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Guide to Understand a Venezuelan Immigrant

I don’t know if you notice, but there are Venezuelans everywhere. You should have at least a neighbor, coworker, barista, acquaintance who is from Venezuela. The numbers of Venezuelans are growing up; soon or later, you will need some tips about how to understand these atypical people.

Arepa: The most important piece of food. It is like bread; you can fill it with any filling, such as cheese, ham, tuna, turkey, meat, chicken, chorizo, beans, etc. Its principal ingredient is corn flour. It can be fried, baked or roasted. People eat them at any time of the day or night. If you taste one; you must tell the Venezuelan that you love arepas; saying you do not like arepas is an insult.

Baseball: It is not the most popular sport in Venezuela (it is soccer); however, baseball is the sport where more Venezuelans are famous in the world. We have our baseball league (only eight teams).

If you go to Marlin’s Stadium and many people are cheering the other team, it is because the different lineup has a Venezuelan player. Also, you can notice that anyone is wearing Marlin’s shirt; they dress the shirt of their favorite team in their country.

Now, we are crazy about Jose Altuve player of Houston Astros who was the start of the World Series t year. Altuve was an essential piece of Astros success, and he is so charismatic; he always is dancing and laughing.

Chavez, Hugo: If you know who Hugo Chavez was, please, don’t talk or ask about him to a Venezuelan; neither Nicolas Maduro (current president) is a topic. Our country has other topics (you can try Jose Altuve). If you do not know Chavez, check this:

-President of Venezuela since 1999-2012. His fame started in 1992 when he was the leader of a military movement to overthrow a democratic president. In the beginning, nobody took his candidacy seriously. It was irrational to think that this guy with crazy speeches would win.

-He won because the bipartisanship was dying.

-His charisma was legendary. If you listened too long, you would fall in love with him (Like 12 million Venezuelans).

-He said media worked against of him, so they lied.

-He never answered a question with a real plan; he always changed the conversation.

-His campaign was about to make Venezuela great again (in Spanish)

Ref (See Trump, Donald)

*Chavismo: a group of people who love Chavez. It is a kind of political movement, but it does not have a real background ideology.

*Chavista: a person who likes Chavez. He/she can work with the government, or just vote for him or his teammates.

Degree: More than 50% of Venezuelan in the US have at least a Bachelor Degree. It is the most educated immigrants in the world. If you think I am lying, you can check any US government immigration statistics.

Escrache: The new way to bully Chavista government officials and their families.

The thing is one million of Venezuelans are living in other countries because of the decadent situation of our country, and the other 25 million are hungry and dying in Venezuela. Then, with all this hate and sadness in your heart, you see a Chavista eating in the most expensive restaurant in New York with your tax money, you only want to go a tell him/her how horrible person he/she is.

In 2017, the escrache started in many cities around the world. People yelled at them, recorded the scene, and upload in their social media obtaining thousands of likes and shares. It can happen in a restaurant, on the streets, in the supermarket, in the mall or their gardens.

Please, if you see a group of Venezuelans bullying a person, don’t get us wrong, we are not bad people; we only want to yell the people who destroyed our country and is having the good life with our money.

Free speech: We had this right in the past. Today, the government controls all TV stations that is the reason because Venezuelans are obsessed with social media. For example, this year between April and July, over 120 people were killed when they were protested. These people never were mentioned on public TV; however, on Twitter Venezuelans could know what it was happening in real time.

Guiltiness: The main feeling most Venezuelan immigrants have each time we see how their people die because they were protesting, or because they were lack of food and medicines. They send a lot of groceries and supplies, but it is not enough the famine is enormous.

Homesickness: It is the permanent status of a Venezuelan immigrant. We appreciate how beautiful our new countries are. We are thankful for all the opportunities we have in these new lands, but we miss our country, people, and food awfully.

We always are talking about their country because we were not raised to leave our country. We dreamed with our adulthood in our streets living close to our families and friends, having our kids in the same schools. Neither in our worst nightmares, we never could imagine we would have to leave our country. We pray to come back someday.

Immigration: Before 1999, it referred to people who went to other countries to live in Venezuela. Most of them from Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, Italy, Chile, and China.

After 1999, the decision many Venezuelan decided to leave their country. Today one million of us are living in 160 countries.

At least, 99% of the Venezuelan around the world hate Chavez; then, if you find one who likes him, please understand that he/she is not a good person.

Kilogram – kilometer: We use the metrical system, so we don’t know exactly what is a mile or a pound; we compare these measures with the metrical system, and we try to have an idea.

Lopez, Leopoldo: The most famous political prisoner of more than thousands that the Venezuelan government has imprisoned. He started his political career in 2000 when he became the mayor of a rich zone of our capital. He was 28 years old, handsome and graduated from Harvard; he was a dream bachelor.

In 2013, he convocated people to protest against Nicolas Maduro who, two days later, sent him to jail. Today, he has a house for prison, and he still is handsome.

Mexican: People from Mexico. There are more countries in Latin American. No, every Latino is from Mexico; no every Latino eats burritos.

Narcos: To the rest of the world is a Netflix show about the life of Pablo Escobar. However, in Venezuela, we have our own Pablo Escobar. Drug traffickers are the active part of the government. Also, the US government has proofs of many of Chavistas officials are owners of a cartel. Marco Rubio is the big speaker of this accusation.

This is important because many people ask me how it is possible that we are not able to remove this corrupt government. The answer is the drug business. Chavez, his family, and friends, have made a considerable amount of money because of the drug business. They have enough money to escape, but they know DEA will work to send them to jail. Then, they need to keep being in Venezuela. They are cornered beasts.

Opposition: The unhappiest people in the world. For about 18 years they have been leading with a government they hate. They have protested thousands of times; they programmed strikes; they have participated in 26 electoral processes since 1999; they have died to try to get some change. So far, they are the losers of this story.

Ref. Leopoldo Lopez is one of the leaders of the opposition.

Political Asylum: The main reason why Venezuelans can work in the US. Thousands of Venezuelans arrive the US each day with the tourist visa. They come to this country escaping from Venezuela violence and poverty. Political Asylum is a legal resource they can apply because they have suffered political persecution in many ways.

Revolution: “The Revolution” is how Chavez called all his main changes he made in Venezuela. In the end, there were terrible decisions which destroyed the economy and the political powers — pure demagoguery.

Chavez revolution is based on socialist ideas. Despite the real meaning of socialism, for Venezuelans, socialism is an economical and political system which sucks and only gave us destruction. When we were liberals or capitalist, we were one of the most important economies in the world. Today, by socialism we are one of the poorest countries in the world.

Note. Socialism has worked in many countries in Europe.

Shortage: You go to the supermarket; you can choose the type and the brand of your milk because they are hundreds of them. The same with any product. Right? In Venezuela, it does not happen.

The meaning of shortage appeared in our lives fifteen years ago when we could not find milk in the supermarket. By the time, we could not get, flour, vegetable oil, hot chocolate, coffee, meat, chicken, ham, cheese, special medicines, clothes, TVs, cars, deodorant, body cream, shampoo, regular medication, etc.

There is nothing in the supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals or malls.

Today, middle-class people are literally eating from the garbage. When a supermarket has some products, people have to make a line for five hours. According to many organizations, Venezuelans only eat one or two meals per day.

Note: now you understand escrache better.

Toddy: Chocolate beverage every Venezuelan miss. It is like Nesquik, but it tastes different (and it is much more expensive). If you have the chance to taste it, please, act like it was divine.

United States: The government and Chavistas see the US as the evil character of this movie. For many Venezuelans, this is the country which is giving them and their kids a second chance.

Violence: It is another huge problem. Each year 25,000 Venezuelans died killed by a weapon. In 18 years, the number is over 120,000. These statistics don’t mention the amount of kidnapping and robberies. We are the second most dangerous country in the world. Each Venezuelan at least has lost a friend or family member by violence.

WhatsApp: Essential phone app in Venezuelans’ life. They text their family and friend by WhatsApp even though they live in the same country. WhatsApp groups are top-rated. Each Venezuelan is part at least of 20 (family, only cousins, friends from school, a friend from college, only uncles, friends of college without Ricardo, friends of college without Carlos).

Zorro, El: Superhero with Latino heritage. All Venezuelan men wore El Zorro costume when they were kids. One of our problems as a society is we are looking for a hero. We want a guy (yes, we are sexist) who comes from nothing and resolve all our problems. The main point here is we haven’t understood that there is no hero. The only solution is to work as a team. But, we still waiting for our Zorro to save us.


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