By Now, Nothing Shocks Venezuelans

March 21, 2015


After sixteen years of Chavismo, it would seem as Venezuelans have been anesthetized against the daily scandals and horrors that are reported or occur. Report of tens of millions of dollars paid in commissions to Venezuelan Government officials, barely raise an eyebrow. People hear the dance of millions and can no longer tell between 100 million dollars or 2 billion dollars. They hear US$ 2 billion was “siphoned off” PDVSA and it seems as if the question is: What else is new?, not what an extraordinary amount this is or that an additional 2.2 billion was laundered via the same bank in Andorra. The Venezuelan Government, Prosecutor, National Assembly don’t even bother to comment on all of these accusations. The opposition? We have heard almost nothing from them either. I mean, Giordani a former Minister of Chavismo said there were 22 billion in fake imports in 2013 in Venezuela and nothing happened, a pittance of 50 million or 4 billion appears to be largely irrelevant. The problem is that the billions add up and that is why there are shortages and lines and Venezuelan billionaires all over the planet.

But forget about money. Most Venezuelans can barely understand what a billion dollars is or what a Government could do with it. But we should all understand the value of a human life. But from protests to prisons to daily events, the value of human life has been devalued as much of the value of one hundred million dollars in the minds of most Venezuelans.

There are daily reports of deaths. In Caracas alone, nineteen  cops have been killed so far in Caracas in 2015. And it is only March. Six students get killed shot thru the head and the Government reacts as if this was the most natural thing in the world. A high ranking Diplomat even dares to make a joke about it, later saying that people did not understand his black humor.Very black and very aberrant too.

The President orders the Government’s weapons and bullet monopoly Cavim to code all bullets and two years later, nothing has been done. The business of selling bullets in the black market is too hard to pass up, much like increasing the price of gas or the Bs. 6.3 per US$ Cencoex rate.

Meanwhile it is the same bullets that kill the much beloved “people” every day. Just yesterday, a man was shot to death in front of his wife,a murderer was shot to death by police as they were trying to arrest him and a man walking with his wife in one of Caracas’ most centric squares, was shot and killed by someone in a passing car.

Most of these murders not even get attention by the press. The people are immune to the news.

A kidnapper tells a Canadian reporter that it is not a matter of right or wrong killing his victims, it is a matter of surviving in the “easiest way to earn a living” in Venezuela. The price of  a human life in Venezuela? All of three hundred bucks, when it has a price, most of the time, there is just no price, it is simply free, like the daily murders in Venezuela jails.

And the Government says nothing and the people have gotten so used to it they don’t even react.

And just as I thought I had heard it all, the most horrific story takes place: A couple was traveling to Caracas with a relative driving. A bunch of motorcycles were leading a funeral funeral procession and they attempted to block the way so that the procession could proceed preferentially. The driver does not obey the orders of the motorcycle riders. The motorcycle riders shoot at the car, spraying it with bullets. The couple was killed and so was the woman’s kid in her womb. The woman was pregnant. She is the 40th. woman to be shot in Caracas so far in 2015.

The story is not even front page news. Is not on TV. The Government makes no comment, neither does the police. There will be no special investigation. This is a daily occurrence. They are all anesthetized against the horror, the murders, the scandals. Nothing shocks them.

It has become a way of life.


46 Responses to “By Now, Nothing Shocks Venezuelans”

  1. Tortuga Says:

    Understood Loud and clear both article and comments. Yet, not all Venezuelans are illiterate. Some of usage professionals, educated with masters degrees, with kids and teenagers. Some of us are not as lucky of those that flee the country. Some of us are stuck here and that does not meanwe are cowards or not considerate to the crime levels. No, Mr. devil, not at all. We are stuck here and we deserve a bit of consideration.

  2. Stunticon Says:

    The worst part of all of this disgraceis: That most of the population has been brainwashed to think that the murders were right and the victims deserved to be killed; if you don’t believe me, just give a little stroll on any chavista comment on any news page, to see the size of the gangrenous hatred we are dealing with.

  3. Ira Says:

    Did you hear the one about Venezuelan kids in kindergarten signing anti-U.S. petitions, even though they can’t read or write?

  4. bobthebuilder Says:

    Rallying oil price – will the war in Yemen be Maduro’s saviour?

    • Valued Customer Says:

      I don’t think so. I don’t know if you can consider a price of $58.85bbl at 1:08 PM EST for Brent Crude as an enormous rally. If you remember, it went up to $60.00 or so for a while and then settled back down after a while.

      No, I do believe that the price of the Venezuelan sludge that passes for oil will not save Maduro in any way. He needs $100bbl oil and that is just not going to happen.

  5. RRojas Says:

    Yes, we will never stop being surprised about what goes on in Venezuela. Many of us who have left have the relief of knowing that our children won’t have to live or suffer the decrepitude the country has become. But the anger of seeing how Venezuela has been brought to her knees, in a relatively short time, it is hard to contain. I just found the link below. If it is already in the news it is because is common: Venezuelan sex workers going to Colombia to make a living. It used to be totally the opposite while I was growing up in Puerto La Cruz. A relative who I spoke to a few weeks ago told me that he has heard of similar cases but the country was Panama. Yes, we will be going from being admired for Miss Universes to the jokes and snickers of Miss Erotic massages. The Venezuelan “jineteras”. I guess at some point to stop the embarrassment we will need to pretend that we are from another country (Ouch.. It was hard when the toilet paper shortage was all over the news). Yes, I will say that I am from Peru. In fact, in the past a few people have asked me if I am from there. As the downward path continues let’s see what happens next.

    • It’s ok. I’m from cuba, where Fidel did a pretty good job genociding cuban society and created a huge sexual tourism industry using hordes of male and female prostitutes eager to satisfy European and Canadian perverts.

      But in daily life all of this gets forgotten. You don’t have to hide where you come from, other than when you announce your nationality some idiot will pipe up “ah, yes, the land of Chavez and those pretty girls in tight shorts”.

  6. N Smith Says:

    Even in Afghanistan they arrest a number of people when a mob kills a woman by stoning her to death for speaking her mind. Apparently that is not the case in Vz – see the motorbike gang slaughter described above. That is difficult to understand.

  7. Back in 2007, I was driving with my mom from Valencia to Maturin. Going through Caracas, I had the unpleasant experience of being stuck within a malandro funeral procession. We even passed in front of a GNB post. I could swear one of them waved at the thugs.

    Venezuela, nunca más.

  8. Valued Customer Says:

    What a soul draining life it must be in Venezuela.
    I know this is slightly off topic, but it does show a bit of what it is like to find just eight items at the store. Here is a link to a BBC video of a man trying to find just the essentials, and he has 600 Bolivars in his pocket. Having the National Guard armed with automatic weapons right in the stores must make for an incredible shopping experience.

  9. Eddie B Says:

    The last time I was in Venezuela was in 2007. At that time, by avoiding certain places or areas, and by not staying out late at night, it was still possible to reduce your chances of being a victim. The last time my father was in Venezuela was in 2012. By that time, there was no longer any such thing as a safe place or a safe time of day. He said that our own relatives didn’t even bother taking special precautions anymore because they knew they could be robbed or killed at any moment. This type of feeling or sensation plays a big part in this attitude that is seen in Venezuela now, where nothing seems to shock or disturb anybody anymore.

  10. Gold Says:

    My friend’s dad was shot to death two days ago. A lovable grandpa, took six bullets because he refused to hand his wallet to a thug. It didn’t even make the news. I have no words left to console my friend, whose sister was shot to death two years ago in front of her kid. I am not shocked anymore. I am numb with desolation.

    • Ira Says:

      My thoughts go out to you and them.

      If ever the expression “There for the Grace of God go I” was relevant, it’s in Venezuela.

    • Luna Says:

      I’m so sorry for your friend… This is horrible 😥

      I don’t believe that venezuelans are now insensitives. I believe it has to do more with the fact that most of them are on survival mode. At least that’s how I felt 3 months ago when I left for good. Also, there is the lack of free media. Sigh.

  11. M.O., I wrote a note about the ongoing process and the future at the 21st social critic.

  12. Alej Says:

    A friend in Guyana told me that recently many Venezuelans go there in groups because of the travel dollars they are allowed. I know it is nothing new but ..

  13. captainccs Says:

    If you want to keep your sanity you have to tune out the bad news a much as you can. I stopped visiting friends who can only talk about the most recent crimes. I haven’t had a TV set in 20 or 25 years. I hardly even turn on the radio, all they do is talk BS all day and night. We are very lucky to have a WWW where we can get news on demand, not crammed down our throats via endless cadenas.

    It’s not that we aren’t shocked. It’s that we can’t afford to be continually shocked.

  14. David Humphreys Says:

    In my disgust at the political situation in Venezuela around the time of the death of Chàvez, I felt compelled to write a novel showing some of the deception set in to a story of drug smuggling and intrigue.

    Anyone interested in a free ebook version is welcome to read with my compliments. and coupon code GS23S

  15. Sledge Says:

    The apparent Apathy from the Venezuelan people referred to here could begin to be explained with several factors:

    1/ Media restrictions, as Pedro suggests. No one is happy with the economy, the colas, escasez, much less when someone they love is killed. But the Masbrutos government now controls the media everywhere quite tightly. So reality is heavily twisted in their favor.

    In the case of murders, most still happen deep in the pueblos or the ranchito towns, poor/bad neighborhoods. When some happen elsewhere, the government tries very hard to hide it, even with personal and/or professional threats.

    2/ Corruption. As always, the common denominator. But not just corruption of the media, which is almost entirely bought-out now, publishing false statistics if anything bad.. It’s corruption at ALL levels, down to the average pueblo people, who are kept quiet with gifts and freebies or fake jobs everywhere.

    If there’s another murder, or you don’t like the colas and escasez, better be careful what you say, if you want to keep that “casita” or “terrenito” el Gobielno y la rebolusion gave you, y la lavadora y el trabajito mas los tigritos, tu sabes..
    Perhaps not as bad as Cuban threats and imprisonment with torture, but the same idea is at work. So it’s not really “apathy”, every one is shocked when some friend or family is killed. It’s COMPLICITY now with the corrupt government, with the corrupt military, and the corrupt Police, by the corrupt, greased-up average people left in the country.

    3/ Lack of education. Also, the other common denominator needed to explain anything and everything about Vzla. The avergage criollo left in our country, —after perhaps 3 Million people like you and me, the educated, middle and upper class got the hell out of Vzla: Massive Brain Drain — has zero clue about the most fundamental economic, socio-political, financia concepts. NPI. Ni puta idea.

    The average Chavista has no clue about world news,what our buddies in Syria, Iran, Lybia and Cuba are up to, nada. About the real “Imperio”, China, and the Trillions that are borrowed and/or stolen, while there’s no medicine or toilet paper.

    They didn’t have that much to begin with, remember. The poor people were always forgotten by Adecos y Copeyanos, also thieves in their own right. and even worse with education. Crime has always been pretty high in the barrios. Now there’s no chicken or toilet paper, sometimes, but they may have a free casita, free electricity, a faje “trabajito”, etc.

    So they shut up, or are made to shut up.

    Until it gets even worse than before, and there’s even Famine: no bread. Apparently the Trigo is gonna be gone next week, so if the Chinese don’t give us some of that, no more Bread: puro casabe.

    See if that pisses people off, and they start “shocking” shyt.

  16. Says:

    comprenda que las vias de expresion de la población están controladas por estos gansters del gobierno, periodico, radio, tv, transporte, y la población por asesinos, patriotas ccooperantes”y por los medios de sustentación de del pueblo. En el exterior los paises han sido comprados y la informacion que les llega es elaborada por el gobierno. Quién le cree al gobierno? Analice a los que les cree.
    La actuacion de la gente es clandestina.

  17. Noel Says:

    Reading the end of Miguel’s post reminded of scenes in the first Mad Max movie, except it was a movie and this isn’t.

    I think Obama is right to squeeze the regime and the rest of Latin America should too, because at this stage Venezuelans need outside help and support.

  18. Mitchell Says:

    I know it firsthand…Sad, tragic, horrendous and something that has to change for society to ever function again with a semblance of security in this country. People have become so desensitized to the violence that it barely raises an eyebrow.

  19. Beatriz Brown Says:


  20. Yuzhou Lin Says:

    Amigo, how do you think China’s new loan to VZ

    • FrankPintor Says:

      I’ve been wondering why the opposition doesn’t make it clear that if and when they take power, achieving need (and other) loans won’t be honored.

      • pitiyanqui Says:

        Because that would be an immense tactical and strategic mistake.

        • FrankPintor Says:


          • Miguel Octavio Says:

            Well, I know that Maria Corina’s letter to the Chinese Embassy has made them very nervous. When Chinese officials meet with analysts, one of the first questions they ask is if the opposition could question the legality of the debt if it came to power. I think this has an influence in whether to lend or not now with Maduro’ ps popularity so low.

            • FrankPintor Says:

              Thanks for the sensible answer. If loans aren’t subject to some minimal accounting and transparency standards (whatever those might be, I’m not an economist) then they might very well be questionable.

              The question then becomes, will the Chinese throw good money after bad?

          • pitiyanqui Says:

            As the Devil notes, if the Chinese were to get a whiff of the opposition not honoring the agreements and loans in place, well….

            How excited for and supportive would they be of a potentially opposition-led government?

            Would they be more or less likely to continue throwing vast amounts of money at Maduro & Co., considering they have, for their strategic purposes, unlimited amounts?

            It is long past time for bringing up sovereignty…it is now just a word that, like the Bolivar, has nominal meaning but no real value in Venezuela. (Probably the one thing that has been more devalued and degraded in Venezuela more than the currency)

            I have argued previously that a key to defeating chavismo is to deny them access to Chinese capital. The only thing keeping the government going is outside funding and creative accounting. A rapprochement between the Chinese and the opposition would possibly make them appear a more attractive partner than chavismo.

            Too much effort has gone into cutting the head off the snake when, if left to starve, it would consume itself.

      • Ira Says:

        I don’t think there’s a Chinaman’s chance in hell (pun intended, if you’re old enough to know this old expression), that the Chinese are worried about repayment under an opposition government. In fact, I think it’s the exact opposite.

        These loans are 100% legal, and all sides know this. However, the Chinese certainly see the train heading off the cliff, so who best to honor this debt? Chavismo, or a responsible government?

        Chavismo won’t be able to. Opposition can, albeit renegotiated terms and timetables.

        The Chinese want their money and oil commitments, but are not looking to destroy VZ. Even THEY know that their best chances of recouping their investments are with the opposition.

    • Miguel Octavio Says:

      Lin: as long as the Chinese dont confirm it. i dont believe it. Remember the President said in January he got 20 billion, now a leak says it is 10. I only believe China will renew current loans when paid.

    • Kepler Says:

      Could you provide a link to information on that loan, in Chinese? (we’ll use Google translate)

  21. It’s done on purpose. They want people out. Call it ethnic cleansing using unofficial terror. And the best course of action is to leave.

    But the key is to be relentless after you get out. Whatever you do will be mostly done to make chavista lives miserable. But you won’t get your society or country back. There will always be an sob willing to do business with them, and buy your slave labor if they find it convenient.

  22. Sledge Says:

    ” Most Venezuelans can barely understand what a billion dollars is or what a Government could do with it. But we should all understand the value of a human life.”

    Well, most Venezuelans left are not only uneducated about Finance and everything else, many are so corrupted that daily theft and violence is a way of life. They turn a blind eye because Millions are enchufados, one way or another.

    Even the Pope, says it : Apesta:

    (Roma, 21 de marzo. DPA).- El papa Francisco condenó hoy la corrupción, el desempleo y la explotación de los trabajadores..

    “La corrupción apesta, una sociedad corrupta apesta, y un cristiano que deja que la corrupción se quede con lo mejor de él, apesta”, afirmó Francisco.

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