Venezuela Through Interviews

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For the last 25 years, the economy and safety of the Latin American country of Venezuela has been plummeting, due in great part to the governments of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. However, the events of January 23rd brought the possibility of an end to the Maduro dictatorship. After the election won by Maduro in May 2018 was declared invalid due to corruption, Juan Guaidó was declared interim President of Venezuela pending a new election. Many international leaders have expressed their support for the interim government, including United States President Donald Trump, who has helped give Venezuela over $90 million in humanitarian help such as food and medicine. We spoke with some of Venezuela’s own people to discuss their thoughts on the current situation.

 

Candidate A: 48-year-old Venezuelan female who has lived in the US for seven years; describes herself as a Republican.

Candidate B: 59-year-old Venezuelan male; describes himself as a Democrat .

Candidate C: 65-year-old female of Spanish origin. After 52 years in Venezuela, she moved back to Spain “due to Venezuela’s condition.” Leans right politically.

Candidate D: 76-year-old male of Italian origin; “ lived in Venezuela for around 55 years but “[has] been living in Spain for about a year now due to Venezuela’s condition.”

Candidate E: 16-year-old male with Venezuelan and American citizenship, who has lived in the US for seven years; leans mostly left politically.

 

  1. How do you feel about Venezuela’s current situation with interim president Juan Guaido?

Candidate A: “I believe it is a great opportunity, and it will finally bring the light of liberty that we’ve been waiting for, for so long. Countries should be democratic. I don’t believe in socialism, I don’t believe in communism. I believe in democracy, and that every country should be a democracy. Independent powers who can impose the laws and norms of the country and everything is inclined toward a common good and goal. I wish President Juan Guaido a lot of luck and I am grateful for his integrity of putting his foot forward for so many Venezuelans who suffer in every level, and for the strategy he’s performing. The strategy has been imposed many times before and has worked. We support him and even though we are desperate to get the joke of a “government” out, we need to be patient because they held power for 20 years, since this started with Chavez, not Maduro, 20 years ago. Our mistake was letting him in power, we now are suffering the consequences.”

Candidate B: “This is our hope to get back the democracy.”

Candidate C: “Extremely happy with what’s happening.”

Candidate D: “With faith that this will lead us to a democracy once again.”

Candidate E: “I am extremely glad that we now have an interim president because this means that the reign of Chavez and Maduro will finally be over. Back in 2002 when Chavez resigned, we really did had the chance to be liberated from him but we did not handle things correctly so he came back. Then back in 2012, we were robbed, well we’ve always been robbed, of the presidential elections as we were never robbed before. With Maduro, he kept on changing and changing laws, he even made up his own Constitution and I’m just really glad he went against his own Constitution because it just shows how much of a dumb person and bad president he is. How can he rule a country when he can’t even follow a rule he himself made? It’s not a democratic country if there is no food. It’s not a democratic country if there’s no medicine. And it’s not because medicines are hard resources, it’s because the government steals all the money from the people and because they don’t feel the need to provide for their citizens.”

 

  1. How do you feel about Donald Trump’s and the United States Government’s support for the new interim President?

Candidate A: “I feel very satisfied and happy since this is something we’ve been wanting for a while and I know that if it would’ve been done in the past with other US presidents, Venezuela would not be in the state it is in now. However, since the past can’t be changed, I am extremely grateful of the tactics he’s using against people in the governments like in Venezuela who are corrupt, drug dealers, and human rights violators. Therefore I am very happy with what Donald Trump, the US government, and every other person who is supporting our cause for liberty are doing. People have no idea what it’s like to live under a dictatorship, under a government that sequesters the powers unless you have lived through it. All of the options that the US considers, including force, I support. Because they are fighting against a “government” full of delinquents who have armed other delinquents for their protection. Thank you, USA, and God Bless you.”

Candidate B: “His support has been very important to help with the achievements we’ve gotten until now.”

Candidate C: “Extremely happy and grateful.”

Candidate D: “Extremely happy and grateful because this help was very needed. Because there are a lot of needs in Venezuela. Things like the hunger there is and the medicinal and health needs for the people. There is a lot of need and urgency when it comes to the sick and treatments, epidemics, grave illnesses. Even many epidemics that were supposed to be extinct have appeared once again due to the lack of medicine. There are even babies that die from lack of nutrition, moms who can’t breastfeed because they themselves are suffering. Babies are born and put in boxes because there are simply no incubators. People who chase down garbage trucks and look within the trash for anything that they can eat. I remember I was walking home from my apartment when I saw two boys, no older than 19, find a piece of green bread and eat it. If I wouldn’t have seen it I wouldn’t have believed it. I want to truly thank the US for their help, President Donald Trump and also Marco Rubio. I also want to thank the secretary of the OEA (American States Organization) for all of his help and support.”

Candidate E: “I honestly feel it’s a little sketchy, the support for the new Interim president. I am really glad that he is with us, supporting us and everything, but with all of his racist remarks towards Hispanic people, I don’t know how to feel. I am really happy and even proud that he is supporting us and wants the best for us but I don’t want to think he’s only on our side to get something out of it. He has made so many bad remarks against Hispanics that I don’t know. But as long as he gets to help us, it’s ok.”

Many Venezuelans are unsure of how to best aid their country. Some see the United States’ and other countries’ help as suspicious, while other see it as a blessing. But most Venezuelans share a common goal: to get the dictatorship out of power and get their country back.