was about ten years ago. I hadn’t bought a DVD player yet. I remember that a friend lent me two VHS tapes with the bands he could record from a special broadcasting of Woodstock 99. I remember Limp Bizkit: the nookie. Few years later Korn came to Venezuela, Papa Roach performed at that show too. I was amazing, affordable, young and nearly ten years ago (in my head at least). Moments and memories are always playing tricks, I can´t precise when I stopped playing VHS tapes and replaced them with DVDs, for instance. I remember those Coca-Cola concerts (Experiencia Roja, they were called) as not so distant events. My wife gave me as a present my first smartphone in 2013 (I’m not so into what’s on but that’s not the point here) and nowadays I’m finding hard to see the daily routine without it, even though I’ve been using it only for five years: it’s seems like forever but it’s not. I’ve spent more time with mobiles of the other kind. So this tricky is this perception issue…

Money, on the other hand, got tricky too. During the first months of 2008 the Government ordered the first trick with money; from then on, three units would be suppressed this way: what´s valued one hundred fifty thousand bolívares changed into one hundred fifty; three zeros out. It was called (bolívar fuerte) to make a difference from the former one and this was, for real, ten years ago. It obviously created a new perception. Four years later there was no distinguishing of one currency from another; there were both bolívar and also by that now, the former bills were all out of circulation (they got out the same 2008 and this is tricky too: nowadays there’s a strong shortage of bills) We simply got used to say that a car costs forty thousand instead of forty millions, and if it’s putted that way it did not sound so bad until you talked about salaries…

Venezuelans have been dealing with ‘Control Cambiario’ (this sort of ban from free market and that’s a euphemism, because it is brutal) for over fifteen years. Fifteen years of managing multiple exchange rates. This got crazy on 2015 (the first time someone had to pay one hundred bolívares just for a dollar) but it didn’t stop there, by October 2017 one dollar was fifty thousand bolívares, one hundred thousand by November, two hundred thousand last January, just for a dollar. That makes most of us handle salaries not higher that ten dollars per month… and this situation brought us a refreshed trick: due to the astonishing devaluation, people are suppressing, again, three zeros, this time on their own; a nice but not so fancy meal costs five hundred in a restaurant, but it’s not five hundred, it’s five hundred thousand and most of the people just make over a million in thirty days, so, if you want to have a meal, just a meal out, you know it will be almost half of a salary for some, and simply impossible for many…

The government made time and money a matter of perception in Venezuela. The most frequent tale people say to each other is what you could do with certain amount of money and that’s certainly less and less every day on… the perception is nostalgia.