|Obviously, I didn't take this picture myself. I stole it from the Internet.|
Loving a revolutionary is not easy. It is the closest thing to having a lover, friend, or relative who is going to war, except that there is no battle plan. They do not have the upper hand in technology and artillery. In fact, many of them are unarmed, and their commanding officer was taken away in hand cuffs, leaving these soldiers of justice alone with little more to defend themselves than their cause.
I am not the only one going through this feeling of constant worrying, fear, and overall sense of helplessness. While it is the place I pay attention to the most, Venezuela is not the only country experiencing a revolution. The Ukraine, Egypt, and many other countries I may not even be aware of are all fighting to live in a government that will not oppress them.
Meanwhile, I am living in the United States, where people seem to have a comfortable sense of denial asthey go about day-to-day life. No one in the general population cares about Venezuela, despite Maduro’s accusations that the United States is actively involved in his coup.
I am ashamed to admit that if I had never met this person I love so much, I probably wouldn’t care either.
For the past few weeks, I have been following The CaracasChronicles on a daily basis. It is the only blog I trust to tell the truth, because mainstream US Media is just regurgitating the same information over and over, trying to educate English-speakers as to what is going on in Venezuela in a nutshell. Many reporters who traveled to 'get the scoop' were recently beaten and detained. It’s unlikely that anyone outside the city will be able to report the truth.
It reached a point when I had to stop myself from refreshing Venezuelan twitter updates, because I couldn’t get on with my day without wanting to cry. While I am extremely proud of him, every new day is a new opportunity for the person I love to get hurt or killed. YouTube is now sending me commercials in Spanish because of my persistent searches on Google. Sometimes I would have to stop working to lay my head and hands on my desk, because it felt so heavy.
I now walk in public places silently hating the teenagers I overhear complain about problems that are so minuscule in comparison to the people their same age who are actually fighting for something only a couple thousand miles away. Revolutionaries actually care about what they can do for their country, rather than wondering how their country can hand them a perfect future. They want it to be a better place for their own children to live in some day, and I’m growing sick of the “me me me” American culture I am living in.
There was a time when you could Google “Caracas, Venezuela” and barely anything would show up. The reports of murders, muggings, and kidnappings didn’t seem too different than reports coming from Detroit or New York.
Since I grew up poor, and since I recently graduated college, I am still poor.
At one time in my life, I had $6,000 in my bank account. It is the most money I have ever had at one time in
Until now, there was not much being revealed as to just how bad it is to live in Venezuela. I would have probably been kidnapped, or mugged. I would have been a target for violence and hate, because I look and sound so distinctly American. Even after the revolution is over, I will probably never get to go to Caracas.
I can’t be there to hold up signs with this person I love. I can’t be there to run from the tear gas or scream for justice until my lungs give out. I would, if could even get into Venezuela alive. All I can do as a privileged American is write. There are so many things citizens of safe countries take for granted. I can take my cousins visiting from France to the mall and not worry if having a foreigner with me will get us mugged on the way out. I can go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk without standing in line for hours. I can stumble into a taxi cab drunk with my friends at 2AM and not worry if the driver is planning to kidnap or rape me. I can write this blog post without creating a target on my back. Everyone in the world should have these ‘luxuries’ that we are calling ‘human rights’. I'll be watching and reading until the happens.