The Suicide of Venezuela

I never expected to witness the slow suicide of a country, a civilization. I suppose nobody does.

Let me tell you, there’s nothing epic about it. We who have the privilege of travel often look down in satisfaction at the ruins of ancient Greece; the Parthenon lit up in blues and greens. The acropolis. The Colosseum in Rome. We walk through the dusty streets of Timbuktu and gaze in wonder at the old mud mosques as we reflect on when these places had energy and purpose. They are not sad musings, for those of us who are tourists. Time has polished over the disaster. Now all that is left are great old buildings that tell a story of when things were remarkable – not of how they quietly fell away. “There was no reason, not really,” we tell each other as we disembark our air-conditioned buses. “These things just happen. Nothing is forever; and nobody is at fault. It’s just the way of the world,” our plastic wine glass in hand. Time ebbs and flows, slowly wearing away the foundations of a civilization until it collapses in upon itself – at least that’s what we say to comfort ourselves. There’s nothing to do about it. These things can’t be stopped. They just are.

This is what people will say in a hundred years, a thousand years about Caracas, Venezuela. Or Maracay, or Valencia, or Maracaibo. Those great sweltering South American cities with their malls and super-highways and skyscrapers and colossal stadiums. When the archeologists of the future dredge the waters of the Caribbean and find the remains of sunken boats; putting them on display in futuristic museums to tell of the time when this place had hosted a civilization. Ruins of great malls filled with water and crocodiles – maybe the ancient anaconda will have retaken their valleys; maybe the giant rats that wander the plains will have made their abodes in the once-opulent homes of the oligarchs – covering the tiles and marble with their excrement. “There was nothing that could have been done,” the futuristic tourists will also say. “The country declined – and vanished – it’s the way things go.”

We tourists are wrong.

I know, because I have watched the suicide of a nation; and I know now how it happens. Venezuela is slowly, and very publically, dying; an act that has spanned more than fifteen years. To watch a country kill itself is not something that happens often. In ignorance, one presumes it would be fast and brutal and striking – like the Rwandan genocide or Vesuvius covering Pompeii. You expect to see bodies of mothers clutching protectively their young; carbonized by the force or preserved on the glossy side of pictures. But those aren’t the occasions that promote national suicide. After those events countries recover – people recover. They rebuild, they reconcile. They forgive.

No, national suicide is a much longer process – not product of any one moment. But instead one bad idea, upon another, upon another and another and another and another and the wheels that move the country began to grind slower and slower; rust covering their once shiny facades. Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips, filling the buckets of a successive line of bureaucrats before they are destroyed, only to be replaced time and again. This is what is remarkable for me about Venezuela. In my defense – weak though it may be – I tried to fight the suicide the whole time; in one way or another. I suppose I still do, my writing as a last line of resistance. But like Dagny Taggert I found there was nothing to push against – it was all a gooey mess of resentment and excuses. “You shouldn’t do that.” I have said. And again, “That law will not work,” and “this election will bring no freedom,” while also, “what you plan will not bring prosperity – and the only equality you will find will be in the bread line.” And I was not alone; an army of people smarter than me pointed out publically in journals and discussion forums and on the televisions screens and community meetings and in political campaigns that the result would only be collective national suicide. Nobody was listening.

So I wandered off. I helped Uganda recover after a 25 year civil war – emptying out the camps and getting people back living again. I helped return democracy to Mali, and cemented a national peace process. I wrote three novels. I moved, and moved, and moved again. I loved my wife; we took vacations. We visited Marrakesh, and Cairo, and Zanzibar and Portugal and the Grand Canyon. We had surgeries. I had a son. We taught our son to sit up, to crawl, to walk and to run; to sing and scream and say words like “chlorophyll” and “photosynthesis”. To name the planets one by one, to write his name.

All the while the agonizingly slow suicide continued.

And always, in the early morning over coffee I open my computer to document, if only for myself, the next cut in Venezuela’s long, tragic suicide. I chat with my friends, who continue to try and explain to the mindless why their misery is a direct result of one bad idea built upon the last in a great edifice of stupidity. Good men and women who are stuck in a two-decade old debate from which there is no escape. I say silent prayers for the next in the long line of political prisoners. I look at photographs of places that I knew – beaches where I went and restaurants that I frequented; covered in garbage or boarded up and stinking. I watch the videos of the nightly sacking of supermarkets that are fortuitous enough to have had a supply of something.

Tonight there are no lights. Like the New York City of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”, the eyes of the country were plucked out to feed the starving beggars in abandoned occupied buildings which were once luxury apartments. They blame the weather – the government does – like the tribal shamans of old who made sacrifices to the gods in the hopes of an intervention. There is no food either; they tell the people to hold on, to raise chickens on the terraces of their once-glamorous apartments. There is no water – and they give lessons on state TV of how to wash with a cup of water. The money is worthless; people now pay with potatoes, if they can find them. Doctors operate using the light of their smart phones; when there is power enough to charge them. Without anesthesia, of course – or antibiotics, like the days before the advent of modern medicine. The phone service has been cut – soon the internet will go and an all-pervading darkness will fall over a feral land.

Torre de David

The marathon of destruction is almost finished; the lifeblood of the nation is almost gone. No, there is nothing heroic or epic here; ruins in the making are sad affairs – bereft of the comforting mantle of time which lends intrigue and inevitability. And watching it has, for me, been one of life’s great tragedies.

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright, author of "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio". Joel has also written, "Dreams of the Defeated - A Play in Two Acts" and he is writing "Lords of Misrule".
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664 Responses to The Suicide of Venezuela

  1. Dalo 2013 says:

    Joel, your writing and reflections of cities/people at a certain place in time is something special to read. So very sad to witness through your words, and so clear ~ “Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips” Powerful.

    Liked by 12 people

    • Thank you. Its an unimaginable tragedy.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It was a fantastic and touching written story about your country of birth. I´m from Sweden and i must admit that I or we neber hear so much about Venezuela and its disintegration. Really sad to here. Sometimes lately I feel the rest of our world will go the sam way. ❤

        Like

    • Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

      Joel, there, but for the passage of time, goes Canada and the halfway-there United States of America. The voices of dissent threatened with censure…or imprisonment…or worse. Offered Autocratic tomes like the Leap Manifesto from wan-faced toadies. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scolding ramblings of Christiana Figueres, a poor little rich girl. Bleated upon by the breathy vacuity of Trudeau Junior. And profited upon by the sallow-faced George Soros, destroyer of Nations.

      Spectacular in its Phanerozoic splendor, and doted on by millennials craving their safe places.

      You article surges forth with a clarion call, not a plaintive whimper. Nobody can hear it.

      Who is John Galt.

      Liked by 6 people

    • Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

      Joel, there, but for the passage of time, goes Canada and the halfway-there United States of America. The voices of dissent threatened with censure…or imprisonment…or worse. Offered Autocratic tomes like the Leap Manifesto from wan-faced toadies. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The scolding ramblings of Christiana Figueres, a poor little rich girl. Bleated upon by the breathy vacuity of Trudeau Junior. And profited upon by the sallow-faced George Soros, destroyer of Nations.

      Spectacular in its Phanerozoic splendor, and doted on by millennials craving their safe places.

      You article surges forth with a clarion call, not a plaintive whimper. Nobody can hear it.

      Who is John Galt?

      Liked by 4 people

    • Roberto Pulido says:

      Bob Grandpa. I am a 77 years old Venezuela who knows very well the hell that my dear country has become in, but I can´t avoid craing blod tears after reading your article. I wish I was only 40 so I could do something to try to change this situation, but…

      Liked by 4 people

      • We all cry Roberto. You will see a free Venezuela!

        Like

      • Jose Perez says:

        As you I am a retired 77 years old professional, who saw the birth of a new prosperous and new country, Venezuela in the 50 ‘n decade became the most reach ideal country among the best in the world. But the most evil and dirty political place……and became the mos tragic decay of the life…and no return point..

        Liked by 4 people

    • Sergio says:

      I wish for a free Venezuela, as we have taken in members of a Venezuelan family here in the U.S. Still as a first generation American, my parents fled Cuba. Today its a hot spot and many disregard the same tragedy that once hit the island in the early 90’s. I hope to god that Venezuela pulls out of it quickly so that it does not follow the island of Cuba which it mimics more and more.

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. M. Donahue says:

      Well written and ‘to the point’. You clearly convey the frustration of watching a developed country sink into the self imposed destruction while those living through it cannot point to any one thing causing the downfall; it’s an undefinable combination in a nearly infinite number of poorly thought out decisions and actions by the ‘pillars’ of the society and government that have combined to bring on this national death. As it has been written: “Those who forget the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them.” Take a look around the U.S. How far behind Venezuela can we be?

      Like

  2. PhilipMac says:

    Yes Joel, Dalo 2013 picked out the passage which struck me and will stay with me. I am reminded of 2 Chronicles.

    Liked by 6 people

    • DougG says:

      Kind of reminds me of Lamentations … Waiting for the 70 years to end.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Brent says:

      2 Chronicles made me think of “Two Corinthians” which then made me think of 1 Samuel 8:5-22, especially v. 7 and 22.
      7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. […]
      22 And the Lord said to Samuel, Hearken unto their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said unto the men of Israel, Go ye every man unto his city.
      When a society crumbles, it’s usually through the majorities ignorance and/or apathy. We get what we want in the end.

      Liked by 5 people

      • Janice Carlson says:

        I think of this verse so often these days, I wonder if the Spirit of God is giving us hope through it.

        Like

      • Carlos says:

        Political campaigns do not pay themselves… the problem in Venezuela was the elite’s fear of freedom.
        A guy like Chavez was the mantuano’s wet dream. They imagined a nationlist in power who would treat the country and its oil revenue as his hacienda, who would protect local investments from foreign competition, increase commercial barriers and, of course, give them cheap money through subsidies, cheap credits, “fomento a la industria” and yes, preferential exchange rates.
        That’s what Chavez did, bu he chose other partners: Cubans, Chinese, Brazilians, Iranians, etc. and treated mantuanos the way they imagined a nationalist, protectionist government would treat foreign investments.
        Masses are ignorant and stupid. Alwayds. Their stupid decisions are an act of god, a natural phenomenon. Educated people, particularly the wealthy elites, should know better. They should have known that the model they wanted was doomed. But they insisted until the end. They have absolutely no excuses.

        Like

  3. Alex says:

    Those of us who not so long ago came from the Dark Side, clearly recognize the proverbial writing on the wall, predicting the unimaginable for our new and still prosperous motherland – the USA.
    Former USSR State Slave

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Well and rightly done. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

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  6. Reblogged this on Order From Chaos and commented:
    Just when I think I cannot get more depressed about the situation in Venezuela, I read something like this.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. clfaadmin says:

    Reblogged this on Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance and commented:
    A must-read! A haunting eyewitness account of national declined Venezuela. Here at CLFA, it make us feel like we’ve just seen the ghost of Christmas Future!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. clfaadmin says:

    Stunning depiction. Bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I visited Caracas in 1989 and loved it but it brings tears now!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hoops says:

    What a sad picture you paint. One of our grandsons is married to a beautiful girl from that country’ Her father is a wealthy business man there but. Has roots and property here so comes and goes! But his life is always in jeoperdy as I I stand . But things in the world are sad so we are happy to have a Heavenly Father in charge of all things including us! We feel you passion and send greetings. Marion for us two

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Joel…I’m curious if this is an experiment by regional (South American) leaders to see how far the fall can occur so as to avoid a civil war but instead cause a jump to capitulation and surrender….thoughts?

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think its just a case that people don’t want to get involved, using “sovereignty” as an excuse to do nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ray Göntgens says:

      Isn’t that case.. The situation is depraved corruption and a stupid men as president .. Venezuela have Tirany not dictator leader counting back Chavez to now this days. And these people don’t care at all about the life of the citizens.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Lily Keyes says:

    I spent some of the happiest days of my adult life in Caracas in the early 80’s. Yes, this is truly one of “life’s great tragedies.” Almost unimaginable. Your words cut to the heart of my sadness.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Kathryn says:

    Venezuela is now the dominant tone, with most other countries vibrating in sympathy, foretelling of a simlar fate.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. dipkid says:

    Reblogged this on diplomatickid and commented:
    I haven’t been back to Venezuela in over 15 years, it was already in decline when I lived there, and to see what it is like now, I just can’t imagine. This is truly worth a read.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Wow I had no idea. I suppose we Americans don’t have enough economic interest to care.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Lorenzo says:

    I was born there and can’t still realize how it will end, although you wrote what I feel is going to happen, and wouldn’t like to see. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Timothy Kern says:

    Save this article for 20 years, and re-title it, “The Suicide of the USA.”

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Odkin says:

    Meanwhile, the left thinks: “If only the revolution had been more pure… if only there had been less crimethink and fewer saboteurs and subversive enemies of the people. Clearly, this is just more proof that communism has never REALLY been tried. I’m sure that next time, when a government cracks down hard on the capitalists in the beginning… THAT will be the time when communism finally works!”

    Liked by 7 people

  19. hernan aranguren says:

    Joel… you only have to visit Cuba, and will have a clear picture on how Venezuela will look in a few years. Sad misery everywhere. And the way out, must share the same path in both countries.
    H Aranguren

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jim Sullivan says:

      Keep the faith! Jamaica went through the exact sequence of events but has recovered. Price controls, exchange controls, nationalisation, budget deficits to support populist and redistribution goals, dual currency exchange rates, shortages, outages, blaming foreign intervention, anti democratic practices in the name of democratic socialism, corruption, state apparatus terror tactics, airlines not being paid and pulling out…on and on. The population put a stop to it in an election after 10 years of it, the last 4 being like Venezuela’s though through the first 6 there was sufficient momentum to cushion the effect. Now Jamaica has a free market and free enterprise consensus along with fiscal prudence and is slowly coming back, slowly yes because the middle class was wiped out and skills and capital fled in the 1970s and education is still not good and the civil service is not up to the job anymore. But the cycle has been broken and Jamaica learned its lesson. Are the people of Venezuela smart enough to see through the fog of populist nonsense and avoid a coup by exercising their vote appropriately?

      Like

  20. Pam Porvaznik says:

    My fear is that America is slowing moving toward a similar Bethlehem to be born, and it’s sad beyond belief.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. laura997 says:

    Reblogged this on Right Reason and commented:
    Another once thriving country self destructs under the control of democratic socialism. America still has time, although very little, to throw out this corrupt regime and restore our republic. This is what should be read in our schools, the warnings and accounts of those who have lived or are living through it.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Harold Ray Emerson, D.V.M. says:

    Your article could easily describe America as it will be in a few years if people continue to believe the government is their provider and caretaker. With a foolish man pretending to lead, we are headed down the Venezuela path. Venezuela believed and followed a fool; America has, too. The bills have to be paid; no one can live life for free.

    Liked by 5 people

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  24. Beatriz de Fantini says:

    What a sad story. I lived in Venezuela during the late 50’s and 60’s when it was a country worth visiting. I have wonderful memories as a student and as a journalist . I published my first short stories there, worked in public relations and advertising, and now it seems like a dream. I have not been there in 20 years. Thank you for taking the time to write about a country very close to my heart. What a tragedy.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. GCAndersen says:

    “Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips, filling the buckets of a successive line of bureaucrats before they are destroyed, only to be replaced time and again.” Tragic for Venezuela. Much the same can be said of the left in the U.S., and the current administration. I Hope we wake up before we go as far down that same road.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. njoriole says:

    Sean Penncould not be reached for comment.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Capn Mike says:

    A slow, painful death. Sad indeed. But slow: “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”, said Adam Smith.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. And yet, there are those that want to push these bad ideas on other people. The world goes round and round.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Astrid Aular Bruzual says:

    Joel, I’m from Venezuela and I would like to tell you that ALL the countries around the world pass through circles and crisis and we just need to check this on history, good examples are:

    1) Chile with Allende, at that time the socialism implemented by the president generated scarcity of products, the same as Venezuela and now tell me how is Chile
    2) Spain after the Civil War and after Franco was a country in ruins, where most of the people moved to other countries and a lot of them went to Venezuela by the way
    3) Panama at the end of the 80’s, Noriega was the president and he was a militar with a poor speech that hypnotized the masses and then, he took the power by weapons until US invaded Panama
    4) Germany after the rise of Hitler was destroyed by the Second World War and it took years to repaired the internal problems. In addition with that, a Wall divided Berlin in two, one country split in 2 for mindset until 1989, now tell me how is Germany…

    European countries pass through World War I and II and Civil War and a lot of dictators and they have more history as a republic than Venezuela, my country is really young if you compared us with them, we are a republic since 1811. Now, my question for you is:
    1) What is worse: See someone doing a crime and DON’T DO SOMETHING TO STOP IT or MAKE THE CRIME ?

    A lot of countries / organizations took advantage of Venezuela with Chavez knowing that he was a dictator and he doesn’t care Human Rights, they made agreements or accepted gifts from him. Examples are: Brasil, Argentina, all Latin America, Germany, China, Russia, Cuba, FAO, Unasur, OEA….All these countries/organizations knew that something was wrong with Venezuela and they don’t care at all… Chavez bought concious around the world with oil for geopolitics… and they were witness in silence of dying people and violence. Did you know that on February 2014, Brasil and Germany sold tear gas to my government?

    2) Did you know that Venezuela protested against the following countries and tried to help them?
    a) Chile with Pinochet?
    b) Peru with Fujimori and Sendero Luminoso?
    c) Panama with Noriega?
    d) Brasil with their dictator?
    e) Colombia with ELN and FARN? we received tons of colombians

    What are these countries doing for us today? do they care Venezuela?

    3) Finally, did you know that my country was a bless for people from: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Colombia, Chile and more when they had problems in their countries?

    So, before speak bad about the situation in Venezuela, please remember that oil and money are capable to buy concious around the world and the world don’t run with ethics as they don’t care what others are facing… and don’t remember the importance of help others

    Liked by 3 people

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  31. Holy moley. Your writing is so evocative – and yet? words fail.

    You are the rockN canary….

    …and more’s the pity

    Liked by 3 people

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  33. I never imagined, in my wildest dreams, that my country could be destroyed with so much hatred and animosity. Your article is a true, sad reflection of the bitter reality. It hurts beyond words.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Brad S. says:

    Reblogged this on SiriusCoffee and commented:
    And you Americans say you want a glorious Democratic Socialist future, where entitlement ushers in a new equality and “social justice”. Here’s the story of what happens when it goes badly.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. Charles J Quarra says:

    beautiful, inspired and thick writing. This Margariteño salutes you

    Liked by 3 people

  36. I have been living in Venezuela my entire life (24 years old) and is so sad that as a young man I see no future here..

    Liked by 3 people

  37. Dind my post show up?

    Liked by 3 people

  38. Reblogged this on Foodforthethinkers's Blog and commented:
    This has been happening in America for decades. It all started long before anyone heard of Obama.

    However, in our hubris, we refuse to learn from other nations. We persist in thinking that “it can’t happen here.” Oh yes it can!

    “Pride goeth before destruction,
    and an haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18

    Liked by 3 people

  39. Emily says:

    Thank you for writing what I’ve been feeling all these years…the country where I grew up doesn’t exist anymore.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. Rome says:

    This is so well written, I wanted you to know I have to find more of your work.

    Liked by 3 people

  41. I often wonder, How soon till we read this story about America…. which used to be so wonderful unit the people voted for socialism….. the death knell…

    Liked by 3 people

  42. Folco RICCIO says:

    It is so true and very, very sad.
    Ignorance combined with, hate, resentment, greed and impudence it is an explosive force capable of destroying a whole country. You need a lot of complicity, indolence and apathy…

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Paul says:

    Joel, I had the good fortune to live in Caracas ’75-78. I was a young teenager and I certainly had an idealist view, but Venezuela was paradise. Violent crime was relatively low, there was opportunity and overall people seemed to be enjoying life and liberty. They nationalized the oil industry in ’75 and although it seemed justified and a good thing at the time – the big oil companies did appear to be collaborating and exploiting the resources and “palanca” (sp?) bought on the cheap – I look back at it as the first domino in the fall. Since it was a largely looted ready made pump shooting money out of the ground – and thru the hands of government – eventually it attracted nuisance thieving pest and then leaches and eventually life threatening parasitic strait up thugs like Chavez.
    I’ve come to believe the worst thing that can happen to any society is to have readily available wealth there to be picked up – or stolen, or seized – with disproportionate effort to honest means of obtaining the same wealth.
    What a waste…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jacques de Verteuil says:

      Trinidad, Venezuela’s immediate neighbour to the east is screaming in that direction. its only a matter of time unless it is fixed now.

      Like

  44. Roy Push says:

    I can see the United States going down that same path. Sad, but true.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. This must have been similar to what the old timers saw (that is the ones who chose to stay behind) in Havana and other Cuban cities in the 70s or 80s. Of course at least in those years Castro still had USSR pumping in several million a year to keep his regime propped up. The Venezuelans have at long last decided they gain nada by giving free or subsidized oil to Raul and “el hermano grande”

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Rafael Hernandez says:

    The worse of this suicide is that is happening in front of all international community who are just taking advantage in many cases of the situation. Is a really sad reality, but is true and many of us doesn’t know if is better wait to rebuilt or try to fight now, but the fight is a very unfair fight and can’t be thru normal ways…

    Liked by 3 people

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  48. Daniel Manske he says:

    Powerful imagery. Thank you

    Liked by 3 people

  49. Erica Marsh says:

    Wow. Your words convey so much emotion. I fear America is heading down the same path.

    Liked by 3 people

  50. Joel, your chronicle is very accurate. If witness it from without is sad, you cannot imagine how painful it is to live it from within. I feel so great pity for my people, my poor people. This “socialism” has led society to be reduced to slag, top-down and almost completely. Sometimes I wonder if the good people of Venezuela is gone, or if those of us who still stay here are so resigned to the catastrophe that we have become useless for the purpose of doing something to reverse this degradation…

    Liked by 3 people

  51. Cornfed says:

    Places like Venezuela confirm that the “human condition” is here for as long as the human race lasts. Why, oh why, can’t people learn? Just returned from Haiti a few weeks ago. It is where Venezuela is headed. It ain’t pretty. I am pretty sure i’ll be dead before the U.S, gets there, but I’m equally sure that’s the direction we’re gradually turning.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. linda mishkin says:

    I am Venezuelan; my heart hurts. My mother and two brothers and many friends and some family still live there. I cry often; i pray and visualize healing. Your words hit a chord and bring on the tears again. My hope is that in all that i have known historically and otherwise, the darkness is always followed by the light..and I pray that the light will come sooner than we expect. I love to quote Ben Gurion who says, “Those who do not believe in miracles are not realists.” I pray for a miracle.

    Liked by 3 people

  53. Carlos Paez says:

    Is there is something that can be done to stop the suicide and rescue Venezuela ?

    Liked by 3 people

  54. Carlos Paez says:

    Is there something that can be done to stop the suicide and rescue Venezuela ?

    Liked by 2 people

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  56. Kirsten Jürgens says:

    Thank you Joel for your chilling and heartbreaking story of the demise of Venezuela. I was taken back to Atlas Schrugged and all of the Peoples Republics that Ayn Rand described. So sad. When will the world learn? Kirsten

    Liked by 3 people

  57. Hola Joel, me gustaría leer este interesante artículo en español, soy venezolano y pienso que Ud. tiene razón, es lamentable como Venezuela se está muriendo, gracias.

    Liked by 3 people

  58. Kirby Palm says:

    Mr. Hirst: Those here in the US who think socialism is wonderful point to Scandinavia rather than Venuzela. Do you have an opinion on why the Scandinavian countries are at least appearing to be successful with socialism while it destroyed Venuzela so rapidly and thoroughly?

    Liked by 5 people

    • Not being an expert on the scandinavian countries – I’d say probably things like small population numbers, etc. There is something interesting though, it is indeed “socialized” but most of the taxes (more than 70%) go to the municipalities – which compete with each other as people “vote with their feet”. So decentralization doesn’t allow an authority at the top to take control of the money and the power.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susie Stevens says:

        Venezuela lacks the infrastructure to deal effectively with the corruption that has been ingrained since the beginning and has thrived since the return to democracy in 1958. Chavez was elected as a response to this in the hope that he’d bring about the very necessary social and political changes, but he got carried away by his own importance and the rest is history. Or is that a naive interpretation?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Chavez had the wrong ideas, unfortunately. Had he come to office with a copy of Henry Hazlitt and not Marx, Venezuela would be right now the greatest country in the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Frau Katze says:

        It was also, until recently, very homogenous, like a big family. That’s breaking down now.

        Also consider the Arab oil states: somehow they have nationalized their oil but are still stable. Their culture is very different, and not something most people would care for, but maybe the citizens sense that, though not perfect, what they have is a lot better than Venezuela (or more likely, Syria). There are sporadic protests in Saudi Arabia but they never catch on.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ron Larson says:

      Corruption. Simple as that.

      Like

  59. Steve Butterbaugh says:

    This is happening in the USA too. Hillary refused the endorsement of the Koch brothers. She’s polishing the hate.

    Liked by 3 people

  60. Rand says:

    Your description of the combined result of the bad ideas, one by one, would serve the US as the perfect 5-minute end of game warning

    Liked by 3 people

  61. Tony Menendex says:

    Periplaneta Americana. That is the scientific name of common cockroaches. They have survived every major cataclysm for hundreds of milions of years. The difference with Century XXI Socialists is they adapted, whilst chavistas ( a contemporary human mutation) destroy every existing vestige of civilization, culture, humanity and decency. As they loot the country and after finishing with every wealth producing resource and cultural heritage they migrate to first world countries, shed wings, antennas, legs and transform into law abbiding citizens where they live happily everafter…. under the accomodating eyes of rapidly deteriorating democracies.

    Liked by 3 people

  62. Salome Vaughn says:

    Renamed the USA?

    Liked by 3 people

  63. xomaarx says:

    Never have I described the condition of my homeland as gloriously as you have done it in this occasion. To read about the agony of a country screaming for help while all its foundations are being shattered to the ground, it tortures me, as it should everyone that lives here. What a tremendous thing it is a writer’s empathy, that without experiencing the conflict personally, he can put in such marvelous words how the dying of a revolution can still destroy a Nation. A young venezuelan guy thanks you. We do not need our voice to reach far, we only need it to reach near for someone to want to listen. I just hope we don’t extinguish ourselves trying to put up a show.

    Liked by 3 people

  64. Lina Ufimtseva says:

    One can quickly pick up that you’ve absorbed Ayn Rand’s works. The article which you so eloquently wrote also describes South Africa’s state, just at an earlier stage. Can an individual, or a family unit do anything more than flee?

    Liked by 3 people

  65. Debbi Cobern says:

    The same thing is happening in the USA yet it is being ignored just like it was in Venezuela. They are not alone.
    I can see this because of decades of living in this country and watching it’s slow fall from a world leader to a joke among other nations.

    Liked by 3 people

  66. Thank you for your passion. No one seems to care beyond the cartoonish understanding of 10 second blips on CNN or Fox.

    Liked by 3 people

  67. Charles Richardson says:

    I have witnessed the death of single industry towns in America. Now a nation built on one industry.
    Many of mankind’s greatest human disasters have begun with the best of intensions.

    Liked by 3 people

  68. Steve Gorden says:

    Very strong article. The sad thing is we are at the beginning of this process in the US. It has been going on for a few decades because of the combination of a lazy electorate and pandering politicians willing to promise anything for votes. We have lost a moral compass and sense of direction. Take a look at Venezuela today and you see the US of tomorrow. We Texans see it and more and more of us are getting behind the idea of separating from the US to once again become our own republic.

    Liked by 3 people

  69. Dustin Gould says:

    the truly sad thing is most people just dont have a clue — they will say oh this is horrible and then make the same decisions as was done here — I think this will happen in north america before too long —- Detroit has suffered hugely –what is the next city?

    Liked by 3 people

  70. NSG says:

    Yes, you paint the feelings and thoughts that many of us share with you.

    Liked by 3 people

  71. Is there any hope? Not just for Venezuela, but for the rest of us? The bad ideas of socialism seem to be on the rise again even here in America.

    Liked by 3 people

  72. Timbotoo says:

    What struck me at first when I lived there was the lack of Venezuelans: I’m Gallego; I’m Italian etc. and these were second or third generation born in the country… In my naivety I would discuss enthusiastically with my neighbors at the beach about how with a few minor tweeks the country could be a powerhouse. They would look at me and shake their heads…
    Meeting the son of an acquaintance, recently graduated from Harvard and already committing fraud…
    Chávez represented for some a clean break, for others a horse to be ridden though he was no pushover as more than a few found to their cost.
    Perez Jimenez built more infrastructure in his short period than the subsequent regimes. I mourn for Venezuela.

    Liked by 3 people

  73. Pingback: Never Yet Melted » Venezuela’s Suicide

  74. Ian Shendale says:

    My name is Ozymandias, king of kings.Look upon my works, ye Mighty and despair. Nothing beside remains, round the decay. Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare. The lone and level sands stretch far way.

    Liked by 3 people

  75. So sad. Twenty years ago I spent a month in Venezuela. It’s hard to imagine what it must be like now.

    Liked by 3 people

  76. jccarlton says:

    Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Watching a country commit suicide is not fun. Living in one is worse. I will note that the US has been also going down the road of bad decisions and that those bad decisions come from the beliefs of a small group of graduates from Ivy C0vered Snob Factories. At every step Chavez and Maduro had advisors from those august institution, highly credentialed “experts” making recommendations. They are nowhere to be found in Venezuela now, having run back to their comfortable classrooms and think tanks, looking for the next victim.

    Liked by 3 people

  77. Marsha Crews says:

    I am afraid one day one of your books will be about the decline of the United States. The idea of personal responsibility and accountability is being strangled by liberal idiots that cannot understand those simple phrases. When a group ( city, state or country) gets used to the idea that everything is going to be done for you , at that point, you have lost your incentive to being a free person. You have become a slave to the one’s feeding you.

    Liked by 3 people

  78. Pavle Luger says:

    Harrowing depiction, like the frog in the slow boiling pan. Unfortunately, the sad side is that most Venezuelans in 2010 still denied that this was going to happen. I lived a long time there, over 30 years, but as an immigrant from former Yugoslavia, well-versed in world history and communism. when Chavez was elected I could see it coming!! I spoke to and warned people–even offered to give speeches and lectures– that this “socialism” was going to be worst that any of the ones in the former Iron Wall countries. Many laughed, others said: “What the hell are you talking about?”, others didn’t want someone to know more that the local political leaders, Indeed, there have always been hidden agendas, the money from oil revenues can truly buy any conscience As you say “nobody was listening”. In my opinion this happened because Venezuela hasn’t been through difficult situations and political turmoil in the last 4 decades, although there was and is whole layer cake of poverty problems and economy issues. (in fact, Chavez was elected to solve this). With a population largely under 40, the general mindset is very short term, teenage-like. There has been no interest in changing things to the core, though you could say that Chavez did it, but in a totally opposite direction. It’s a very happy-go-lucky idiosyncrasy, nice for socialization but terrible for dealing with hard-core, seasoned communism imposed by Fidel Castro, Chavez’s mentor… it is definitely very though for them. I see this as a wake-up call for most Venezuelans, that there no easy way out but rather a growing up, maturing, I apologize for the length of my comment. Grateful for the article..

    Liked by 3 people

  79. Fabiana says:

    Joel, your writing is powerful enough to be heartbreaking. That is a gift, and one that you use wonderfully. What I would like to get at is that as a Venezuelan citizen, one out of the country since she was 5 years old, it has been one of the greatest tragedies to see my family through the small screen of a smartphone only to hear updates on how bad their lives have become. You’re right, the suicide of a nation is messy and slow and never clear-cut. The 2014 protests gave people hope, but as you said, as is public knowledge, Leopoldo Lopez was incarcerated like many other political prisoners were. Hope is fading, and now all people can do is sit in shock and continue surviving. The government has truly done a horrifying number on this country, a country that had so much potential. It’s good to hear the opinion of another person who not only feels sympathy for the country and its people, but who is familiar with it. Thank you for the article.

    Liked by 3 people

  80. Tom Simmons says:

    Someone needs to MAKE Bernie Sanders read this, COMMUNISM DOESN’T WORK!

    Liked by 3 people

  81. Mariana says:

    I am sorry to read all this sadness.
    I am deeply sorry to know that thousands of Venezuelans are not seeing it. They just find a way to survive and they are used to it because their survival is not the same struggle of the millions that don’t have their same luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  82. Joel! Thanks for helping me understand that I am not imagining things, as I see the US beginning this slow decline into suicide. And as each successive little piece takes place, in my mind I am seeing the real live Atlas Shrugged taking place right before me. And it seems as you said, that nothing can stop it. I am thankful I will not live to see the final breath.

    Liked by 3 people

  83. Teresa Boguta says:

    this is an exsquisite elegy for a dying culture. so poetic and sad. It seems as if the patient is already in a coma with no life support. your descriptions are haunting and memorable, the image used to illiustrate certainly evokes the tone of the text. I sometimes fear that stupidity and greed will be the ruin of the United States, where we are slowly sinking into oligarchy, and that bloated useless bureacracy you describe so well. Let us hop something will stir your nation out of its slumber. best wishes.

    Liked by 3 people

  84. m. says:

    A miracle is coming

    Liked by 3 people

  85. The Behrg says:

    Reblogged this on The Behrg and commented:
    Far too many are unaware of what’s occurring beneath the level of public interest. This is reality for millions of innocent people.

    Liked by 3 people

  86. Julian Andres Barrionuevo says:

    Joel, i loved it. I would like (if you want it) to write about the last 12 years in my country (Argentina), with similar facts as you describe it. Luckly there is a new goverment, with another vision of life.

    Liked by 3 people

  87. The Behrg says:

    I too spent several years living in Venezuela, surrounded by some of the most genuine and caring people I’ve ever met. This is a tragedy of epic proportion, and while it has been a gradual slide into chaos I’m shocked by how little coverage the media devotes to this. I’m plagued by wanting to help and not knowing how.

    Liked by 3 people

  88. First went to Venezuela in the 1980s at the time of the great devaluation. Hotels and restaurants were empty, all building had stopped. It was good for us, living on a boat, and finding everything ridiculously cheap compared to the rest of the Caribbean. Economically, on the surface it recovered, but we learned some sad truths. Nobody it seemed, paid taxes, no matter their level of business. The rich spent foolishly. As one scion of big industry we met on a beach in one of the offshore islands he’d flown his plane to for a day of play, told us, when they wanted something, like the flippers we had with us, they never just bought one, they bought many. On our return to the states, we read the most expensive apartment in NYC was owned by a Venezuelan. In the next few years a boating friend who had lived there many years told us it was time to get out, and moved to St. Martin. It became dangerous to leave a boat at anchor, or anchor in remote places. We heard of more attacks on boats and murders than in any other countries in the Caribbean and finally in 1991, we left what was the most beautiful and interesting country, and of course the largest, in all of the Caribbean. By, the way, every part of government we ran into still seemed corrupt, money was fleeing the ciountry, and still no one payed taxes.. Blessed with a beautiful and fertile and mineral rich land, the people have never seemed to get it all together.

    I loved your article, you write so elequently, and my husband did also, since he spent almost an hour finding it again for me to read.

    Liked by 3 people

  89. LuisF says:

    Excellent write up Joel. we find ourselves in the same situation, morning ritual of checking from afar…

    hear my only suggestion to your narrative, rather than suicide I see it as a siege. The foreign oppressor still being successful in subduing the “beautiful” people of Venezuela.

    Liked by 3 people

  90. Amazing and heartfelt. Saludos hermano venezolano.

    Una voz que clama libertad es una luz entre las tinieblas. Te felicito por tu articulo, excelente y lleno de inteligencia.

    De un análisis profundo y sentido.

    It is like that, people that have stayed behind holding on to hope, do it because they are afraid of recognizing a sinking ship.

    And when i think about it, i guess that the passengers on the Titanic, stranded at the sea, always held on to hope. That someone would find them before the freezing death, that someone was going to come.

    But no one did. Until it was too late.

    Its the same for Venezuela.

    Liked by 3 people

  91. Very well written article. It is a sad thing to hear about. I only have seen this through the media.

    Liked by 3 people

  92. Bestzabeth says:

    Hello, Joel. I just want to say to you: thanks, because I live in Venezuela, and, all you wrote is exactly what it’s happening here. “Revolución” is just a damnation for my country.
    Take care.

    Liked by 3 people

  93. mllorens73 says:

    Beautiful post. I live in Venezuela, and am sad to agree with your view. It is devastating. We need people like you to give voice to this tragedy. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  94. Katharina Mara says:

    Hi Joel

    I wanted to find out a bit more about what’s happening in venezuela and stumbled upon your blog. This article is so beatifully horrible it shook me. Thank you for writing something not only informing me but educating my feelings. You mentioned novels. Could you give me the names of them im interested in reading more from you.

    Liked by 3 people

  95. Rachelle says:

    Suburb writing, I agree with everyone, that passage stood out like a flashing red beacon. For me, it’s impossible not to see the parallels in America. I truly fear for my beloved country.

    Liked by 3 people

  96. ralphfucetolajd says:

    Yes, I must share this onward, as a warning “Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips” — since this same tragedy is playing out across a number of countries, mine included. But it doesn’t have to be.

    Take, as an example, Germany after WWII. Destruction nearly complete. The paralysis of the old Nazi economic regulations (not, I suspect unlike what’s destroying Venezuela or California…) preventing the rebuilding. Finally, one politician (a crypto-libertarian named Erhard) simply abolished all the old regulations in one fell swoop.

    “What caused the so-called miracle? The two main factors were currency reform and the elimination of price controls, both of which happened over a period of weeks in 1948. A further factor was the reduction of marginal tax rates later in 1948 and in 1949.” http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GermanEconomicMiracle.html

    There is a radical demand that must be raised in every country: “The only way to restore prosperity is to abolish taxes, bureaus and programs…” as they once said in Germany.

    Venezuela can then have its own economic miracle.

    Here is an interview we did last week with a young Venezuelan who left the country — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49fuWHcGcas

    Liked by 3 people

  97. Paul62 says:

    Joel, I had the good fortune to live in Caracas ’75-78. I was a young teenager and I certainly had an idealist view, but Venezuela was paradise. Violent crime was relatively low, there was opportunity and overall people seemed to be enjoying life and liberty. They nationalized the oil industry in ’75 and although it seemed justified and a good thing at the time – the big oil companies did appear to be collaborating and exploiting the resources and “palanca” (sp?) bought on the cheap – I look back at it as the first domino in the fall. Since it was a largely looted ready made pump shooting money out of the ground – and thru the hands of government – eventually it attracted nuisance thieving pest and then leaches and eventually life threatening parasitic strait up thugs like Chavez.
    I’ve come to believe the worst thing that can happen to any society is to have readily available wealth there to be picked up – or stolen, or seized – with disproportionate effort to honest means of obtaining the same wealth.
    What a waste…

    Liked by 3 people

  98. Jim Banks says:

    This was totally predictable before Hugo Chavez. We were there in ’78. The oil companies, such as Shell, had recently been nationalized. OPEC was feeling it’s oats. The building projects, high rise concrete cubicles were mushrooming around beautiful Caracas. Excitement and confidence were in the air along with an arrogant socialism. The city was. Ringed with terraces of cardboard shacks. People from the country lived in them awaiting their turn to get a cubicle. But there was a looming problem, the median age of the population was 23 years. It was called, at that time, the revolution if rising expectations. Venezuela could not pump enough stolen oil fast enough to satisfy the expectations of its young and burgeoning population. It was doomed.

    Liked by 3 people

  99. This could happen on a global scale. We are hearing the likes of Bill Gates, George Soros and the Pope calling for “Socialist Global Government.” A Socialist (with close ties to both revolutionary Communists and the Military Industrial Establishment) is a candidate for the US Presidency. The worst part is that, before the noose tightens and the descent into ruination begins, things will get better. People will be fed. Goods (the wealth of the “capitalist” society being looted) will be distributed. Then comes the darkness…

    Liked by 3 people

  100. marcpuckett says:

    A Facebook friend posted this, and I’m grateful for the introduction. Bought the San Porfirio novels and am looking forward to reading them.

    Liked by 3 people

  101. Carlos says:

    Imagine how it is for those of us without a foreign passport, an extraordinary career or talent, with a chronic disease… Those of us who are just trapped here, well aware of what’s coming and without a way out.
    On the other hand Joel… this might be a very sad spectacle for people like you and me, who appreciated the achievements and saw the opportunities despite the difficulties and shortcomings. However – and I’ll use your metaphor of the ruins- do you think the Christians or the Turks who slowly destroyed the acropolis ever felt any remorse? No, for them, it was a celebration… what reminds me of the most serious quote ever written for a pop-corn movie: “So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause” (Senator Amidala in the Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars III)

    Liked by 3 people

  102. Victoria Roberts says:

    I´m living it every day. A sad and horrible end.

    Liked by 3 people

  103. Rosa Celina Regalado Suarez says:

    This situation is not new. The only new, its is worsing, because is many hours more and all over the country. But, is also in shortage of medicine n foods. We the people in Venezuela, are deadly going. I can see solutions in the short time.

    Liked by 3 people

  104. What amaze me the most is how people is getting used to serfdom. People is not longer upset for food shortages and lines (produced by prize controls), they are because they have to wait next to “bachaqueros” who came from another zones. They are not mad for electric service interruptions, they now demand government to respect rationing schedule. A little bit of socialism has brought a whole bunch of it. We are living the perfect example of “The road to serfdom”: 40 years of social democracy has brought us 17 of communism and misery.

    Liked by 3 people

  105. beatriz nunez says:

    Mr. Hirst, thank you for caring and writing about this!
    If you think what is happening in my country is a great tragedy, can you imagine what it is like for us who live here and feel helpless? who saw this coming and warned people about it? I can only be grateful that I was lucky to live in a different Venezuela since I was born in 1939.

    Liked by 3 people

  106. gary boyd says:

    Isn’t Venezuela communist? Did he not mention that?

    Liked by 3 people

  107. Olga Lavieri says:

    Joel, thanks for putting in powerful words my own thoughts. My country is in shambles. It hurts me to see it happen. I was there three years ago, and I cried at the sight of a place I could not recognize. Once a prosperous country, with friendly and marvelous people, now, what have they become, what happened to them?
    A decrepit ideology manipulated by two corrupt “mummies” (for almost 60 years) has been used to transfer the cuban franchise to Venezuela. No more no less. The worse part is that they are succeeding, the communist, populist recipe is working…..Venezuela is dying……

    Liked by 3 people

  108. ensitue says:

    as with your prose Ven. has too many ‘I’s’, all concentrated at the top.

    Liked by 3 people

  109. Joel. do you see others in So America trending in the same direction?

    Liked by 3 people

  110. Martin Arias says:

    Cronica de Una Muerte Anunciada

    Liked by 3 people

  111. jamzw says:

    The excellence of a nation is due entirely to the quality of it’s people. Venezuela experienced something it could not handle, a bonanza of what is essentially unearned wealth. Our defects are enlarged and our virtues are shrunk. This is true with more exceptional populations no less but the degrading process is accelerated in second world populations.

    Liked by 3 people

  112. Socialism is the original lie. The lie of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, if you eat of this fruit you will be like a god. When your eyes open and you realize you’ve been screwed, it’s too late.

    Liked by 3 people

  113. Edgardo Alvarez says:

    Joel, I am a Venezuelan citizen, living in the USA; I WONDER if I can get your autorization to translate this article to Spanish. If you allow me, please let me know at: aledgardo@hotmail.com. I would like my people to be able to read this.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

  114. Pingback: Política Brasileira » O Suicídio da Venezuela

  115. George Suplee says:

    I just pray we are not on the same path. Jefferson said that democracy would survive until the people realized they can vote themselves a income from the general treasury. I think we are on the verge of that happening.

    Liked by 3 people

  116. Libertad says:

    Leí su articulo, y lloro. Lloro por que vivo en este país sobre el cual ud escribe. lloro por que he visto y he vivido en carne propia los estrategos de una política basada en el odio, en la división, en la alimentación de las mas bajas miserias. Lloro por que aun no concibo que el país en el cual me crié y me forme como profesional , donde podía viajar con tranquilidad, comprar lo que quisiera, y tener esperanza de un futuro mejor ya no existe y yo no pude hacer nada para evitarlo, mas allá de jamás haberle dado mi voto a Chavez, razón por la cual tengo mi conciencia tranquila. A la mayoría el miedo le ha atrapado como una nube negra y espesa que no les deja ver , que inmoviliza, que adormece, que apaga el fuego . Vivimos desesperanzados, frustrados, con el corazón apabullado de hastío ,de tristeza, de dolor, pensando en la hora en la que tendremos que despedir a nuestros hijos por que ya estamos pensando en que se tienen que ir de su tierra, a echar raíces en otra parte por que aquí ya no hay esperanza. Lloro por que el odio que sembró Hugo Chavez prosperó y aun estando en la adversidad no hay unión para salir de este cuento de horror, cada quien vela por sus propios intereses sin importarle nada más. La vida no vale nada, la deshumanizacion de una sociedad otrora solidaria es impactante. Los políticos son como aves de rapiña que viven de los despojos humanos que van quedando en el camino, no hay ley, no hay justicia y la impunidad reina sobre todo lo demás. Los venezolanos estamos divididos, entre los que queremos una vida digna y los que se han acostumbrado a vivir con miedo. lloro por que me siento impotente, por que no concibo que haya gente en este pais que recen a delincuentes como si fueran santos, que vivan de la necesidad de los demas revendiendo los pocos productos basicos que se consiguen con el 2000% de sobreprecio, peor aun , lloro por que hay gente que los compra y se acostumbra a vivir mal, a vivir en la mediocridad, a vivir sin libertad, sin sueños, sin proyectos de vida. Cuando leo escritos como este sobre mi lastimado pais Venezuela , lloro, por que no acepto que nos este pasando esta tragedia llamada Revolucion Socialista. Naci libre y quiero que mis hijos vivan en un pais libre, no se que nos depare el futuro mediato , pero si se que mis hijos seran libres como lo fuimos los venezolanos antes de que llegara Hugo Chavez al poder. Lloro…

    Liked by 3 people

  117. Rafael Diaz says:

    Yes, you are right, “there’s nothing epic about it” but you then mention countries all over the world, think about thousands of years in the future… and you are wrapping everything in that epic. It would be better to say “Venezuela is fucked up” and just copy and paste tweets like “Una señora quería comprar mayonesa.Pero no era su día y no hubo ruego posible. Entonces abrió el pote, la escupió y tuvieron que vendérsela” or “Just walked two blocks carrying a plastic bag of toilet paper. Three people stopped me to ask where I got it” or “Caracas public school teacher tells me thugs snuck into the school today and robbed a bunch of 14 year-olds at gunpoint” or “El sujeto que intentaron linchar ayer en Los Ruices que le echan gasolina y lo queman no había robado a nadie, estaba discutiendo”… and many more like that.

    Venezuela is rotten to the core and there is nothing epic about it, only writers in search of those epic events who focused their attention on the wrong place.

    Liked by 3 people

  118. Not so fast. From everything I’ve read (I’ve never been to Venezuela), poverty was dramatically reduced in Venezuela over the past 15 years and overall living standards went way up.

    The current problems seem to have resulted in from a mix of unexpected events:

    1) The rapid decline in the price of oil
    2) A massive drought that is effecting Venezuela’s hydro-electric energy production (which accounts for 25% of energy production in Venezuela)
    3) The success of Venezuela’s economic policies surpassed forecasts, and resulted in an explosion of consumption by the rapidly growing middle-class, which then caused a collapse as demand ramped up faster than supply could keep pace.

    That is not at all what you describe, which sounds like a slow steady decline, but clearly what happened in Venezuela was actually a rapid improvement, but then at the peak of the improvement the country was hit be two crises in both the rapid decline of oil prices and the drought.

    Liked by 3 people

  119. Víctor Ruiz says:

    It’s really curious and out of the norm reading about this situation from the other side of the “glass”.
    I don’t even know how I’m gonna structure my reply, but here it goes.

    I’m a victim of this whole situation.
    Born just a few years prior to the first election of mr. Chávez.

    If there’s something outstanding about the people of this country, is how quickly they surrendered, how fast they gave up their wrists to be shackled for a few scraps of food.

    Whatever had us preocuppied seven, or ten years ago, is trivial today.

    Today’s worries are:
    I hope I don’t get mugged today, and if by any chance someone robs me, I hope they don’t murder me.
    I hope a cop doesn’t murder me today.
    I hope a national guard doesn’t murder me today.
    I don’t wanna get kidnapped.
    I hope no one tries to rob my house while i’m sleeping.
    I hope i don’t get sick with dengue fever or something.
    It’s starting to rain, I hope there isn’t a flood or something.

    Or in my special case:
    I hope cancer doesn’t come back.

    Greetings, nice article.

    Liked by 3 people

  120. Raquek says:

    Hello Joel,
    I’m still here, yet spending a good part of my waking hours wondering what to do, leave or stay, both alternatives bearing great sacrifices. It is amazing how somwhere in the back of our minds hope survives. Thank you for your words, I still believe every piece, big or small, of attention drawn to our situation might help.

    Liked by 3 people

  121. kamx says:

    And not say that we were not told… But preferred to eat shit…

    Liked by 3 people

  122. Found you randomly from a facebook post of a friend.

    I am an Objectivist who breaks with Rand over race and IQ, because I have read the research literature. I believe you will gain great insight into the genetic underpinning of the mindless masses you refer to if you spend 500 hours reading the psychometric literature. Some names to get you started: Helmuth Nyborg, Philippe Rushton, Richard Lynn, Linda Gottfredson. These are all the most highly regarded researchers in their fields.

    I have been following Venezuala’s collapse for 12 years and you captured the grief it inspires brilliantly in your prose.

    Liked by 3 people

  123. Betsy says:

    Your writing is breathtakingly vivid and Venezuela is just the beginning of a worldwide suicide of Nations due to extreme overpopulation, glaring ignorance and corruption. It is devastating to see.

    Liked by 3 people

  124. If you mentioned it I missed it. Why haven’t you spoken about socialism??

    Liked by 3 people

  125. parker peter says:

    I know it is a matter of time till the fear I feel from your observations are enlisted here in the west along with our fake sense of security.

    Liked by 3 people

  126. henrique vaamonde says:

    El colapso de las civilizaciones ha sido tema de interés para historiadores como Toynbee y Paul Kennedy, por mencionar solo a dos. Las causas son diversas pero generalmente la guerra y la expansión de los imperios, con el costo que esto representa, han sido algunas de las principales responsables. Pero nada tan vergonzoso como el colapso de Venezuela,representado por la corrupción y la traición a la patria mediante el despilfarro de los recursos en pos del cumplimiento de un sueño de unos ancianos degenerados nacidos en Cuba. Grandes hombres han construido imperios como Ciro y Gengis Khan, y grandes criminales como Lenin y Hitler los han destruido, habrá que incluir a Chávez en esa lista, guardando la distancia.

    Liked by 3 people

  127. The United States is next. Everything you described is happening here, it’s scary.

    Liked by 3 people

  128. Eu nunca imaginei que assistiria ao suicídio lento de um país, de uma civilização. Eu acho que ninguém tem essa expectativa.

    Quero dizer, não tem nada de épico nisso. Nós, que temos o privilégio de viajar bastante, olhamos com orgulho para as ruínas da Grécia antiga; o destruído Partenon em verdes e azuis. A Acrópole. O Coliseu em Roma. Andamos pelas ruas empoeiradas de Tombuctu, fitando maravilhados o velho templo cheio de musgo, enquanto refletimos o quanto esses locais tiveram energia e propósito. Não são apenas meditações tristes, para nós, turistas. O tempo traz uma sensação mágica para onde havia apenas desastre. Tudo o que resta, hoje, são enormes construções antigas que contam a história de quando as coisas eram memoráveis – não a história de como, lentamente, elas ruiram. “Não havia motivo, não havia”, nós dizemos uns aos outros enquanto desembarcamos de nossos ônibus equipados com ar-condicionado. “Essas coisas acontecem. Nada é para sempre; não é culpa de ninguém. São assim os caminhos do mundo”, enquanto degustamos vinho, copos de plástico na mão. O tempo passa e tudo muda, vagarosamente gastando as fundações de uma civilização, até ela colapsar – são as palavras de conforto que dizemos para nós mesmos. Não há nada que possamos fazer. Essas coisas não podem ser interrompido. Elas acontecem.

    Isso é o que dirão em uma centena de anos, em milhares de anos sobre Caracas, Venezuela. Ou Maracay, ou Valencia, ou Maracaibo. Essas grandes e suadas cidades sulamericanas com seus shoppings e avenidas e arranha-céus e estádios colossais. Quando os arqueólogos do futuro escavarem as águas do Caribe e encontrarem os remanescentes de barcos afundados, colocarem-nos nas vitrines de museus futurísticos para contar a história de quando esse local abrigou uma civilização. Ruínas de grandes lojas cheias de água e crocodilos – talvez a antiga anaconda tenha retomado seu habitat, talvez gigantes roedores que costumavam vagar pelas planícies terão feito de casa as uma vez opulentas casas dos oligarcas – cobrindo os pisos e o mármore com seu excremento. “Não havia nada que pudesse ser feito”, os turistas do futuro diriam. “O país entrou em declínio – e desapareceu – é o curso natural das coisas.”

    Nós, turistas, estamos errados.

    Eu sei, porque eu assisti ao suicídio de uma nação, e eu sei que ele está acontecendo. Venezuela está lentamente, e abertamente, morrendo; um ato que tem durado já mais de quinze anos. Assistir um país a suicidar-se não é algo que acontece com frequência. Na ignorância, podemos presumir que isso seria um golpe rápido e mortal – como o genocídio da Ruanda ou como o Vesúvio cobrindo Pompéia. Esperamos ver corpos de mães debruçando-se protetivamente sobre seus filhos, carbonizados pela força ou preservados brilhantemente em obras de arte póstumas. Mas aquelas não são as ocasiões que promovem o suicídio nacional. Depois desses eventos os países se recuperam – o povo se recupera. Eles reconstroem, se reconciliam. Eles perdoam.

    Não, o suicídio nacional é um processo muito mais longo – não o produto de um momento qualquer. Em vez de rapidamente, surge uma má ideia, depois outra, depois outra e outra e outra e outra e as rodas que movem o país começam a atolar lenta, lentamente, ferrugem cobrindo suas outrora brilhantes estruturas. Revolução – fria e raivosa. Ódio, como estratégia política. Lei, usada para dividir e conquistas. Regulação usada para punir. Eleições usadas para pavimentar a ditadura. Corrupção sangrando a vida em pequenas gotas, enchendo os baldes de uma sucessiva linha de burocratas antes deles perecerem, somente para serem substituídos mais uma vez e de novo. Isso é o que é memorável acerca da Venezuela. Em minha defesa – fraca como pode ser – eu sempre tentei lutar contra o suicídio, de uma forma ou de outra. Eu ainda penso que o estou fazendo, sendo minha pena a última forma de resistência. Mas como Dagny Taggart, descobri que não havia mais nada para lutar contra – tudo era uma confusão gosmenta de ressentimento e desculpas. “Você não deveria fazê-lo.” Eu disse. E novamente, “Essa lei não vai pegar”, e “essa eleição não vai trazer liberdade”, enquanto, também, “o que você está planejando não vai trazer prosperidade – e a única igualdade que você vai encontrar será na fila do pão”. E eu não estava sozinho; um exército de pessoas mais espertas que eu apontaram publicamente em jornais e em fóruns de discussão e nas telas da televisão e nos encontros comunitários e nas campanhas políticas que o resultado seria somente o suicídio nacional, coletivo. Ninguém estava escutando.

    Então eu me afastei. Fui ajudar Uganda a se recuperar depois de uma guerra civil de 25 anos – esvaziando os acampamentos e ajudando o povo a recuperar sua vida novamente. Eu ajudei na recuperação da democracia no Mali e ajudei a pavimentar um processo de paz nacional. Eu escrevi três novelas. Eu me mudei, e mudei, e mudei de novo. Eu amei minha esposa; nós tiramos férias. Visitamos Marrakesh, e Cairo, e Zanzibar e Portugal e o Grand Canyon. Fizemos cirurgias. Eu tive um filho. Ensinamos nosso filho a sentar, engatinhar, andar e correr; a cantar e a gritar e a falar palavras como “clorofila” e “fotossíntese”. A nomear os planetas um a um, a escrever seu nome.

    E tudo enquanto o lento e agonizante suicídio continuava.

    E sempre, nas manhãs, enquanto tomava café eu abria o meu computador para documentar, pelo menos para mim mesmo, o próximo incidente no longo e trágico suicídio venezuelano. Eu conversava com meus amigos, que continuavam tentar a explicar aos inconsequentes porque sua miséria é um resultado direto de uma má ideia construída sobre o último pavimento de um edifício de estupidez. Bons homens e mulheres que presos num debate de duas décadas do qual não há escapatória. Eu rezava silenciosamente para o próximo numa longa fila de presos políticos. Eu olhava para as fotografias de lugares que eu conhecera – praias onde eu fora e restaurantes que eu já frequentara, cobertos por lixo ou fechados e fedendo. Eu assistia os vídeos dos saques noturnos aos supermercados que fossem afortunados o bastante para terem algum estoque de qualquer coisa.

    Hoje à noite não há luzes. Como Nova Iorque do romance “A Revolta de Atlas”, de Ayn Rand, os olhos do país foram retirados para alimentar os mendigos famintos em ocupações de prédios abandonados onde outrora foram luxuosos apartamentos. Eles culpam o clima – o governo culpa – como os pajés de antigamente que faziam sacrifícios para os deuses da natureza na esperança de uma intervenção. Não há comida também, eles dizem às pessoas para racionarem, para criarem galinhas nos terraços de seus outrora glamourosos apartamentos. Não tem água – e eles dão lições na TV estatal de como lavar um copo de água. O dinheiro não vale nada, o povo agora paga com batatas, se as puderem encontrar. Doutores operam iluminados pela lanterna de seus smartphones, quando há energia suficiente para recarregá-los. Sem anestesia, claro – ou antibióticos, como nos dias antes da invenção da medicina moderna. Os serviços de telefonia foram cortados – logo será também a internet e haverá toda aquela aspersão de trevas, que cairá sobre uma terra selvagem.

    A maratona da destruição está quase terminada, o sangue vital da nação quase já se foi. Não, não há nada de heroico ou épico aqui, ruínas acontecendo são um triste assunto – enviuva-se com o confortável manto do tempo, que empresta-lhe o fascínio e a inevitabilidade. E assistir a tudo isso foi, para mim, uma das maiores tragédias da vida.

    Liked by 3 people

  129. Michelle Bayma says:

    Joel, I am ex-Pdvsa and Gente del Petroleo. Your article has moved me to tears. La verdad como un templo.

    Liked by 2 people

  130. Rebeca says:

    Thanks! Thank you so much for take your time and write about my country. Thank you for become the voice of many of us who can no speak loud! #FreedomForVenezuela! 💛💙💔 😢

    Liked by 3 people

  131. Elena says:

    Watching your once-great-nation commit suicide and not being able to do anything is heartbroken. The massive emigration wave of Venezuelans abandoning the country in search of better opportunities and quality of life is overwhelming. Our country is bleeding, starving, drowning… is dying slowly.
    Great article Joel, thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  132. Pingback: The Suicide of Venezuela | Joel D. Hirst’s Blog | Dano Dare Speak

  133. Your post is one of the best things I’ve read about my country. Many radicals might say this isn’t true and they will rely on insults just to make their point (because the government brainwashed them into hating capitalist countries and people who doesn’t support their ideas, for no reason). Sadly my country IS dying, and we’re running in a dead-end alley.

    I’ll share your words with everyone. You earned my attention and you won a new follower.
    Best regards!

    Liked by 3 people

  134. Patricia Vit says:

    Thank you for your reflections. Complicity of international banks say that this tragedy was not exactly “Made in Venezuela”. Hope to reaad your analysis on the countries involved, and how they did it.

    Liked by 3 people

  135. Thomas Schmoldt says:

    This is so sad, and it reads as tho it could have been prevented by the same people who caused it. Not the citizens trapped by the decay, but by the politicians and beurocrats that purposed and lied, clawing their way to the top of the heap. Only to flee as the pile of rot began to flee, leaving only the helpless citizenry to wallow in their filth. In a way it seems to precursor our own sad state of affairs in the good old US of A. Think it can’t happen here? Look around at what is happening to our country … Where we were just 50 years ago and where we are at now. If you are honest about what you see, it will alarm you. It should cause you to stop & think how can our fate be averted? Is it all in vain?
    What about our government, democracy?
    What about our ideals, our sense of national pride? Wake up America … we see the writing on the wall.

    Liked by 3 people

  136. tatoleal says:

    As a Venezuelan who has fled the country looking for a life, I tell you, you couldn’t have depicted it clearer. I read it and feel so bad for the family that I still have left in the country, knowing that their only future is that of the cubans in the 1960’s who didn’t see it coming.

    Liked by 2 people

  137. Thanks for this acute assessment of the tragedy we venezuelans are enduring as I write this note. Please keep writing about this subject, it will help us make a recovery. The suicide of Venezuela will certainly be a study subject in the future, the way-not-go when a nation wants a change; and the confirmation that socialism badly applied, is the fastest way to arrive at hell here on earth.

    Liked by 3 people

  138. José yerena says:

    Very cruel and very sad to read your lines, but they reflect a reality that I still can’t understand how we came to this… What only we have left is hope… I still hang to the idea that we don’ lose it !

    Liked by 3 people

  139. Eric Hennigan says:

    If you have ever wondered why people, even with good intentions, keep piling up one bad decision upon the others, consider reading this analysis: On Problem Solving and Design. http://sifter.org/~simon/journal/20121123.h.html

    Liked by 3 people

  140. Stephen Goulet says:

    I wonder Joel if the leftists in control of Venezuela imagined that their policies would somehow result in a different outcome “this time” than where they have been tried and failed in so many other ruined societies. I even wonder sometimes if they do know what their policies are going to produce ( a collapsed and ruined society) and don’t have some ulterior motive for going ahead and doing it anyway. Weird, I know and still I wonder.

    Liked by 3 people

  141. Kim Kincher says:

    How’s that Socialist government working out? They should have voted for the Jew! But the Jew probably would have been assassinated by Maduro’s malandros! Henrique Capriles Radonski, is it too late to save Venezuela?!! ‪#‎PrayersForVenezuela‬. A political, economic and spiritual tragedy has slowly unfolded before our eyes. Thank you Joel for this sensitive and powerful article. I was brought to tears.

    Liked by 3 people

  142. Maureen Sullivan says:

    So tragic and it seems people are deaf and dumb to the cause of this—–

    Liked by 3 people

  143. Yes, we do not understand but corruption always brings destruction…..may the people call on the living God and repent, than God will be merciful, we believe sol

    Liked by 3 people

  144. Edwin Mejias says:

    Can i translate your article to spanish and share it somehow?

    Greets, from Venezuela with no electricity for the next 4 hours, 2 hours of water each 2 days, mosquitoes rounding my head and no insecticide to fight them, and a mobile internet that peaks 1Mbps, if i have luck… this is disgrace.

    Liked by 3 people

  145. Edwin Mejias. says:

    Can i translate your article to spanish and share it somehow?

    Greets, from Venezuela with no electricity for the next 4 hours, 2 hours of water each 2 days, mosquitoes rounding my head and no insecticide to fight them, and a mobile internet that peaks 1Mbps, if i have luck… this is disgrace…

    Liked by 3 people

  146. Very nice article, exactly what I was looking for.

    Liked by 3 people

  147. Sarah says:

    Wonderful writing, a terrible tragedy. Where can I find more info to substantiate this significant sounding decline. The United States is also being led down a destructive path and friends say England’s local politics are a sham.

    Liked by 3 people

  148. Reblogueó esto en Carlosmixares's Blogy comentado:
    HUELGA NACIONAL O ERES COMPLICE O COLOMBIANO

    Liked by 3 people

  149. Cassio Miura says:

    sadly Brazil is taking the same road…

    Liked by 3 people

  150. peter taylor says:

    very descriptive, lavish in fact..But what is going on there..? What brought all this on?

    Liked by 3 people

  151. Steven Dye says:

    I lived with my wife and children in Caracas in the mid 90s. We loved it in spite of the dangers at that time. But I have watched in disbelief everything that has transpired since. Thanks for the great article. You are a fantastic wordsmith.

    Liked by 3 people

  152. Excellent article. I lived and worked in Caracas during 30 years and left in 2003. I foresaw the incoming tsunami and warned people as much as I could. To no avail. But this wonderful country will survive !!

    Liked by 3 people

  153. Sebyl says:

    On the dot, but not entirely. The suicide will bring the renaissance of a fruitful Venezuela that, if it all goes as planned, will bring back its “riquezas” not only spiritually for the wonderful people of Venezuela but also for the generations to come. This is suicide is the needed evil the country needs for the better.

    Liked by 3 people

  154. Robert Y. Stebbings. I correctly identified Chavez at the very beginning for what he was. I was wrong in assuming that the nightmare would have ended and been fixed by now. I still have hope for my beloved Venezuela and for my many Venezuelan friends.

    Liked by 3 people

  155. Fred Ferrence says:

    More than 15,years ago, I saw Venezuela while on business travels there. Horrible to compare my good memories to those conditions you accurately describe exist now. And am starting to get impressions that America may have also started on a similar downhill slide. God help us.

    Liked by 3 people

  156. glenn foley says:

    We had guests from that country ride here with us in South Africa last year – young guys who told us all about it. Very sad. thanks for the insightful feature. Very sad…

    Liked by 3 people

  157. Randy Brito says:

    I still get sad when I read every day about my born country Venezuela, it is even worse when people you know tell you directly about it, you don’t need to read it anywhere. Thank you for your words, despite very little number of people care about what you’ve described, not even some of those living the situation seem to care, they are so blinded by 20 years of brainwashing Socialism, after ~40 more years of other kind of the same Socialism.

    Liked by 3 people

  158. Reblogueó esto en How to s..t on humansy comentado:
    This summarizes perfectly what has been going on in Venezuela. It’s heartbreaking, because I saw it coming, but all these years I kept hoping I was wrong.

    Liked by 3 people

  159. Fernando GONZALO says:

    There should be a way to stop this tragedy !

    Liked by 3 people

  160. Alan Highton says:

    Phones have been cut, people pay with potatoes? One of the factors that degrade Venezuela is this grossly exagerated story telling agains´t the country that scares tourists and investors. Yes Joel, it is a disaster but that no reason to blow it out of proportion. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 3 people

  161. Lino Miani says:

    Have to agree with Dalo 2013 Joel, your writing has a certain intensity. I’m not experienced in Venezuela but I’ve seen elsewhere the early stages of the malaise you describe. It’s agonizing.

    Liked by 3 people

  162. Sounds a lot like cities in the Rust Belt as well, Detroit in particular. Wonderful perspective. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  163. Doug Mayfield says:

    Mr. Hirst. Thank you for the article and a clear description of the death of a country. You use the word ‘suicide’. I was not there to see it as you were, but based on what I have read, I think Venezuela’s death was a homicide. Venezuela was murdered. Its intellectuals were the killers and their murder weapon was socialism. You mention the novel Atlas Shrugged and its central character, Dagny Taggart. For me, that novel carefully elucidates errors which, if continued unabated, could lead to something very similar here in America. When you see a socialist like Bernie Sanders telling us that we ‘don’t need 23 kinds of deodorant’, I think he’s dealing out the very same socialist poison which, when fully implemented politically, socially, and culturally, with the then inevitable grinding poverty and unrelenting tyranny, eventually murdered Venezuela.

    Liked by 3 people

  164. Joel, in the late 80’s I had the great fortune to work on a ship that docked in La Guaira every week. We would stay for a full day. Often we would make the 45 min. van taxi ride to Caracas. It was such a fun place and full of lovely people. I made many friends in the port and just loved the place. Then one day we were not allowed to dock due to protesting in the streets. We could see buildings and cars on fire and people on the docks waving for help. All we could do was sail away. I never got to see any of my friends as our port of call was changed and we never went back to L.G.. I wrote to all of them, over 20 people, but never got a single reply back. It is so sad what has happened to such a lovely place.😦

    Liked by 3 people

  165. ironwolfF1 says:

    Sadder still are the American Leftists in denial, claiming all the while that nothing is wrong, despite evidence to the contrary.

    Liked by 3 people

  166. Rhoda Locklear says:

    I was married to a Venezuelan for 31 years until his death in 2006. I lived there for 25 years in Caracas, Cabimas and finally 22 years in Merida. I still have many friends and frozen property there. You write eloquently of the crumbling of this beloved second country of mine.

    Liked by 3 people

  167. Margot C. H. says:

    very handsome way to describe the situation, props for you to be able to recap almost everything in such way. thanks

    Liked by 3 people

  168. maria gonzalez says:

    El problema es que esa enfermedad que lleva a Venezuela al exterminio se tomo sudamerica, hasta el momento solo Argentina ha logrado sacudírsela, pero Brasil, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, la joya de la corona Colombia, se han hundido hasta las fauces y habrá que tomar mucho impulso para lograr salir de este marasmo que nos trajo H. Ch., con sus petro-dolares y sus compras de consciencias

    Liked by 3 people

  169. Olga Lavieri says:

    I left a comment, yesterday, on the article, but it was not published. What happened?
    Olga Lavieri

    Liked by 3 people

  170. Simon Faraco says:

    Dear Mr Hirst, unfortunately I have to agree in the fact that my country is being destroy or committing suicide as you very well put it. I wish you could have seen the kind of country we had in the 60″s, 70’s, 80’s and even early 90’s. It is certainly shameful for us venezuelans to witness all of this, but that is what happens when a society irresponsibly elect individuals such as Hugo Chavez, a military satrap that jumped to the political arena of my country during a failed coup attempt in 1992.
    Since then, or even before that, this “destruction” process is being carried out by “manu military” with the sole intention of ransack the national treasure and perpetuate themselves in power.
    Our countries will prosper and reach a respectable level as civilized nations, the day we as citizens decide to abolish the military, as they did in Costa Rica, and invest all that money in the education system of our youth.

    Liked by 3 people

  171. Mary Wood says:

    Excellent article. You don’t mention the rampant crime and murders that happen daily. Venezuela is a very scary place. My daughter was there with her boyfriend 2 years ago when he played winter baseball. When they traveled the countryside they had to be escorted with their own bodyguards all of whom carried automatic weapons.

    Liked by 3 people

  172. Born ans raised in Venezuela, lived through the 70s, 80s and 90s when this country was one of the most attractive to be living on, not only due to its economic growth but also for its espectacular sights, its really sad to have witness how the last 17 years of “Revolution” has been able to destroy so much in this relative small time frame. Few people have so well expressed what this beautiful country has been going through as Mr. Hirst.

    Liked by 3 people

  173. Felix says:

    I am a venezuelan citizen, I still live here in Venezuela, I am trying to escape from here ( getting my papers ready), trying to make it on time before it is just impossible (“too” late, it is, already). Some how I`ll manage. It is sad to recognize that the reason of this colapse is simple stupidity, chronically mantained. No war, not a natural disaster, just a failed society; one that was cheerful, modern and “part of the world” not long ago… A medical professional, with two postgrades and more than 15 years of experience can’t afford one plane ticket abroad; but that’s not the problem; problem is that the airlines don’t want to stop here anymore. I am glad to know that people from other countries understand what is going on here in Venezuela. Thank you for your sympathy towards our people. Best wishes.

    Liked by 3 people

  174. Monica Cardoso says:

    One of the most intelligent (though heartbreaking) analysis I’ve read about Venezuela. The harsh reality in every sentence.

    Liked by 3 people

  175. Sotiris says:

    While I was reading, I though for a moment that you were writing about Greece. You see the current goverment of Greece (a left wind party) was very very font of the Venezuael model just a few moths ago…

    Liked by 3 people

  176. Ron Ronco says:

    A current lesson to be added to those ancient. Yet, in the US and elsewhere, we are sliding towards the same. This was a great read and one I will share.

    Liked by 3 people

  177. Your writing in this piece elicits such powerful images and emotions in my heart and mind. And yet, it is the way things seem to go. Then they are gone. What a travesty, and what a tragedy.

    Liked by 3 people

  178. Eduardo says:

    As a person that once believed in the promise of this revolution, I´d ike to answer back to this blog in anger and rage…

    But you know…

    You’re damn right.

    Liked by 3 people

  179. budbromley says:

    Reblogged this on budbromley and commented:
    Artfully said description of the suicide of Venezuela. The trend is underway in America too.

    Liked by 3 people

  180. Larry Thomas. says:

    Once a very beautiful country. Destroyed by little evil minds, supported by a mob of clueless unfortunates.

    Liked by 3 people

  181. budbromley says:

    Very artfully said. Another collectivist society is biting the dust. This sad tale has been dripping off the economic cliff since before the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas. They couldn’t finish the facilities due to the incessant negotiations for bribes. Then they devalued the currency 30% immediately after the games. But as elsewhere, Venezuela’s oligarchy was all along enabled and re-enabled by big bankers, really supranational slavers, with their giant loans for which they received big bonuses and were guaranteed against sovereign risk. The super-rich are still there in their guarded, walled enclaves, with their yachts and private planes, between trips to Miami, the Bahamas and Switzerland. And the U.S. is not far behind.

    Liked by 3 people

  182. Beautiful and poignant essay on the successful socialization of a country.

    Liked by 3 people

  183. Yes is massive suicide of a whole society. There is no better word to describe what is happenning.

    Liked by 3 people

  184. ralf gil says:

    Totally true,Joel,i lived in that country and whitnesses all that you said,and a lot of more bizarre things,promoted and allowed by the mojority of the people,i dont want to be harsh or rude but the people of that country are a case for study anthropological,intelectual,social,and more,sorry but its very hard to understand how stupid,manipulatable,ingenous and ignorant some people could be,that its their own fault,there are so much to talk about this theme but i cant say it,and lees in public media,thanks for your article its very good.

    Liked by 3 people

  185. Ryan B. says:

    Joel, your writing is excellent; the subject matter painful though it is. Thanks for putting into (English) words what my Venezuelan wife and I have been trying to communicate to others for years. I’m sorry you have had to watch this, but you are correct about how a civilization ends itself – I pray I’m not seeing it happen to my own country as we speak.

    Liked by 3 people

  186. Joseph Maqueda says:

    Joel: Perhaps you’d like to visit Puerto Rico before the same destiny befalls us.

    Liked by 3 people

  187. J Tie says:

    Venezuela has been declining since early 1980’s maybe longer.

    Liked by 3 people

  188. RF says:

    sadly….all true…..thank you…from venezuela

    Liked by 3 people

  189. It is not easy to evaluate Venezuela. Yes, oil has been a factor of growth, prosperity, modernization, as well as corruption. However, the country also mas educated a small partt of the population which is eager to obtain growth and development through a mode4rnization of the country. The problem facing Venezuela today is that through a democratic process, the general pospulation elected the wroung candidate and for the last 17 years this group of left wing military and communist politicians hace ruled the country by having absolute power and by discounting the democratic process and its institutions. Many have rationalized that this 17 year period, which will extend itself to the year 2019, is a transitional period necessary in Venezuela´s history because those in government before became soft, corrupt and ignored the fundamental problems of the co7untry, including, a very large poor population. The future of Venezuela will depend on those courageous Venezuelans willing to correct what went wroung and making sure that the country get on track as soon as possible. It is possible that agricultute, tourismj, fishing and ming cash flows in Venezuela will never substitute the cash that comes from exporting oil. However, oil will continue to contribute to Venezuela´sgrowth. Maybe not as much as before but yes in a less prominent fashion. Countries have their ups and downs. However, Venezuela is not a small country, has natural resources in abundance and is well situated. What it needs to stress is the rule of law, technological education and values. The subject is one for debate and analysis. In retrospect, no one really knows how to foresse the future. True, life is Venezuela today is not an example for any country to follow. Sincerely, it is sad not to say discouraging.

    Liked by 3 people

  190. Miami 2017 says:

    Self government will not work without self disciple. In a democratic society, when the ignorant, indolent and morally bankrupt, outnumber the educated, industrious, and principled, dictatorial socialism is inevitable.

    Liked by 3 people

  191. elvira says:

    I’m from Venezuela, I live here. I do not know how to write in English, excuse me please for doing so. I see my country die day after day and you describe it in clear and crudely. Your words made me cry, these are sad, these are hard, they are all true. Thanks for being a non-silent witness.

    Liked by 3 people

  192. Interesting that you should quote Ayn Rand. Would you consider yourself a follower of her political beliefs?

    Liked by 3 people

  193. jmcgarryxx says:

    “No, national suicide is a much longer process – not product of any one moment. But instead one bad idea, upon another, upon another and another and another and another and the wheels that move the country began to grind slower and slower; rust covering their once shiny facades. Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips, filling the buckets of a successive line of bureaucrats before they are destroyed, only to be replaced time and again.”

    When you describe the national suicide of Venezuela, it makes me wonder. Could that happen here in the US? Is it happening now?

    Liked by 2 people

  194. Jose Leal says:

    As a Venezuelan I found this heartbreaking as I’m living it and you got close to what our reality is like here… on top of what you’ve said I’d add the fact that life is worthless since almost 90% go unpunished and that’s why we’ve got one of the highest murder rates in the world even though we’re not at war with any other country😦

    Liked by 3 people

  195. jean bishop says:

    Yes it does sound horrid. What we in the US will become. Too much money going from working people to those who choose not to work. Trying to hold poverty at bay in countries other than our own. Borrowing money from other governments to shore up the farce we are in. I only hope I will expire before the true suffering going on in Venezuela comes closer to my life.

    Liked by 3 people

  196. Hanoi says:

    Joel, he llorado al leer su relato. Soy venezolana, vivo en mi país; y experimento con gran dolor la desintegración de mi entorno todos los días. Es muy duro.

    Liked by 4 people

  197. alvaro says:

    I think suriname that is also in south america is at the beginning stages of this same phenomenon

    Liked by 3 people

  198. Capi Cloud Cohen says:

    My childhood in Ciudad Piar, Estado Bolivar, during the late 60s and early 70s when Venezuela was becoming the crown jewel of Latin America, was wonderful. I will always be thankful to my parents who took the risk of moving us a small town at the end of the (rail)road. The demise of Venezuela is heartbreaking to Venezuelans and to two generations of gringo-criollo kids with Venezuelan hearts. We weep.

    Liked by 4 people

  199. The message, sad. The execution of your message, inspirational. You are a gifted writer, and apparently one with heart.

    Family members are stuck there. I hope it improves, but just wish I could help them out.

    Liked by 3 people

  200. redheadedguy says:

    I have been to Venezuela twice, and love the people there. I never would have believed that Chavez and his continuing policies with Maduro could damage the country the way they have. It is truly heartbreaking. Your description is vivid and real. I’m just hoping that better management of the sale of oil will be enough to turn things around.

    Liked by 3 people

  201. Cormac McCarthy, watch out! Ya know, this makes The Road sound uplifting…”A play in two acts”, that’s trite, try “An act in two plays”, for a change…

    Ok, having put those musings out of the way, I agree with most of what you say here…but the future is unwritten…I think Venezuela can pull out of the deadly tailspin…shit, Zimbabwe could, partially…Chavez is dead and Maduro clearly on his way out…as an optimist I will say: Venezuela is not Cambodia, yet…but not for lack of trying…something in our national character resisted, has resited and will resist, the full-on descent into “Killing Fields” madness Maduro and Chavez tried to precipitate…or at least, I hope so…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ron Glass says:

      The leftist murderers of civilization may be dead or going, but their poisonous ideals live on. Theirs is a philosophy of envy, hate, and grudges, a blind, grasping spiteful savagery that is based on pulling others down instead of lifting them up.

      Liked by 2 people

  202. Michael Moore says:

    So where is Ragnar Danneskjold? If there was a time for this individual I would love to see him emerge…

    Liked by 3 people

  203. Xolani says:

    Sad state of affairs indeed, Joel. It is inevitably happening slowly elsewere. I can relate everything you said to South Africa. Very, very interesting. Thank you Sir.

    Liked by 4 people

  204. Tarah says:

    I was in Caracas in June 2001–I was 17 and graduated a week before leaving for a short term mission trip. I still have the imprints of armed MP one most street corners of the city; spending time in the barrios; and seeing the very wealthy and very poor co-exist with no middle class in between them–no real infrastructure. Oh! And I can’t forget no water on Thursdays. Imagine 500 teenage girls and 100 teenage guys, and no ability to shower….gross! We managed, but what I saw and experienced there will forever be etched in my brain. Some good, some not so much. And the current path of the country of Venezuela is truly heart wrenching.

    Liked by 3 people

  205. Generic says:

    As a Venezuelan who got so disappointed that lost all possible patriotism. As a Venezuelan that one day just could not bear it more and moved abroad because reality became so tight: the “country” or my mental health, the “country” or my life… That your appreciation touched me as almost cry. Venezuela is now a terminal patient from the most humble citizen to our majestic waterfall. Even if a miracle would happen, I wonder about post-traumatic stress which it is far more worst than re-build a building, and you well know that I am not at all exagerating because speaking just for myself it took a year to me to clean, to unplug, yet some reminiscent stay… I hope Venezuela will be like the Ave Fenix.

    Liked by 4 people

  206. Trevor Ncube says:

    Awesome. This could well be about Zimbabwe , South Africa etc. What is wrong with human beings – we never learn from each other

    Liked by 3 people

  207. Carlos says:

    This is one of the saddest article i have ever encounter about my country. This is the reality putting in words. It makes me sad the fact nobody cares bout this. How a few brought Country down and how none of their citizen has done anything to stop this. Makes me cry to be honest.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Bang Stick says:

      Why should anyone care? They have brought this upon themselves. When you vote to take what others have worked hard for to give it to those who have done nothing don’t be surprised when those who have anything left get up and leave. Reagan’s words ring true around the world “Gov’t is not the solution to your problems. Gov’t is the problem.”

      While the People of Venezuela go to bed starving, I’m certain those in the gov’t have not missed a meal yet!

      Liked by 2 people

  208. J. J. Sefton says:

    For those of the younger set and tragically too many who are old enough to know better, if you want to see what a Bernie Sanders (and Hilary) would do to THIS country, look no further than Venezuela. And Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  209. WhiteKnightLeo #0368 says:

    This is one of the reasons why I don’t understand people who think Ayn Rand’s writing wasn’t realistic.

    Liked by 4 people

  210. jusd says:

    Reblogged this on Jusd and commented:
    De zelfmoord van Venezuela, een voetnoot in de Nederlandse media.

    Liked by 3 people

  211. anna smith says:

    I read this and see the same thing happening to some degree in the US, As soon as other nations decide there is an alternative to the $US and as we progress to no longer making things we will slowly start to see the US follow the same path as other great nations and civilizations.

    Liked by 3 people

    • De castro says:

      Yes USA and the USD will eventually
      Implode as the American Dream becomes a nightmare.
      To put a time scale of when would be
      speculation…sooner the better !
      Power returns to the old world
      EU…some say it never left to go west.

      Debt and corruption will destroy most
      economies…politics a major contributory factor.
      It’s not communism v capitalism v
      socialism …,
      More globalisation…too big to fail🇺🇸
      We shall see

      Liked by 2 people

  212. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Moron bites (#12)

  213. JohnTyler says:

    “,,,,,I never expected to witness the slow suicide of a country, a civilization. I suppose nobody does…….”
    An incredibly naive remark and demonstrates ignorance (willful or otherwise) of history.

    Just look at Cuba; they committed suicide in 1959. Venezuela, whose leadership worships Castro, are in the process of “Cuba-nizing” Venezuela. And do not for one minute think it is not totally intentional.
    Recall that the destruction of the middle class is one of the basic tenets of the Marxist -Leninist religious ideology. (This ideology is the excuse, the fraud, the lie, that absolute dictators feed the gullible masses; you know, free this, free that, etc., while the very, very small group of ruling elites live like absolute royalty, wanting for nothing).

    Other nations that not that long ago committed suicide (and some have since resurrected themselves, sort of ) are the former USSR; ALL of Eastern Europe betwixt 1945 and 1990; German and Italy from about 1933 (much earlier in Italy) to 1945.
    Chile, long, long ago would be where Cuba is today, if Allende had not been killed; thank god he was. This act saved Chile from the “Cuban” fate. Its too bad the Germans had not done likewise in knocking off Hitler; imagine the misery that would have been avoided !

    And here at home, we have the mass crowds shouting support for our own, home grown Marxist Leninist, who actually honeymooned in the USSR (about 40 years AFTER it was very well know that Lenin and Stalin had EXTERMINATED between 20 MILLION AND 50 MILLION SOULS). Little Hitlers like Sanders actually believe that all that is necessary to eradicate poverty and create his heaven on earth utopia here in the USA – despite the 100000% perfect record of its failure wherever and whenever it has been tried – is the application of HIS intellect to sort out the problems here in the USA.
    Oh, don’t forget all the freebies we are all to obtain under his plan.
    Yep, folks, something for nothing !!

    The real danger in any representative democracy is that the people can vote for a national suicide; a la Venezuela. The demagogues have the skills to divide and conquer the citizenry; they know who to blame for a nation’s ills and, most of all, they promise the masses “heaven on earth.”
    And of course, the demagogues oft times seem to have exceptional public speaking skills (e.g., Castro, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Obama, Chavez, etc) that raise the emotions of the masses and move them to action (voting, rioting, demonstrating, etc).

    To accomplish their goals the demagogues must rely on an ignorant citizenry who do not think beyond “Step 1;” (e.g., free stuff, wow !! but who is going to pay for it? why will anyone work if 90% of their wages are confiscated?) and greedy, arrogant, elitist politicians who worship the image they see when staring in a mirror.

    A female Austrian, imprisoned in a Nazi prison during WWII for communist agitation said the following to a fellow prisoner ; ” communism is nothing more than the proper application of national socialism.”
    Think about this comment. In an unguarded moment, a hard core communist revealed that in essence, there is zero difference betwixt fascism and communism. (Not a surprise of course; the top rungs of the Nazi leadership freely admitted they were socialists. They hated capitalism, defining it a “jewish” thing).

    And to whom did this Austrian communist say this? To a fellow prisoner, an American, imprisoned for spying, who by some miracle of bureaucratic ineptitude, escaped the firing squad and survived the war.

    Nations commit suicide ALL THE TIME !!! It is nothing new and it recurs frequently throughout history. Do not be surprised if Venezuela is joined by other nations – jumping off a cliff – well within all of our lifetimes.
    You can count on it.

    By the way, who is the wealthiest female in all of Venezuela??
    The daughter of Hugo Chavez !!
    You know Hugo Chavez, the ex-president and father of the Venezuelan “revolution.”
    The guy who said, “being rich is bad;” (jeez, sounds like Bernie Sanders) .
    Rest assured that Maduro and his fellow thugs are looting the Venezuelan treasury and have millions stashed away in Andorran or Swiss bank accounts, just like Ms. Chavez. Yep, they have plenty of toilet paper and never have to wait for HOURS on supermarket lines only to find empty store shelves.
    But hey, it’s OK. You see they are revolutionaries, leftists, communists. So it’s OK they live like royalty; they want for nothing. Just like Castro.

    Liked by 3 people

    • De castro says:

      John
      Wonderful writing..music to my ears.
      Could not improve on the insightful
      thinking of a visionary with purpose….
      Re-write history which is too often
      written by the victors…

      Post WW2 the spoils of war were
      divided by the victors. USA uk France
      and Russia.
      Stalin was Hitlers buddy until judas
      betrayed Jesus …history repeats itself
      Again and again …William S💤💤💤

      Wonderful read
      Thanks
      Lord Kamtan aka Compton de Castro
      BG-UK-Spain (EU flag of convenience)
      Citizen of planet earth..(Rome?😈)
      Salud

      Liked by 1 person

  214. Doug Lewis says:

    Look no further than Detroit! Our own country is in many ways following suit. We even have a presidential candidate suggesting printing more money to hand out to the poor.

    Liked by 3 people

  215. david milne says:

    So powerful this piece. I have tried for 15 years to explain what is happening to our neighbors, nobody is listening, I come off like a lunatic, too passionate, frustrated that we will not even try to learn from this excellent example of what not to do. Then the appealing message of Bernie Sanders to the young in America make it clear to me that all is indeed lost.

    Liked by 3 people

  216. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Would I be wrong to assume that you haven’t been to the USofA lately ??? It seems to me that many of those pieces you mentioned are in place and moving forward in their detrimental way.

    Liked by 3 people

  217. John Ahow says:

    Under the Democratic Socialist Agenda America is following next. Time to WAKE UP.

    Liked by 2 people

  218. suzewannabe says:

    So well-written.

    My parents lived there, in Caracas, for some months in the 1980s. They were made of such tough stuff but could not handle the heat nor the daily riots of teachers not paid in a year. “Worst place on Earth” mum said. “Worse than Peru.”

    So corrupt then and mired in hate now.
    Chickens and potatoes.
    My God, how sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  219. Lulu Baker says:

    I was lucky enough to live in Caracas from 1997-2001 and absolutely loved every minute. Such a lush & vibrant city, beautiful, happy people who loved life. This makes me so very sad.

    Liked by 3 people

  220. wws says:

    When a thing like this happens so deliberately, over such a long period of time, you can only call the eventual outcome Justice. We hate to say it, and it is sad that so many poor people will suffer and die, but they are the same ones that were overjoyed to accept all the free goodies Chavez was passing out.

    Venezuela, and Venezuelans, richly deserve every ounce of the misery being heaped on them. They asked for it, they worked for it, now they got it. The intelligent and driven ones will realize that it is long past time to leave, and that they can only look forward to a generation or two of servitude in a different country before they can ever hope for their descendants to live a more leisure life again.

    I think Joel has realized that the situation has gone too far; there is no come back from this, there will be no recovery for Venezuela. It has become a failed state, and it will not be rebuilt – it is too far gone.

    Liked by 3 people

  221. Miguel Ramirez says:

    Lino used the word that I wanted to use, agonizing, Venezuelan situation is sad, is like to watch a relative hurting himself, painful. Joel, if you write about Honduras, about the violence that kills thousands of humans, about the institution of corruption as the first form of government, about the “Non War” on drugs, probably we will be reading about another slow suicide, happening just now.

    Liked by 3 people

  222. Angela Gouveia says:

    Great article brilliantly written
    Reality
    Thank you people especially here in Trinidad need to read.

    Liked by 3 people

  223. Pedro says:

    I live in Venezuela. I’m an architect. I am 69 years, three children, two grandchildren and one on the way. I have not done an architectural project in 17 years. I have not built something important in 17 years. I see no other future for Venezuela beyond sadness, hunger and desolation. All this is the result of two Cuban dinosaurs who managed to buy the conscience of dozens of Venezuelans who wanted to possess envious what others had earned by the sweat of his brow … Today everyone steals everyone … and the country falls apart … we struggle to rescue him, but when we expelled the invaders and captured the corrupts will only have ashes and nothing to lift … it’s very sad, very sad …

    Yo vivo en Venezuela. Soy arquitecto. Tengo 69 años, tres hijos, dos nietos y uno en camino. No he hecho un proyecto de arquitectura en 17 años. No he construido algo importante en 17 años. NO veo otro futuro para Venezuela más allá de la tristeza, el hambre y la desolación. Todo esto es producto de dos dinosaurios cubanos que lograron comprar la conciencia de decenas de venezolanos envidiosos que quería poseer lo que otros habían ganado con el sudor de su frente… Hoy todos roban a todos… y el páis se cae a pedazos… luchamos por rescatarlo, pero cuando hayamos expulsados a los invasores ya apresado a los corruptos solo habrá cenizas y nada que levantar… es muy triste, sumamente triste…

    Liked by 4 people

  224. Luisa Mosquera says:

    Your writing is poetic, and powerfully moving. I beg to differ with your assessment of a “suicide”. In my humble opinion, It is a slow but continuous genocide. Not enough, I fear to wake the silent continent of complacent partners in crime. I shudder at the descriptives which really do not describe how deep the fissures are in a once thriving country, the fissures of a broken society in emotional and moral ruin. I never thought I would witness such destruction and devastation in a place with no bombs falling upon its civilians. I sincerely thank you for your care and interest, and also share your prayers in the hope that we may miraculously rise as the Phoenix from the ashes, perhaps in time for my granddaughter to witness.

    Liked by 3 people

  225. Jorge says:

    Dear Gents, the problem that most Venezuelans is the show and the bluff of themselves in particular if you are and Government Official , Military or not.. that provoke The envy of all against all .
    We are from an Hard working family and very successful well know constructors and Business family,, as also I did work very hard to do a nice industrial complex with including the most strict emviromental concern politics that are now in place today I was making them 20 years ago and when the Revolutions arrived the corruption also did and as the real Organize Mafia came into power and destroy the Honest and working people first but no one did anything because every one was having a peace of the corruption to acquire dollars, which i never got not even for credit cards.. also is punish by Satan.. because there are many other cultures under cultures that practices Bodo and Black Magic using the name of God.. and is False these Sects are real Mafias that controls most Ministers and Institutions from Government.. ( perverse y pervertidos ) and finally the giants in the world as UK, EU, USA did nothing but gut distracted by some few Islamist instead of watching its Back Yard were is the real damage that will come to Develop Countries as is happening now in EU with North Africa, but also much worst because Venezuela have all the wealthiest commodities in the world no one have in an Country.. so they need lots more punishments until they find the need to regroup as teams to conquer the future and rebuild all as new.. but punishments have to come to all
    that have abuse the law .

    Liked by 3 people

  226. scf says:

    Enjoyed your post. You should be thankful you have the mobility to escape and live elsewhere. My children now have tri-citizenship, and while it is possible they may never need the second or third citizenship, at the same time it is valuable to have an escape route when your home country commits suicide, or even to have the choice to live in a place whose collective values best matches your own values.

    Liked by 3 people

  227. JB says:

    What about foreign governments investing in pro-western campaigns? Or Western backed coup d’etat? The forces at play in Venezuela are more than you describe.

    Liked by 4 people

  228. kadijaliseli says:

    Reblogged this on 21 & Livin'.

    Liked by 3 people

  229. Jay says:

    And yet, there are people who see this and refuse to learn. The real tragedy is that this has happened before, and that it will happen again, and that people will not learn from it.

    Liked by 3 people

  230. Jocelyn Ponce-Lopez says:

    Imagine our pain, the ones who are watching from the distance our country dying. We left the country many years ago, but even far from there, we carry the pain and the suffering. Every day is something new that strikes our lives. Another crazy resolution, or decision, or crime. Our friends are dying for no reason; our families don’t have the essentials. It is painful.

    Liked by 3 people

  231. Vanessa says:

    Joel I am very sorry but you are comparing civilisations despairing with a country living a political crisis. Venezuela is a country rich in many resources and it will take years, maybe decades, but for sure the socialistic government is going to fall. Is the way this things work, history is cyclical. Maybe you could compare the situation in Venezuela with how the war destroyed Europe in the last century… Countries like Poland, for instance, were devastated. It took time, but communism faded in Poland as it will sooner than later in Venezuela. Look at Cuba, the Castros won’t last forever either. A friend sent me this article and felt sorry for how bad informed people are in general. Venezuela is going throughout a political war, not an atomic war or something similar in order to talk about the suicide of the country. Very wrong to talk about the suicide of the Venezuelan civilisation… The latter doesn’t make any sense.

    Liked by 3 people

  232. Julia Balbosa says:

    I was fortunate enough to visit Caracas for 9 days in December 1992. Such a beautiful exciting place, so much to see and do, I visited the pantheon, Parque del Este, Simon Bolivar Square, his Birthplace, The gold building, The Cathedral etc etc, we stayed right in the heart of the City, such a wonderful and unique chance to see a part of the World that many people do not get to see, I grieve for everyone in that remarkable City and what it has become, I was hoping many years ago it would turn around and go back to how it was, such a sad state to let this truly wonderful City to crumble.

    Liked by 3 people

  233. ED says:

    Spent 18 years in Venezuela and it saddens me to see government fail such great people !!!

    Liked by 3 people

  234. Francisco Suarez says:

    Incredible descripition. Me, as a Venezuelan and an ESL teacher trying to find a way out of this disaster, I completely agree about what you’re telling. Even worse, I reaffirm everything you said as a living proof of what this 17 years of goverment has damaged. Thank you for opening people’s eyes through this.

    Liked by 3 people

  235. Pingback: The Suicide of Venezuela – by Joel D. Hirst | Guyanese Online

  236. brian kelly says:

    It is scary how what happened in Venezuela seems to be in its early stages here in the USA. Formally known as the land of the free and the brave.

    Liked by 3 people

  237. René McEvoy says:

    It is very sad. It feels like you wrote this about my country South Africa! We are going down this same path.

    Liked by 3 people

  238. Tosha says:

    Chiiling …especially when red by a Greek.

    Thank you

    Liked by 3 people

  239. Diego Centelhas says:

    Hi Joel, wow, well…
    I am a brazilian, and I am afraid for some time now, watching Venezuela dying in the last decade, that I will see my country go through the same.
    You made me sick in the stomach. Powerfull writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  240. De castro says:

    Corruption corruption corruption
    My grandmother used to say
    “The root of all evil”
    She could not read or write English
    her origins Maderia island colony of
    Portugal. Arrived in BG with her
    parents and siblings as indentured servants/labourers to replace slaves
    after “freedom” !
    Today slavery is ever present …
    Wealth and power its replacement.
    We forgive but should never forget..
    only fools do.
    Mans inhumanity to mankind.!
    Sad fact.
    Lord Kamtan

    Liked by 3 people

  241. Eric Osterweil says:

    I knew Venezuela in better days. A beautiful country rich in mineral resources and special wonderful people. What a waste!

    Liked by 3 people

  242. Pingback: Hobby in Bloomberg & Forbes, Korean Air Holds, Venezuela - TravelBloggerBuzz

  243. fotodesignpt says:

    fantastic, what a sense of reality you have!
    i’m living in lisbon at this time as a photojournalist but i’m from a small town and i can find in your text exactly what’s happening there. all you write is in fact kiling my home town. in a smaller scale but what you write about a country happens to the towns too.
    thanks
    vitor
    pswith your permission i will share your text among discussion groups. i still trying to believe i can invert the process

    Liked by 3 people

  244. Dear Joel, Your article has touched me very deeply, but I really think there’s no perfect place in the world to live. And I’ve lived both in Europe and in the States. I can’t explain why a person in the US would enter a school, and HAVE a gun , and shoot kids. Or a michelin-stared chef suicide. Maybe they’ve lost they purpouse in life. We Venezuelans wake up every mornig with a huge purpouse
    A Venezuelan woman

    Liked by 3 people

  245. Mario Urbina says:

    Sad reality. Venezuela my country. And from a distance I can see your destruction. When you leave, 26 years ago, your clothing was different, today you are almost bare, ruined. i cry

    Liked by 2 people

  246. Maya Evans says:

    Overseas Venezuelans, and people who lived, or visited Venezuela cannot visualize its transformation into a society of citizens in the times of Lenin. This descent into a Dantesque hell so eloquently described by Dalo, is awful . To watch from far away the coming apart of our hospitable, rich country is sad and totally incredible.

    Liked by 3 people

  247. Manuel Carrillo says:

    Dear Joel,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful article.
    Do you have a Spanish version?

    Gracias
    Manuel

    Liked by 2 people

  248. Ben says:

    As an infrequent visitor to Venezuela, I share your grief at what is happening. But at the same time, I have cause to hope. The wonderful people I work with deeply love their country, and they are doing everything they can to help their communities thrive. The Maduro government stands as a testament to human folly: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men who cannot save” (Ps. 146:3).

    Liked by 2 people

  249. carol says:

    i haven’t left, yet… and am suffering this slow, suicidal fall into death of a nation….

    Liked by 2 people

  250. Christos says:

    Currently living in Greece, it is hard to ignore the similarities between the two countries. It seems like we are heading down the same path.

    Liked by 3 people

  251. Jesus A A says:

    Mr. Joel, i am from this country you are talking about. It is sad to read what you wrote which is exactly what is happening. I had to leave the country with my family and left relatives and invent a new life in other civilization estrange to ours. This, i think, is also part of this suicide you could include in your analysis. A country who forever received immigrants with open arms, became a country of emigrants, and talented, young people are leaving “the veins” of this corpse to try to live a life somewhere else. Suicide indeed.
    Thanks for your words. I hope there is an exit out somewhere, somehow. We deserve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  252. Eduard Muntada says:

    It’s a long, long time I had not the opportunity to read a sooo powerful, exact, intelligent analysis of an implosion, offered in such a so high philosophical and outstanding literary terms. A lot of sentences aren’t only great but memorable and conjure up the high Mr. Hirst’s level of thinking : “…my friends, who continue to try and explain to the mindless why their misery is a direct result of one bad idea built upon the last in a great edifice of stupidity”. Brilliant !

    Liked by 2 people

  253. BryanB says:

    Powerful writing Joel. If we in South Africa are not careful we could end up the same way.
    Me Malama and his EFF sprout the same nonsense

    Liked by 2 people

  254. Robert says:

    You watch and you read and I ask myself did they not see or understand the what the end result would be? You ask how good people have been so stupid. Then you nervously look over the shoulder.

    The riots should start soon as the temperature rises and food supplies run out.

    Liked by 2 people

  255. I often wonder about friends and people I worked with in Venezuela in the early to mid 90s. I have no way to track them down, no way to check on their well being. Maybe one day I can locate just one of them and get a means of checking on some of the rest. Surely some of them made their way to the U.S. during those years and can be located.

    Liked by 2 people

  256. Albert R. Cumberbatch, Ph. D. (Author) says:

    What you seem to be chronicling is what is genetically preordained to happen to peoples. That we can only watch and write for future generations but can do little to halt the impending doom. I am not that fatalistic.

    Liked by 2 people

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  258. Suso Papadopoulos says:

    Suicide powered by Dolartoday and massive speculation on goods and services. And, let me guess, the ‘opposition’ is behind all of this. So this is how a country just go nuts. Like USSR; massive speculation, smuggling at borders with the goods taken from stores, monetary devaluation, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  259. christos kitromilides says:

    We are experiencing the same process in Greece and we are fast approaching the inevitable nightmarish end game. It’s sad. Really sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  260. Pingback: 1 – The Suicide of Venezuela

  261. Carlos says:

    Just change some names and times and you are talking about Europe, my friend. Corruption, hate, one bad idea, upon another, upon another and another and another and another, ….

    Liked by 1 person

  262. evatbishop says:

    Reblogged this on Everything Matters! and commented:
    Venezuela, You Matter!
    Venezuela, a country where some of my relatives live and I have yet to visit. This incredibly powerful descriptive and emotive writing by Joel D. Hirst, sheds light on the shadow beast that has taking a life form of its own and appears unstoppable.
    My heart bleeds.
    What corrupted seeds were sown so long ago into the minds of the ancestors, to have such a pestilential beast spread its DisEase and destroy all of its offsprings’ beauty perfection and purity of heart of soul?

    Liked by 2 people

  263. John French says:

    What an incredibly idiotic and alarmist piece. Venezuela is not killing itself nor is it in any way near death. Eventually, the price of oil will rise and GDP will bounce back. Goods will return to the shelves as the nation diversifies its industries and corrects its trade deficit. The Chavista faction is realizing they can’t build a stable industrialized economy on petrol money alone.

    Every time a socialist nation experiences poverty people like you will be quick to pipe in saying, “Oh those poor ignorant peasants. If they had only listened to my sage advice and embraced free markets. Why can’t everyone be smart like me and read Atlas Shrugged?” Maybe stick to writing novels and leave the political and social issues to those more qualified, pal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sorry you didn’t like it. All the best.

      Like

    • Miguel says:

      Sad to read your comments, that socialist model doesn’t work, and that is all. Cuban or Venezuelan model , it is the same. Socialism or communism only find a place to grow when there is poverty around. In order to survive has to kill or expel smart minds. You can not be right and everybody else wrong.
      Time to open you mind.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Wood says:

      John, while the nasty tone of your comments lead one to the conclusion that you are a bit defensive regarding your friend Señor Chavez’s kamikaze political experiment that he called socialist. Socialism works fine, as Maggie Thatcher said, until you run out of other people’s money. Or in Venezuela’s case petrol-dollars. You may want to pick up a history book before you chastise someone for telling the truth.

      Liked by 2 people

      • John Holden says:

        I fail to catch the logic behind Steve’s comments/criticisms. Perhaps Steve could explain?
        On the other hand, I love the Thatcher comment, thanks.

        Liked by 2 people

  264. Pierre says:

    What a tragedy. I think it’s the West punishing the impertinence of a socialist experiment.

    Liked by 2 people

  265. Maria Teresa says:

    What you have written is so true, and we were here in Argentina so near, and we are yet not enough far away. “Revolution – cold and angry. Hate, as a political strategy. Law, used to divide and conquer. Regulation used to punish. Elections used to cement dictatorship. Corruption bleeding out the lifeblood in drips”. This was exactly the way we were walking until December 10th 2015, and that we are trying to retrace nowadays.

    Liked by 2 people

  266. Musgrove says:

    Reblogged this on Michael Musgrove and commented:
    This describes a future America, if things don’t change soon for the better. All of these conditions are Democrat talking points, however I wouldn’t expect any to be able to see that it describes their policies exactly. When you exist on “Hope” and violently yell “We can,” at everyone when reality and history clearly illustrate you can’t, of course you’re going to think the outcome will be different this time. (That is, if you’re even aware of possible consequences and what’s really going on in the world, which is pretty complex to say the least, so that’s a large set of assumptions.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you – so true

      Like

    • heyjuan says:

      You can’t compare Venezuela’s problems to rule in the USA by a Democratic party.
      The 8 years of Bill Clinton were the best years in several generations. The budget was balanced, the economy was good, unemployment was low, crime rates were low, businesses were flourishing, we weren’t fighting useless wars, and people were happy (all except the ones upset about his BJ). I agree that Obama has done nowhere near a similar job, but then he did inherit the mess left by Bush.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Musgrove says:

        I didn’t. I said the goals, methods and talking points are identical. Also, the state of the Union when Obama took office has nothing to do with his policies, tactics and shortcomings. Your statement has been on a loop now for almost 8 years anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • heyjuan says:

        Nowhere in my comments did I say that Obama did a great job, but at least we are in a far better condition than we were under either of the Bush leaders. Obviously even the majority of Republicans agree with that, resulting in a rapid exit for poor Jeb.

        Liked by 2 people

  267. Loly L. says:

    Joel,
    Your article depicts the deterioration as it is,-what a disturbing truth. Thank you for a well written article!

    Liked by 2 people

  268. heyjuan says:

    Chavez was in power when I was there, and the decay was just beginning. This was on Margarita Island where tourism was still flourishing because of the beautiful beaches and low prices. Half constructed high-rises were starting to be occupied by squatters with some plywood, and electrical lines running out to a street power pole. They hauled water up in buckets and threw their garbage behind the building. The prices in the grocery store were really low because they were set by the government. We would argue about who got the privilege of filling up the gas tank because it was always less than two dollars.
    Now the stores are empty, the tourists are gone, and crime is rampant. Sad to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  269. Judith Perret-Gentil says:

    As a Venezuelan living abroad I express my admiration for your article Joel Hirst. Your words describe in a perfect manner the Apocalipsis of Venezuela. A very sad situation.

    Liked by 2 people

  270. Otto Piccardo says:

    Great article!
    It reflects exactly what happened and is happenning in Venezuela

    Liked by 2 people

  271. Dear Mr Joel D. Hirst,

    Congratulations for your excellent text.

    I am a brazilian citizen. I would like to ask you permission for doing a portuguese translation of the text and use of this in social media like Facebook, always refering to the author and to the link of the original text in English, with the idea of preventing Brazil’s suicide!
    I have a big concern that we brazilians are walking in the same route as Venezuela, although we are trying do avoid this tragedy.

    Thank you very much!

    Antonio LimaJr
    (As in Facebook profile)

    Liked by 2 people

  272. Pathman says:

    That is a powerful bit of writing. I just found your site and am wondering if you would be willing to talk more about the exact things that are being done that are destroying the country. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  273. Frank Nelson says:

    Formal McCarthy: ” all progressions from a higher to a lower order contain ruins and mystery and a residue of nameless rage”

    Liked by 2 people

  274. linda levin says:

    Joel, your words are like a dagger to the heart, but so true. Everyday I wake up and wonder if at this stage in my life am I going to have to try and start over in another country. I grew up in Maracaibo since the late fifties and I cry when I see what is going on and how blind and stupid people can be. To watch the destruction of a country where I grew up is terrible. This is my home and somehow, it is not my home anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  275. John Holden says:

    You’re so right Mr. Hirst.
    The frog in the slowly boiling water.
    One asks oneself time and time again how this could possibly happen. Will it, could it possibly, happen here (we moved out to Colombia)? I lived in Venezuela for 32 years and saw it all – the riches and then the slow decay and now this – post-decay! My wife, who’s Venezuelan, is in Venezuela now visiting her family. She went laden with food – staples like coffee, sugar, sardines, tuna, some rolls of toilet paper, medicines people here in Colombia gave her to take over. 30 kilos of food for Venezuela! An unimaginable nightmare.
    Why oh why?

    Liked by 2 people

  276. Todd says:

    I stumbled across this article from a friend on facebook and I shared as well. Eloquently written and a sad state of affairs. Thank you for sharing your observations. Over the past few years, I have grown apathetic to U.S. (where I live) politics as I often feel the general progression towards this end, as seen in Venezuela, is unstoppable–like an ebb and flow of a tide. Why does this happen? Not sure. Perhaps it is that we forget that individual freedoms are so very important and that government, while necessary for some basic reasons such as preserving individual freedoms, is a dangerous master that must be vigilantly and continuously restricted to its core functions. Unfortunately what I see today is America’s youth openly and enthusiastically supporting socialism and openly and enthusiastically bashing capitalism and I do not see any way to stop that.

    Liked by 2 people

  277. lindéria says:

    Nós, os brasileiros, estamos no mesmo processo destrutivo. Neste momento a esperança é um impeachment. que não sabemos se conseguiremos. É triste. É lamentável ver professores que foram doutrinados pelo ideal comunista doutrinando nossos jovens e crianças.

    Liked by 2 people

  278. Luisa Heymann says:

    You may ask: how could this have happened? The conditions that set the stage for Venezuela to slide from a reasonably prosperous democracy to the current mess was income inequality and the passage of laws favoring the wealthy elite at the expense of everyone else. Eventually poor people and the floundering middle class flocked to a loud-mouthed leader who made impossible promises. There’s a lesson here, America, if anyone’s listening.

    Liked by 2 people

  279. smakuhle says:

    The ultimate truth that hurts ultimately.

    Liked by 2 people

  280. I’d approve your comment except for the cursing

    Like

  281. Sorry – no cursing on my blog

    Like

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  283. Pingback: O Suicídio da Venezuela, Autor: Joel D. Hirst – Tradução do artigo “The Suicide of Venezuela” | Para ser sustentável!

  284. H Goodwin says:

    You said you visited Cairo not sure when, but I just got back, I can surely replace “Vanisuela” to “Egypt” in you article and may be date it 5 years ago . Great and very touchy.

    Liked by 2 people

  285. Kelli says:

    Corruption can infect any political system. When it infects capitalism, it is called fascism or corporatism. When it infects socialism, it is called Leninism or Stalinism. When people with good intentions make a government, no matter what economic principles they put behind that government, they often fail to put in place the safeguards that keep corruption out. Even if they do, those with an eye only for themselves will always try to break down or evade those safeguards. Laws get repealed. Loopholes get introduced. Hiring high-paid law firms allow offenders to escape conviction. Information manipulation keeps prosecution from happening in the first place.

    Liked by 3 people

  286. k miller says:

    You brought democracy to Mali? This is so deluded I doubt the validity of your views on Venezuela.

    Liked by 2 people

  287. Pingback: Central Banks Bravely Pour Our Money Into Financial Markets–keeping their ponzi game going a bit longer and, thereby, consolidating their ownership of industry | Dregs of the Future

  288. Pingback: Judge Napolitano–so many disturbing questions about what’s happening in America | Dregs of the Future

  289. Pingback: Europeans’ Suicide Snake Dance–next up, USA | Dregs of the Future

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  291. Serge Mansur says:

    How eloquently written. How utterly sad

    Liked by 2 people

  292. John Windos says:

    Scares the hell out of me …. feel it in my bones in the USA …. What to do …what to do …..shall I pray … shall I sigh … .. shall I live … shall I die . You struck a cord my brother . Brilliant solid gut wrenching and medicinal.

    Liked by 2 people

  293. Pingback: The Suicide of Venezuela – San Gabriel Tutor

  294. Pingback: VOODOO ECONOMICS: ‘Death By a Thousand Cuts’, The Slow Suicide of Venezuela – By Joel D Hirst | RIELPOLITIK

  295. Athiná Trapezountios says:

    A suicide perpetrated by the government but more accurately an homicide executed against the millions of people who didn’t ever agree to commit suicide and still fight it!

    Liked by 2 people

  296. David Douglaa says:

    Venezuela feels the Bern!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  297. rtineof says:

    Excellent description, sad to admit, but it is so.
    Thanks to take some of your precious time to put in a poetic way this dramatic process.
    Caracas

    Liked by 2 people

  298. Hanny M. says:

    Your article put words to my tears…I was born and raised in a beautiful,loving and happy Venezuela,I was lucky enough or should I say, blessed enough to leave with my family ,just before Chavez took possession of the Government.I would like to think that it happened out of good intentions but lack of wisdom.But deep in my heart,I know that in any country,where there is no real possibility to reach your dreams if you are without any economic means not even with hard work or studies, there is no hope for the poor.In a country where the law could be bought by money in everyday life and any permission or document can be achieved by money,so there is no respect for the Law. Sooner or later it was expected to blow up.And Chavez had only to say the right words for a nation mostly unaware of History,mostly lacking of knowledge. Knowledge and respect to the Law could had prevented the terrible fate of my beloved Venezuela.

    Liked by 2 people

  299. Pingback: The Suicide of Venezuela | Joel D. Hirst’s Blog | Shawn Eng's Stream of Wonk

  300. Ricardo Pinto says:

    Admirable! Thanks for it; as a Venezuelan, I must say it is almost ironic to find better articles on the subject outside my country. I hope you don’t mind I took the liberty to translate it: either way I give you your credits.

    Liked by 2 people

  301. Gladys García says:

    This article made me feel very sad because it is so true, and yes my country is falling apart but it feels more like a very well planned murder than a suicide..

    Liked by 2 people

  302. Pingback: De #Marchar, el #Referendum y el #Estado Fallido – A Venezuelan Abroad Ep. 58 | Venevlogs.com.ve

  303. De castro says:

    What the world needs is more
    capitalism but with a conscience
    …caring sharing one not fed by the
    greed and averice of the human
    species.
    Animals kill to survive in the wild.
    Humans kill for sport or whatever.
    We are not instinctive animals
    just greedy humans with an uncontrollable appetite for more,
    Laws to control that weakness
    of the species are essential in
    “civilised” societies and rigorously
    enforced to ensure a much fairer
    society.
    Alternative “anarchy”
    The law is an ass unless it is
    respected.

    It’s not capitalism v communism
    V socialism or any other ism s.
    It’s survival of the most adaptable
    of the species.
    Darwin re-incarnate.
    Lord kamtan

    Liked by 2 people

  304. Chris Harris says:

    One only hopes that Sean Penn will read your piece to the end.

    Liked by 2 people

  305. Pingback: Venezuela e a 3ª Lei de Newton – a farpa

  306. Your analysis is accurate in reflecting our reality but I think the picture is not complete. Chavez/Maduro not only bought the poor people in Venezuela but governments in the entire region. You can see in these times of scarcity, the government hasn’t stop giving away money (although a little less) to Cuba, the Caribbean countries, Bolivia, Uruguay and Nicaragua among others. The Caribbean countries are all of them democracies but any of them have risen a word for the blatant human rights violations in Venezuela. They have an opportunity to clean their shameful attitude voting in the Organization of American States for the application of the Democratic Letter to Maduro. It maybe won’t make Maduro’s government to fall but it may force him yo accept the constitutional Revocatorio referendum the opposition is trying to have this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  307. kirbert says:

    How do I get off the notification list? The link at the bottom of the hundreds of emails clogging up my inbox doesn’t work!

    Liked by 2 people

  308. Thank you Joel for lending your talent to express Venezuela’s disgrace.
    Coming from the heart, your article will most surely help to open everyone;s eyes to our tragedy.

    I am still here and we fight everyday to end this, but the opponent is fierce, rich and corrupted and has no scruples. We will prevail thanks to the help of people like yourself.

    Best.

    Liked by 2 people

  309. Maria Gondra says:

    Joel, your article was interesting but you did not mention that Cuba died before Venezuela and that the Castros were the ones guiding Chavez on how to kill Venezuela….

    Liked by 3 people

  310. I visited Venezuela before Chavez regimen. A fantastic country with a strong industrial development at that time. People were fabulous all over the country. Caracas was unique. We are all to blame for allowing the madness that blasted Venezuela for so many years. And thank god people awakes in Brasil. They were about to follow Venezuela path.

    Liked by 3 people

  311. Milton Perret-Gentil says:

    Man, I gather you have little or no emphaty whatsoever with the very idea of survival instinct and hope, coupled with a generous dose of enthusiasm; you’d have to be a venezuelan and be able to feel what people in their own country feel for their country. After this nightmare is over, and this WILL happen this year, I assure you that with a new brand of highly-formed, goal-minded politicians boosted with a respectable injection of fresh money (without going into detail) we, Mr.Hirst, the people of Venezuela, WILL get ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Herman Jones says:

      …idealistic kakistocracy will once again be the result of “leaders” so free and at large, credentialed with university degrees that focuses their minds solely into the power of man ; idealists with idealistic thinking without the reverence of the Most High Almighty GOD! These blind guides can, with the correct reasonings, armed with all the right reasonings and good intentions can do anything to another. Why? Because the end justifies the means.
      IT HAPPENS EVERY TIME when a nation fails to remember the LORD IS GOD!

      Liked by 1 person

      • De castro says:

        Share the god sentiments with you my brother.
        Now if I beg God to ‘help’
        and he does not
        Who do I turn to ?
        His evil rival ‘satan’

        Or do I despair and commit suicide so as to join him in his
        kingdom ASAP…
        Sorry think again…
        God helps those who help themselves those who cannot
        fail to become !
        believer
        Kamtan

        Liked by 1 person

  312. Pingback: A Country’s Slow Suicide – CHRIST THE MORNING STAR

  313. Herman Jones says:

    Wow! ….very well written!
    As from the depths of the author’s heartfelt agony the reader cannot help but to feel the pains of generations past, and those to come—the very despair of the posterity. Sad! …Jesus wept.

    Liked by 2 people

  314. Rafael Linares says:

    Dear Joel,
    I’d like to start commenting on your blog by saying that I agree, Venezuela has commited political suicide. However, I disagree with your historical comparisons. I think the Venezuelan phenomenon is rather unique, with only (if any) a small handful of partial parallels in History. I’ll expand on this.
    In order for a country to commit suicide such country has to have what we call a modern democracy, one in which its citizens directly elect their authorities. Otherwise they would not be in full control of the political destiny of the nation, therefore not being in principle able to commit suicide. This argument rules out the Romans, who saw their decadence during the imperial period, rather by loosing grip of their own Empire. As regards the Greek, the Greek system was although in theory democratic, in practice aristocratic, and saw their political demise, ultimately, at the hands of the Romans.
    My point is that it wasn’t at the hands of their own people that these states decayed and ultimately collapsed, but at the hands of their aristocratic ruling elites (or at the hands of foreign invaders).
    The Venezuelan case is quite diferent, in the sense of including an essential element of populism. Large segments of the Venezuelan society have played an active role in maintaining the status quo of the so called revolution in exchange for all sorts of favours. It is this what makes of it a real case of political suicide.
    My favourite parallel for this phenomenon in History is the ascent of Nazis to power in Germany.
    In a period of political fragmentation, with a barely nascent democracy, Germans voted the Nazis into parlament. Once in parlament an old, dying Hindemburg (the Caldera of our comparison) gives the fatal vote of confidence to the Nazis. Hitler moves fast, abolishing the office of President (thus concentraring all power under the figure of the Chancellor) and from there onwards ideology and opression become the name of the game. There are, however, two important caveats that place less responsability on Germans (relative to Venezuelans) for their respective national fate: 1) given their parliamentary system they had no direct control on the election of the Chancellor, which ultimately fell on a representative of a party they had not voted in in a majoritary proportion and, 2) their democracy was, at the time, less structured and of less tradition than the Venezuelan one was in 1998.
    As a Venezuelan myself, I must admit the shameful but inescapable conclusion; we, Venezuelans, have participated in what is perhaps the single most pathetic example of political suicidal behaviour in the History of Mankind (unless there’s another one in Africa).

    Please receive my sincerest simpathy for taking the time to reflect about the Venezuelan situation and count with a new folower in me.

    Kind regards,

    Rafael Linares

    Liked by 2 people

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  316. David Kaye says:

    Yeah, that’s the problem of letting a drought happen in your country and then letting oil prices fall.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ralphfucetolajd says:

      Not so sure we can blame nature and market for what is happening in Venezuela (and by journalistic extension, in the USA and elsewhere). Certainly it did seem that in the old (and never to be lamented, in the dustbin of history) USSR there were 75 years of drought and famine… but that must have been nature; couldn’t have been collectivism… nay. On the other hand, today’s Russia is just as dependent on the price of oil as Venezuela, but toilet paper is still on the shelves. Wasn’t like that in the old USSR. Hmm… maybe we have another historical experiment (you know, like the experiment known as West/East Germany) where we can compare a formerly socialist state like Russia with a currently socialist state like Venezuela. Is the jury still out?

      Liked by 1 person

  317. I think this suicide is more universal or global than we know. Why is it the most corrupt (or stupid) are in power?

    Liked by 2 people

  318. Karlo brauneis says:

    If you install Socialism in the Desert of Sahara

    After 6 months you will see a shortage of Sand

    Regards
    Karlo

    Liked by 2 people

  319. Pingback: #LecturasdeDomingo (81) | Ciencias y cosas

  320. Lena Hohenadel says:

    Joel,
    I am Venezuelan born & a naturalized US citizen. I came to attend high school and college here during the presidency of Perez Jimenez, and stayed after marriage. I’ve lived through much of what seems as an unraveling of a wonderful country.
    Venezuela has always struggled with their governing leaders. However, the presidency of Romulo Betancourt between 1959 and 1964 brought great hope, and for awhile, Venezuela prospered. Chavez and this thug, Maduro, who calls himself a leader, have led the country to decline in a short two decades. Your article, difficult as it is for me to read, is an accurate reflection of a terrible new reality. Sean Penn & Oliver Stone brought attention to Chavez in a most irresponsible way, in my opinion. Thank you for writing this. I hope it is widely distributed & read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Lena – it is such a sad story indeed. A wonderful country, far from perfect but moving in the right direction; now people hunt dogs and cats on the streets for meat. Actions have consequences; and the actions of the socialist government have had serious consequences indeed.

      Like

    • De castro says:

      My two cents
      When corruption is endemic in society
      everyone suffers rich/middle/poor classes. Castros pro Russian dogma
      is a solution that temporary reduces
      corruption.,,but eventually it fails…
      as per communism before Goberchovs
      Russia.
      We live in a rapidly changing world
      where no system is “rigid” written in
      stone.
      Change we must
      As die we must
      Suggestion
      Capitalism with a conscience
      Communism with flexibility
      Socialism somewhere between both

      Venezuela will recover “eventually”
      unfortunately it could take decades
      Sad fact
      Ways I see it

      Forever the optimist
      Lord kamtan

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hope springs eternal. I’m sort of more of a classical liberal – that is to say the greater authority is placed on the individual to decide how to live their lives and invest their money; the closer government is to the people it is supposed to serve, and the strictly limited role of government to focus on resolution of conflict and the like – the better societies. Government doesn’t do well at fighting poverty – and they always abuse authority. They should get out of the business and leave it to those who have successfully done it in the past and have a track record.

        Like

      • De castro says:

        Joel
        Agree partially but will say that
        Liberalism leads to anarchy.
        No such dream of power to individuals
        for me.
        However support the idea of Swiss
        system of government…where power
        remains in the cantons.
        U r a citizen of canton before a
        citizen of Switzerland…
        Get my drift…
        David Cameron touched on idea
        but it will be difficult for him to
        convince others…
        Return more power to locally elected
        government…NB it is also yearly unlike
        central government which is 5 yearly.
        A compromise somewhere in between
        …maybe every third year for both
        Local and national election saving tax
        payers money…killing two birds with
        one stone.
        Am no politician or economist
        Just a retired taxpayer…
        Taxed from cradle to grave😈
        Fairly so except when it is squandered
        on some government white elephant.
        Like another nuclear reactor for UK
        energy needs over next decade.
        But that’s another “white elephant”
        What’s wrong with “solar wind wave”
        as the future energy source highly subsidised.
        Thanks for your quick response
        Share your sentiments
        Lord kamtan

        Liked by 1 person

  321. menna315 says:

    IT IS A SAD STORY INDEED…THE COUNTRY IS GOING WAY PAST THE DEEPEST LAYER OF THE EARTH….

    Liked by 1 person

  322. menna315 says:

    THE COUNTRY IS COMMITTING SUICIDE ALREADY…WHAT A CRISIS .

    Liked by 2 people

  323. Pingback: Connecting the dots | In Mother Words

  324. Joanne says:

    Interesting read but it feels like there is part of the narrative missing. It feels inadequate to comment until I have read the piece in it’s entirety.

    Liked by 2 people

  325. jiisand says:

    How strange. I make no claims about knowing what is happening but I get such a different viewpoint at http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10511 when I started to investigate. I wonder what is going on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That newspaper is a bit of a rag, many of whose writers are on the payroll of the Venezuelan govt. They have quite a sophisticated propaganda apparatus.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jiisand says:

        Thanks for your quick reply. It is a bit of a surprise that the Guardian, where the article originated could be subject to material that was so distorted. I looked at a couple of other sources and there was indication that the dumping of oil on the market by Saudi Arabia to counter the market invasion of fracking oil from the USA which caused a huge drop in the market value of oil was the fundamental blow which hit the Venezuelan economy. The current government still seems to be popular since former president Carter certified it was totally honest. It’s good to hear from someone deeply familiar with the country.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Guardian on Venezuela has always been sketchy. Carter also did a terrible job in Venezuela. Of course the drop in oil hit Venezuela hard – but it was oils “rise” that covered a multitude of sins – sins we are seeing now. Thank you for your interest.

        Liked by 1 person

  326. I didn’t know it was that bad , sounds like its to late . what should be done ??

    Liked by 2 people

  327. hnperozo says:

    Esto es increíble. No se como llegue aquí o por qué. Pero quiero más. Saludos:)

    Liked by 3 people

  328. kbadamson says:

    Reblogged this on kbadamsonsfavoriteblogs.

    Liked by 2 people

  329. I lived in Venezuela for a year when Venezuela was doing so well in 1976 and my brother is still living there with his family. I worry about them everyday. It’s indeed a tragedy and your description truly brings the raw reality of the situation to our awareness… que podemos hacer? We feel so impotent as helpless observers…. Thank you for writing this! Amira

    Liked by 2 people

  330. michaelkubly says:

    This is an incredible story!

    Liked by 2 people

  331. This is just so sad. We have to come up with new ways of governance and societal alliance to make sure those most vulnerable don’t become unnecessary victims.

    Liked by 2 people

  332. bertezblog says:

    What a tragic reality. I always thought of Venezuela as the home of beauty queens. My limited knowledge did’nt know that this beautiful country is in great pain.
    I always thought my country Philippines has the worst corruption problem.
    I symphatize with the people’s grief and praying for their healing.
    And hoping that help from powerful countries will be sent to them.

    Liked by 2 people

  333. booksnnooksb says:

    Joel, your words are poignant and powerful. They paint vividly a picture of harrowing destruction…I feel gutted for Venezuela.

    Liked by 2 people

  334. Lena Hohenadel says:

    Listen to this woman. If you cannot understand, run the video to see her desperation and hear her hopelessness. She is a professional woman with no way to sufficiently feed her family. She tells of the theft of her car the night before and having no recourse. She tells of being able to buy only three chickens a month, of rampant crime and of the hopeless future she sees for her two year old. She begs the world to hear her.

    Liked by 2 people

  335. KingRaized says:

    Reblogged this on KINGRAIZED and commented:
    HOW EXACTLY HAS VENEZUELA CAME INTO SUCH DISPARITY. JUST 15 YEARS AGO VENEZUELA WAS HELPING AMERICANS WITH FREE HEATING OIL. EVEN AFTER READING THIS POST I AM STILL CONFUSED AS TO WHAT LED VENEZUELA TO SUCH ECONOMIC BREAKDOWN.

    Liked by 2 people

  336. I lived in Venezuela in the 80s and it is such beautiful country. I am so saddened to watch its decline over the years. Chavez was so bad for the country, and the downslide continues. Que lastima!

    Liked by 2 people

  337. peacejim says:

    It is very sad to see a loved one destroying their future. Detroit Michigan in the USA has also committed suicide. Looking at history critically, and learning, and applying it is not often done. “It can’t happen here”, you say. Cause death slowly creeps up sometimes and when you realize it you say; “Hey, I’m dead” or “It’s too late”. Thank you for waving a flag for others to see.

    Liked by 2 people

  338. Brand new to wordpress but the irony is brilliant. My first short story is on suicide and then I see this. Also kudos on the brilliant article!

    Liked by 2 people

  339. Cristina says:

    I left my country, Venezuela, thirty four years ago when I was a teenager; the economic situation was good then, but still with a history of corrupted presidents and administrators. The people behaved as if they were entitled to everything. Steeling and corruption, unfortunately is embedded in the culture. The rational is for many people in power is that If I don’t take the money, someone else will. I remember when I came to the US and I bought a newspaper from those boxes were you put a coin and them open the box to retrieve the paper, there was another person behind me waiting his turn and as I held the door open I asked him, do you want to take one? In Venezuela this boxes would never exist, for most people will have done just what I just did, and to my surprise the man said to me, “no, it is not right”. I am a Spanish teacher and I always tell my students that you learn about your own culture and country once you leave your country and see other cultures and ways of doing things. In the past twenty years, my parents and four siblings slowly were able to leave the country, so I don’t have to go back. The last time I went it was eleven years ago and when I was ready to board the plane, I had to pass through another set of “funcionarios públicos”
    dressed in military uniform, one of then insisted on seen my Venezuelan ID card, I told him that I had not used it in ages, since I was a US citizen. I showed him my US passport and he insisted that I could not leave the country without a Venezuelan ID. Finally after I waited ten minutes trying to figure out what to do, the other military airport clerk told him to leave me along. I could not believe how this people take the laws into their hands. This kind of lawless behavior is an every day situation in Venezuela. I saw it when I was a kid, and I still saw it as an adult. Any way, I feel sad for the people in Venezuela, and when Maduro steps down, he will have to hide together with his cronies, because the people are fed up and they are going to kill them out of anger.

    Liked by 3 people

  340. That was such a sad story… I wish it wasn’t true.

    Liked by 2 people

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  343. oregonrazor says:

    Shared, Joel… radio host Andrew Wilkow on SiriusXM follows Venezuelan news on the decline. As you pointed out, socialism, as practiced by Chavez and Maduro, has stopped ANY chance at recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  344. osalove says:

    Hi, well I’m a venezuelan young girl as many others I’m truly trying to make a change here its not easy because we’re under a diabolic and corrupted government and right now in these country are a battle, a battle for life for independence we’re fighting with all our strength because we love venezuela and we need our freedom.

    Liked by 3 people

  345. Wendert says:

    I wanted to share this on facebook. Very well written!

    Liked by 2 people

  346. Having to live on the other side of the world, your perspective encourages sympathy and compassion. Easily, we can all blame our respective flawed government and while doing so, other’s wake up, walking on a string just to feed a mouth or two.

    Liked by 2 people

  347. Who is John Gault

    This was so very written.

    Liked by 3 people

  348. You have managed to, poignantly; personify Venezuela in this well-penned piece and it moved me to the very core. What do we ascribe this ruin to? The economic system, bad governance or political/ideological quandry?

    Do shiny apartments and restaurants always indicate prosperity which impacts positively on the lives of those living at the bottom or are they but amenities frequented by tourists flashing hard currency.

    Joel, may you care to suggest any possible solutions to this ‘Suicide of Venezuela’?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Its about socialism. To be sure things weren’t perfect before. Cronyism led people to vote for the revolution. The revolution destroyed everything through regulation, expropriation, malinvestment, etc. Thank you! incidentally I wrote two novels about this – if you want a longer, funner exploration of the disaster http://www.amazon.com/Burning-San-Porfirio-Sequel-Lieutenant/dp/1491785187/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463320380&sr=8-2&keywords=joel+hirst

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alright.
        However, I dot think it is entirely socialism which ruined that beautiful country as we also have such ruin and scio-economic problems in capitalist countries and I tend to support your assertion that malinvestment has played a role.

        I advance the view that shiny edifices and a few super-rich individuals in any country are no indicators of prosperity when the multitudes are in dire poverty.

        Equal or fair distribution of wealth and social justices, provision of basic amenities and services (food, security, transport and communication medical care, potable water), etc, to all are important.

        Like

      • Fair enough. Venezuela was certainly a “Crony capitalist” country forever. But the indicators were much better. Life expectancy, literacy, nutrition, vaccination rates, etc. etc. Much better at any rate than they are now, after $2 trillion in oil money went missing. So – socialism.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Granted.
        You are writing from experience on Venezuela, however; from my perspective, we are a ‘capitalist’ country with shiny, tall buildings and fine hotels and restaurants but the vast majority who live in poverty do not derive any benefits from these as they cannot afford such ‘luxuries’.Those who are lucky enough only but work there for a minimum wage.

        I enjoyed reading, nay, savouring; ‘The Suicide of Venezuela’.
        Well-written!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gohar says:

        Corruption is a root cause of trouble in countries which are on the path of death, irrespective of system of government.
        Probably socialist countries need to adopt Nordic models, rather than going with classical form of socialism which was promoted by USSR.

        Like

      • The myth of the nordic models (esp the replicability) gets folks in trouble a lot. There are very specific circumstances and cultural issues which can’t be replicated – and when tried always turn out like Venezuela.

        Like

      • Gohar says:

        Does that mean there is no one specific model and every country need to develop a system based on its unique culture and circumstances.

        Like

      • I’d argue they are principles. Respect of life, liberty, property. Due process. Rule of law. Consent of the governed. The problem with socialism is it doesn’t respect any of this (starting with property) which paves the process for corruption. There are also economic laws (supply and demand, etc.) which are incontrovertible. There are of course different ways to organize ourselves, respecting these. Based on culture, etc. We need to be pragmatic – looking for ways to improve all our lives. I don’t object to socialism ideologically – but because it makes people suffer; always have. Those who advocate for it have never been able to get it to work. They had enough chances (more than 100,000,000 people killed in the 20th century). In the US we now have a crony capitalist system, which doesn’t work either (see the stagnation of the middle class, no mobility, crushing debt, high unemployment, record numbers exiting the workforce). This is because politicians and businessmen make bad bedfellows. Originally there was a recommendation to the constitution to add an 11th amendment to the bill of rights “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade.” Would have been better if we had.

        Like

      • De castro says:

        Simple Simon says
        If we apply same rules to situation
        we cannot expect different results.
        However if we apply different rules
        to situation the results can “surprise”

        Corruption will destroy any system..
        Communist capitalist or socialist
        or it’s variables…
        Caring and sharing discourages
        corruption…maybe if we have a
        more caring sharing society we
        are on way to solutions.
        It begins with individuals
        attitudes in society.
        My spin
        Open to comments

        Like

      • Long as its not coerced, I agree. We cannot force sharing – that becomes theft. And begins the cycle of corruption again.

        Like

      • De castro says:

        The law is an ass if it is arbitratory
        (argue able) or rigorously enforced.
        It’s up to the political Cl-asses to make
        laws that protect individuals…
        not their hidden agendas…
        Politicians must not only be
        transparent but accountable.
        In democracies we vote them
        out or give them second term.
        But that’s another issue..
        For another discussion.

        It is not in human nature to lie
        or cheat ..but if this is considered
        smart cheats will prosper.
        Surely there is more joy in giving
        than receiving…
        Hope I have not missed anything
        Thanks

        Like

      • Will try and read ‘The Burning Of San Parfirio’ for more insight.

        Like

  349. astralwriter says:

    I’m amazed by reading this, it’s very well written!

    Liked by 2 people

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  353. IOANNIS TZAROS Thessaloniki Greece says:

    Mr Hirst, I am from Greece and your article has moved me twice, not only emotionally but also horrify -ngly (if there is such thing) as Greece is in this very process right now, we are just in the begining . Without the petrol Venezuela has if we make a few more mistakes and the rest of the EU decides a more indifferrent approach to our problem the collapse will be quicker and much more impresive! Let’s hope will never see it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lets hope that smarter and more committed folks enter government and start the painful but necessary process of freeing up the Greek economy. Living within their means, reducing regulation. It could happen; but it takes the acts of committed people to bring it about!

      Like

  354. Aastha says:

    its amazing reading this , keep writing more.

    Liked by 1 person

  355. Aastha says:

    and i started a blog 2 days back and its about different pieces of information , something that i want to tell people, i will keep improving but i hope u like my work .have a look on it if u get time, i would b grateful because i m generally under confident all the time but i wanted to write so i thot its better to take a chance , so plss comment and like on my post if its ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  356. Jyoti says:

    Your description is noteworthy. Socialism/Communism is as evil as it can get. It robs one of reason and common sense. I see it in struggle in some states here in India. So far, they haven’t got the upper hand.

    Liked by 2 people

  357. This was a great read, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  358. Julio Ávila says:

    And for all of us that are living here in Venezuela, life goes on. As Christians we are call to love each other, pray for each other and endure together these hard times. Reminds me of the book of Joel, we all need to repent and go back to Christ. Stop adoring other idols, Still I have faith in the one who is more powerful than any government. Continue to pray for all Venezuelans. In peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  359. Eddie B says:

    Thank you for sharing this grim yet realistic portrayal of what is happening in Venezuela. Many people are not aware of just how much Venezuela has devolved from what it formerly was. Until very recently, it was the wealthiest country in all of Latin America, and it drew investors and immigrants from all over the world. Never vote for populist and/or authoritarian leaders. Never become indifferent or complacent to what happens in your country. This is the end result and it’s tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  360. I agree, great read and I’m glad I came across this!

    Liked by 1 person

  361. So very honest. The tragedy of corruption is real and can be felt across the globe. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  362. John Holden says:

    We abandoned Venezuela to its sad fate in 2010. We are now sincerely worried that the same could happen in Colombia. The President has practically handed to country to the FARC on a plate.
    I ran out of Peru in 1975 to escape a military regime; I ran out of Venezuela in 2010 to escape a quasi-dictatorship; I only hope I don’t have to do the same from Colombia…

    Liked by 1 person

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  364. alisonrana says:

    I have a friend who grew up in Venezuela, her family is there now. Her cousin just gave birth to twin girls in a dark hospital with no anesthesia. She sends me videos of mudslides and tells me all about how much she worries for her family. This article helps to put it in perspective. It also helps me be thankful for all of the things we take for granted on a daily basis.

    Liked by 1 person

  365. UnUp51 says:

    That’s just terrible! These incidents will always be . It is a pity that we are people “only” people …

    Liked by 1 person

  366. UnUp51 says:

    It really is terrible! And like always will be. It is a pity that the “only” people…

    Like

  367. UnUp51 says:

    It is really very terrible! This will always happen. It is a pity that we are all human, “only” people…

    Like

  368. Pingback: The Slow suicide of Venezuela – Therunesofezra

  369. I’m an American and a veteran and this story is sick to me in so many levels of just being human. I see and complain about everyday problems, some small, some big, and then things like this remind me just how many of my big problems, of what I consider to be big, is well …I can consider as selfish and minor and it makes me stop and really, truthfully, at this moment right now as my insomnia and PTSD from the war, at 4:16 in the morning, it makes me stop and take a moment to talk with what I believe to be God and just pray for humanity and people in countries and situations like these…it’s sad.

    I remember it has almost been 10 years since I have been in combat and even when I was there doing a job that was hard on many levels from day to day, I smile because I remember the good that I tried to do as a person to help as much as I could.

    A smile on a small child’s face, by giving him something as simple as a candy bar from my MRE packet and even a middle age man who was dressed in rags, my own very watch that I bought when I was in basic, but seeing their smiles and for a moment, for me personally in times like these, there was no being American and Iraqi, there was no war, it was just seeing another person in a position that made me sick to the inner core of my stomach, but yet a smile from them reminded me, humanity still has good in us all, we just have to keep striving and uncovering it through the darkness; least that is what I still believe.

    I been all around the world and some places I thought that were going to be horrible wound up being the most beautifulness place, in fact middle of Iraq, as far as the eye could see, sand and hills everywhere, no noise if you stopped breathing for a moment, we looked around, the small team I was in, the sky was darker with a sand screen covering like a thin sheet.and I swear to even this day that it was the most beautifulness place, the most serenity I had ever felt in my entire life, the irony….the most amazing place, the most secure feeling, my own personal heaven, even though for a few hours…..was in the middle of a warzone.

    When I read previous comments about a gentlemen having to leave his country and then forced to abandoned another country, well…I cant even imagine what that feels like, I can only compare it to being raised on the streets of New Orleans in being tossed from home to home as child, living on the streets when my mother was sent to prison for a murder she didn’t commit, tossed in and out from foster care, always running away, raped as a child by a biker, me and his daughter, and still through all my own personal trials and hardships, I read this story and say…God, I ask all the time for the strength mentally to get through this and to prevail, and some how, some way…I do.

    To the people of all over the world, we live in a world that is filled with violence and is often led from one country hating another country for whatever reason, but let me say, as war veteran, as an American, before all that…we are all human and until we put our pride away and to the side we need to realize that we are all human, despite religion, despite personal beliefs…we all bleed red and mother Earth is the common home we all share and to see places like Venezuela go under times like this…this is where we need to stick together and come together as a species and really say…this is what separates us and we will prevail so our kids can see a better tomorrow…a tomorrow that we all, even the most powerful dictators, all once felt in our hearts to say…why cant we live in a better world.

    While my page, Raw Orange, is a dedication to soldiers overcoming PTSD, it is created for the world because even at 31 I am still saying for the sake of humanity and the world my kids are growing up in…something has got to change. My page is dedicated to brining up hot controversial conversations that affect people from all over the world..

    to the people to world who have endured things like this…I can only say…not even brining my personal faith in it because again, I respect people’s opinions and beliefs, but I end by saying this, We all have one thing in common, and we can prove it everyday when we wake by just looking into something that reflects and shows you your own face, you are, I am, humanity and humanity, regardless of where you come from, still holds a heart and compassion for those in need.

    Thanks for reading and sorry it was long, just an emotional topic…

    Liked by 2 people

  370. jobleyy says:

    Everything starts and stops with leadership, end of discussion. Unfortunately, third world countries have perfected the art of electing into office thieves, cartels, mafias and persons of questionable integrity to govern their resources and expect a turn around. For real 1+1=2.

    Liked by 1 person

  371. newwordwars says:

    We are watching the manic depression of the United States stumble into the final solution. With the echoes of “We can be great again” and claims that we should all share the same standard of living. Ignorance and avarice driving political decisions, laws used to punish and enforce conformity.

    These are not the end days, just the end of countries over reaching their resources, living on borrowed time and money. Nations governing on popular opinion and polls.

    We won’t even have the grand testaments to the future, because nothing we build is made to last anymore. The ancestors who are around to try and tell our stories will be the ones, like in Venezuela, who lived outside the great shining cites, within their means. The ones who are now rich because they grow food and have clean water.

    We aren’t intelligent enough to avoid the mistakes of history, so we just keep repeating them. That’s OK, the generations that come behind us will have to have a strong work ethic and rebuild. For a while at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  372. MarbellysB says:

    Thank you for such a beautifully written piece. I haven’t lived in Venezuela since 1997. Every time I returned to visit my family I could see the marked decline not just in the politics but also in the ethics of my compatriots.
    It’s interesting that Americans are commenting here that they believe “socialism” is to blame and how they fear it could happen in their own country.
    Please I beg Americans to change their mindset. That’s how corrupt regimes succeed by planting fear and jealousy in people’s hearts.
    Look to Europe where so called “socialism” manages to deliver great benefits to its citizens, not perfectly but definitely a better alternative.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Marbellys – but European socialism doesn’t really work either. My piece also went viral in Greek – because in greece they feel the same as in Caracas. Read this piece if you would. https://joelhirst.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/they-dont-do-math/

      Like

      • De castro says:

        Joel
        Disagree
        Socialism does work…u r generalising
        on word “Socialism”….
        Capitalism also worked !
        Past its sell by date not fit for all sizes.
        Communism also worked !
        Not fit for all sizes.
        Socialism also worked !
        Fit for most sizes.
        The EU an example of how different
        sizes fits most sizes.
        It just needs more time to “fine tune”
        each individual’s needs not wants.
        The ideological alternative to
        Greedy capitalist
        Corrupt communists
        One size fits all mentality(mind set)
        Think again please…
        Lord Kamtan 😇😈🇬🇧