Venezuela For Dummies – Part II

August 21, 2017


“What is happening in Venezuela?” is a trending topic in the world. If you do not have the answer, please, don’t feel bad; answering that question is as hard as to explain: what is Game of Throne about?

In the first part, I explained how Chavez became president of Venezuela, and I apologized for any grammar mistake in the tex. 


Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was president of Venezuela since February 2, 1999, to March 5, 2013 (officially because we really don’t know how he passed away; he was alive on December 8, 2012.The last time we saw him).


If you think that President Trump’s administration is unbelievable, let me tell you Chavez’s was a thousand times worse. I think the only way to describe these crazy years is reading “A Hundred Years of Solitude” or watching “The X-files.” I feel bad for the new generations because they will have to study this time of the history.


Let me give you a quick taste of Chavez’s administration:


-We changed the Constitution of Venezuela.


-In April 2012, we had the four strangest days in the world. Today, we don’t know if it was a coup d’etat or abandonment of power. In any case, Chavez was out of the government for a few hours.

-Our military forces had for a mission to sell food.

Chavez Called president George W. Bush ‘the Devil’ in U.N. speech (maybe is the truth, but it something that a president does not do in public).

-We had 14 elections.

-We made up a crazy idea (now in the Constitution). We can revoke the president in the half of his/her administration with a referendum. To get this referendum in 2004, we needed to have a lot of signatures which are not valid the first time, so we had to get them again. After, we convocated elections; we waited on the line to vote for eight hours (only to answer a question “Yes or No”). In the end, Chavez won, and we wasted money and time (If you did not understand this, don’t worry; nobody does).

-We voted for indefinite reelection; then, we can have the same president, governor or congressman forever (The dream of any democracy).


-The president was too sick that he needed medical attention, so he asked the Congress a permission to leave his job for unlimited time instead of quitting, and he went to another country to take care of his health (Do you see how crazy this is? First, the president of any country can leave the position for more than a week; second, your sanitary system is so bad that you prefer to go to Cuba, a country which has the medicine of 1970).

-The same person could be VP, Military Secretary, Education Secretary, congressman, governor, VP again, Communication Secretary and significant (like the Barbie).

-The president got divorced, and nobody notified Venezuelans about this. We had no more the First lady, and nobody took care of her duties.

-You could not exchange Bolivars to dollars. To get dollars you had to ask the government for these dollars as a favor even though you paid these dollars with your own money. When they approved, they only gave a couple of thousands according to with the country where you went (If you don’t understand this point, it is ok, nobody did).
Chavez was influenced entirely by Fidel Castro. Castro was his advisor (yes, a crazy communist, and that was the reason because he went to Cuba to die).


-We changed the name of the country.

I have more; I just picked some to give you an idea about what kind of news our newspapers had.


Point of View


If you go at this moment to Venezuela you will find two groups of people:


-Chavismo: who loves Chavez. Who was happy for 13 years having one of the people who liked the most as president (like some of you with Obama or Justin Trudeau). They laugh with Chavez; they feel that Chavez fights for them because he understood how hard it was to be poor. Also, they think he could do more, but the opposition did not let him work. They followed and supported each of his decisions and actions no matter what. They lost a kind of god when he died.

-Opposition: who hates Chavez. Who was miserable for over 13 years. These people fight day by day to stop Chavez and his “friends.” They voted and protested sometimes putting their lives in danger; all with the only goal of changing their president. Note: The 99% of the Venezuelans living around the world are part of this group.

As you see, each group lived in a different Venezuela. Who was right? I will give you the answer with numbers:


-In 13 years, inflation increased by 1530%.
-1 dollar was Bs. 575 in February 1999. 1 dollar was Bs. 22,800 in March 2013.
-In 13 years, 181,819 people were killed. Venezuela is the second most violent country in the world.
-Chavez closed at least 35 media.
-600 political prisoners.
-Chavez expropriated 1,168 lands and companies. This means the government took these companies and farms from their owners for no reason and never paid for them.
-Chavez’s family fortune: $2,500 million.
-One million of Venezuelans left their country.
-The oil revenue in these years was the biggest in Venezuela’s history. Barrel petroleum was for a while over $100.


I want to add another significant point in Chavez’s administration. He knew how to have the whole power with him. He had all federal and state government, also, the majority of Congress with him.


Let’s summarize: he had more money and power than any president before, and Venezuela lived one of the worst decades in the history.

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