The Christmas 2010 post

Sorry guys, I am like the country, the Xmas spirit is totally missing this year.  Drive through Caracas streets or even most of Venezuela streets and there is almost no lights, no cheers, no nothing.  Everyday we look more and more like a XXI century socialist barrack.

With electricity rationing, the expensive imported ornaments, the lack of money which makes focus your priorities for the Hallaca and a few toys for the kids, well, what is left there to cheer?  Add to this a Xmas Advent coup d'etat and what do you get?  A few chavistas left to celebrate something that they should know better than celebrate because they might be at the end of the repression line, but they are in it even if they are not aware of that fact.  Then again, if they knew a little bit about historical precedent they would have dumped Chavez long ago.  Ah!  Ignorance can be bliss indeed!

And for many families there is also separation anxiety.  One sister in law, for example , has now ALL of her immediate family living outside the country.  They moved over the last two years and her old mother went to spend Xmas with one of her exiled kids.  My in law is thus alone this year, for the first time, for Xmas and Año Nuevo, more important even than Xmas for native Venezuelans.  Of course, she is not alone, she also belongs now to our family, but there is no more that sweet sorrow of which holiday I spend with which side......

And believe me, that "missing relative syndrome" reaches now deep in our society.  There is today hardly a family who in its mist has not at least someone that prefers to be, say, a maid in Madrid than put up with Caracas.  Chavismo will neither hold and even less publish such statistics but when you see that Australia promotes in newspapers and Internet information days to apply for immigration down under you can only take for real some statistics that would claim more than 1 million Venezuelans gone since Chavez came to power.  Think about it, maybe 1 Venezuelan in 25 is gone.....  How fast is this now going to rise that we are in a hopeless dictatorship?  And let's not go into the portion of the country who has had a relative murdered in the last few years......

But I do not want to be the Grinch, Chavez does too good a job of it.  For the readers outside of Venezuela, it is not your fault that we are so screwed up here at home.  So to you my very best Xmas wishes.

And for those still here, we are in it together and tomorrow will be a good day to start seriously thinking about the solidarity networks we need to create to hold together so that future Christmas will not be as bleak as this one.