Turmoil in Venezuela - Looking at the Brutal Reality of a Failed State (through #GooglyEyes)

in venezuela •  4 months ago

Turmoil in Venezuela

What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear:
"Venezuela"?

I had to throw this question into the chat on Discord, just to make sure it wasn't just my own ignorance that caused the agitation I was feeling after being compelled to look into the current events in Venezuela last night.

For the sake of my own mental health I have stopped to actively look into the miseries our modern world produces and I've also stopped listening to the hyperbolic reports on "current events" in the mainstream media. It was entirely possible that I was just being ignorant, but the first reply seemed to confirm that I wasn't alone:

"Cheap Gasoline?!"

And that's actually a good point! Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil. Barely 20 years ago Venezuela was one of the "richest" countries in South America.

What we should really think of when we hear "Venezuela", though, is probably something more along the lines of:

Hyperinflation, Food & Medicine Shortages, Riots, TURMOIL.

Venezuela is literally the nation with the world's most severe economic crisis at the moment. One would think that the media should be full of reports on the situation, dissecting the causes and discussing possible solutions. But alas, NO!

When narrowing down the search results on "Venezuela" to new uploads from the past week, there's just ONE youtube video in English on the first page, and it's one of those auto generated headline feeds. Take a look yourself, it's just 1minute:

Now this isn't very revealing, allthough it does at least give a rudimentary view at the situation.

I was looking for something more personal, more "credible" and down to the ground though. I did find a very touching first-hand report told by a Venezuelan from several months ago. Keep in mind, the situation has probably escalated even more since then. Please watch this (12min):

I'm a bit speechless, and I feel like I know much too little still about the situation down there. It's really hard to get well explained facts about the developments leading to this. All the news (even most alternative sources) fail to dig into the complexities of this that have evolved over the past few decades.

I don't want to get into political commentary or conspiracy theories here, but the simple sentiment of "corruption and failed socialism" leading to "the inevitable demise of a country" doesn't satisfy me at all.

I have not always been as ignorant as I am today. I've spent a few miserable years of my life actively looking for the truths behind all the crap which humankind has to go through. I know Venezuela's history is not as straight forward as it may look like under the superficial look provided by news agencies.

For those of you who would like to learn more about Venezuela's recent history, I'll recommend another YouTube Link . This is an hour long documentary on the failed Coup against former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. It show's eerily familiar signs of foreign intervention, Snipers shooting at both sides of a protest, all too similar to what has been reported about the Maidan Square in Ukraine. If that's not enough to shake you up in your chair, google "economic hitman"... but I digress.

Now this is all a bit out of the ordinary for what I usually post on steemit. So:

Why do I post About Venezuela?!

Most of you who'll read this probably know me through #GooglyEyes or lately even the fluffy @steemkitten cuddle-bot. All pretty cheery things and nothing too serious at all.

I mostly busy myself with spreading positive vibes and it's not my intention to depress anyone with the dire situations in other parts of the world that I have no personal experience with. But it's actually this silly little #GooglyPrize contest that brought my attention to this stark reality, and I felt a deep need to share this moment!

A Surge in Users from Venezuela!

Over the past weeks I have noticed a surge in participants posting in Spanish. I am always happy to see new members joining the contest, but I also have to admit I was a bit disappointed by what at first looked like rather low-effort entries. But hey, everyone is welcome and I'm not going to complain. But of course I'll do some double checking if users are just in it for a quick buck or if they enjoy the actual idea behind it.

I feel a little bit like an entitled douchebag for looking down on those "low-effort" posts, but as more of those came in accompanied by sentences that sounded a little lost in translation, I slowly realised that I was missing some background information.

Happy Pepsi
by: @victorking31

this pepsi is happy because the people of the market where I was, were crazy to take it and I was lucky to take it myself, and is happy because they could not take it exept me

 

Missing Coffee
by: @ralr11

It's true I miss the coffee ups!
In my country it is difficult to obtain coffee, right now it is a product regulated by the government and that makes it disappear from the market and if you get it the price is very high

There's not much more I can say about this. But I understand now, a crypto dollar gets you far in a country with failing fiat money! I hope the few cents in upvotes I have sent their way can help just a little bit!

And aside from all the depressive realisation, I also think this is a situation where the benefits of unregulated open monetary systems will show it's true power. And STEEM, it even comes with a censorship-proof media platform!

More Power To The People!

 

PALnet has a chat room #teamvenezuela on Discord!

Venezuelans - band together, support and help each other!

Join the Peace Abundace and Liberty network

 

 


Additional Info that didn't fit the post:

  • @steem-pays is a "service" that helps exchange STEEM/SBD into local currency in Venezuela. I have no idea if this is legit or even a good idea when inflation is in the thousands of percents!

  • the Venezuelan government, in a struggle to regulate their currency, have announced a national cryptocurrency backed by oil reserves - the PETRO. Yeap, again, no idea how legit that is, but coindesk reported about it in Dec. Latest updates from a day ago include the potential release of a "fake" or "draft" whitepaper.


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Were You aware of the situation in Venezuela?

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@fraenk resteemed, it is very sad for Venezuela, with their natural and human resources, they should not be a basketcase like they are now.

Great post I live in the UK and the crisis happening in Venezuela is hardly ever shown on the mainstream news channels . But what i have seen on the news doesn't look too good with people paying for everyday essentials at
hugely inflated prices.

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And to imagine that a decade ago the country was doing just excellent. How is it even possible to come to all this?! Truly baffling to imagine how monetary doctrine and political struggles can create so much misery in such a short time.

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One of the venezuelan president, current or former, said to be a Trotskyist. People need to realize that mass-media is leftist and politicians mainly too, so they talk all that bullshit of well doing economy and so on, but truth is that some one with actual economical understanding can tell quickly it is fucked up before leftards even realize. Modern goverment forms are more like eels, they live when they can suck natural resources, then collapse.

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but truth is that some one with actual economical understanding can tell quickly

so... what's at the core of the problem then? because I can't quite make up my mind yet.

I have to agree on your last point about modern government! Though, the creature you meant to compare it to is probably a leech, not an eel.

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Thanks for correcting that leech*. Core problem is that guy was a communist, which led him to go for goverments total-control. Goverment trying to take care of everything creates massive amount of unnescesary byrocracy and mid-mens, eating all the profit. It is also a fact that micro-managing is not realy a job for state because it leads to empty shelvs because of systems incapablity to get feed-back. Also I'm not sure theres been too many Trotskyist in the last 50 years. I think that Trotskyism has been kind of dead from the get go, but it's main idea however is that communism must be violently spreat everywere around the world or it won't work.

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total government control... heck, government control in general usually doesn't lead to good things!

But I am not sure where you are going with this "Trotskyist" thing and it appears you aren't certain yourself, taking into account that you weren't even sure if it's the common or former leader you are referring to.

it's main idea however is that communism must be violently spreat everywere around the world or it won't work.

I don't think Venezuela has been engaged in trying to spread communism?! But I cannot claim too know much about the situation, so correct me there if necessary, please!

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I'm trying to say that the president didn't make any sense him self. Yeah, I have not dug too deep into what this trtskyism excactly other than violent spread of communism everywere. Wikipedia page basically just says that Trotsyism has very little differences to leninism.

Hello @fraenk
I tell you that your vote is very useful to Venezuelans. I have a friend of many years there and I could not find a way to help him, until steemit made it possible since I could make transfers from here to his wallet, without any cost and that easy.

Due the SBD went up in price, he told me that I change 12 SBD to his local currency and this represents 5 monthly salaries.

This also happens in Nigeria, your currency is so devalued that 1 SDB is almost a monthly salary.

Colombia my country, has had many problems with this president of venezuela! My president has been very tolerant and diplomatic but even so he receives insults and reprisals in commercial transactions and border closures. Threatens to join terrorist countries, and attacks with a very low vocabulary, this guy is crazy and rude.

There are many things that make this perpetuate. But basically everything has a common origin: A people with education and without hunger does not come to this situation, because the vote is conscientious, but the masses without access to an education or decent conditions, simply vote for the character that offers them crumbs. This is a vicious circle. Not only from Venezuela, but also in several Latin American countries, including mine. It is horrible to see the days of voting, cars hired by politicians picking up people and giving them a plate of food to go to vote, or some tiles or concrete blocks, the promise of the famous monetary aid of government programs, or the promise of a job etc. If the state uses resources well in education, health, politics, etc. productivity increases and living conditions improve for all. People with conscience, productive and without hunger do not vote for crumbs, so the corruption diminishes. Corruption and ambition is eating humanity alive.

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thanks for this up-close and personal comment on the matter @samic. I am still struggling with the realisation of what's going on there and how such a situation can come about!

Hola @fraenk, gracias por interesarte en el problema que actualmente está atravesando Venezuela y de cómo los ciudadanos hacemos para poder sobrellevar esta locura de gobierno. Déjame decirte que no eres ignorante, es solo que el gobierno nuestro censura a los medios de comunicación para que el mundo no sepa la problemática que existe en mi país. Aún así, los ciudadanos, en la manera de lo posible, gritamos al mundo todos nuestros problemas mediante el internet y steemit ha sido el medio principal que nos ha ayudado en eso. Steemit ha siso la "tabla de salvación" para nosotros los Venezolanos ya que la cesta básica tan elevada que con un sueldo mínimo de 4 dólares mensuales no se puede comprar. Yo cambio 5 sbd semanalmente y puedo comprar los alimentos, o sea que serían 20 sbd al mes y aún así no compro todo. Hay gente comiendo de la basura, de lo que recoge en los containers y le dan a sus hijos, la gente del exterior no lo cree pero esa es la verdad. Gracias de nuevo por tu interés. God bless you.

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thanks @isabelpena for posting this detailed comment. Please let me share the google translation for everyone:

Hello @fraenk, thank you for your interest in the problem that Venezuela is currently going through and how citizens do to cope with this government madness. Let me tell you that you are not ignorant, it is just that our government censures the media so that the world does not know the problems that exist in my country. Even so, the citizens, in the way possible, we shout to the world all our problems through the internet and steemit has been the main means that has helped us in that. Steemit has been the "lifeline" for us Venezuelans since the basic basket so high that with a minimum salary of $ 4 per month can not be bought. I change 5 sbd weekly and I can buy the food, that is, it would be 20 sbd a month and still I do not buy everything. There are people eating from the garbage, from what they collect in the containers and give to their children, the people from outside do not believe it but that is the truth. Thank you again for your interest. God bless you.

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I want to show you this video made in April 2017, by Telenoche. Since this time to now the inflation is changed, is more now.

If you have something of worth but don't want to play ball... it's going to be hard to keep control of your own country. Sad to see the economy fall apart like that, no matter who is running a country or not we shouldn't wish for the masses to be unable to purchase food or basic necessities and have their savings evaporate like that. Although I never think it's a great idea to sell gasoline or oil at a subsidy, now that's just bad for the environment.

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I guess some will call it "collateral damage".

It's just painful to watch how centralised greed and power tramples over the people!

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It's detestable how we can dehumanize the other if they happen to have access to something we want. The wrong people suffer and get punished time and again.

Thanks for shedding some light on the situation @fraenk!
It sickens me to know that no media at all is focusing on those people.

"But I understand now, a crypto dollar gets you far in a country with failing fiat money! I hope the few cents in upvotes I have sent their way can help just a little bit!"

You've got such a good heart. In times like these, we have to stick together!

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One Love!

I feel for the people there. All states fail, some more terribly than others. We must be ungovernable. Outcompete the ones that want to control us. We have the tools.

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word up!

Lo más triste de todo esto es que la pepsi está carisima!, saludos compatriota!

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¡Más poder para la gente!

I hope the situation gets better down there soon! From all my heart!

Wow that's intense. No one should have to live like that : ( Yea, where's the media on all this!? It's pretty sickening governments spend time and resources on idiotic and petty things, trying to get people distracted from real life events that need attention. As well as the media : (

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Yeah, I was baffled that I haven't heard anything about this in the past year or so!

I have not always been as ignorant as I am today. I've spent a few miserable years of my life actively looking for the truths behind all the crap which humankind has to go through.

I know what you mean... I have traveled and lived in countries and have endured the miseries of this dog eat dog system... Now I want to actively look for people to follow and support, especially those who have high-effort entries trying their best to write in English and persistently trying to change their lives through Steemit.

I almost traveled to Venezuela recently but I didn't...It would be insensitive to do so but a part of me wish I did because I want to expose myself to truth.

Ignorance is a bliss for most people, unfortunately. But knowing the truth will set us free.

Holaa! Una venezolana por aqui, realmente aprecio lo que hiciste! Venezuela es un lugar maravilloso, lleno de oportunidades que estan encerradas intentando brillar en el gran fondo de oscuridad que existe. El talento que existe en Venezuela es inigualable, y es una lastima todo lo que perdemos por los grandes emprendedores que se van. Me parece muy importante dejar el nombre de Venezuela en alto, un lugar maravilloso, con una belleza excepcional, lleno de rincones magicos y apasionantes. Yo me encargo de hacer ilustraciones, soy nueva en Steemit, he echo algunas de Venezuela pero que no he publicado todavia, me gustaria en un futuro dedicar un post lleno de iustraciones de Venezuela, expresando su belleza, y mostrando la libertad a traves del arte. Buena suerte! Nos vemos 😃

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Hey @shnau, thanks for this proud spirited reply. I hope you don't mind me sharing the English translation for the wider audience here, I think your 1st hand opinion does speak with relevance:

Hello! A Venezuelan around here, I really appreciate what you did! Venezuela is a wonderful place, full of opportunities that are locked trying to shine in the great dark background that exists. The talent that exists in Venezuela is unparalleled, and it is a pity everything we lose for the great entrepreneurs who leave. It seems very important to leave the name of Venezuela on high, a wonderful place, with an exceptional beauty, full of magical and exciting corners. I'm in charge of making illustrations, I'm new at Steemit, I've made some from Venezuela but I have not published yet, I would like in the future to dedicate a post full of illustrations of Venezuela, expressing its beauty, and showing freedom through art . Good luck! See you 😃

Hola!!! Es asi la situacion de Venezuela.. Gracias por interesarte y escribir sobre nuestro pais!!! Es importante que el mundo conozca lo que pasa aqui. Los invito a ller mi post sobre el tema. https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@josedasilva/situacion-de-venezuela-opinion-personal

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Venezuela esta muriendo lentamente por culpa del Chavismo.... PERO pronto renacerá de sus cenizas como el fénix y sera como fuego consumidor que acabara con los chavistas millonarios del hoy... Gadhafi se quedara pendejo con los que le hara el mismo pueblo a Maduro y su combo de politicos Corruptos

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So, does that mean you are hoping for or even expecting US military intervention? Maybe I am misinterpreting the curveball to Gadhafi?!

I really really hope Venezuela manages to conquer the crisis from within. But I understand that will be a rough road also.

But please look at present day Libya, I am pretty sure that's not what you'd want for Venezuela.

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Thanks for this open and personal first hand point of view.

Please allow me to share the most relevant last paragraph in it's English translation here for a wider audience:

The situation in Venezuela is, in part, a reflection of ourselves, of what we wanted at a given moment and now it has become difficult for us to change it. In my opinion, this situation in Venezuela did not begin 19 years ago, this disease has been brewing for more than 50 years, and we are living it now. We are harvesting the fruits ...
We want this government to fall but that will not be the only solution to our crisis ...
The change of Venezuela has to start from below, gentlemen, from the education we give to our children ...
Because, as the song says, "There is no harm that lasts 100 years" !!!

Thank you for this contribution to get a grasp of the situation.

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Thank you for sharing an extract of my opinion about the situation of my country!
It is important that more people around the world know the situation, first, because we need your support (the international community is currently supporting us) and secondly, so that no country will pass what we are going through.

agradezco tu apoyo hermano gracias por hacer este post tan humilde ,soy venezolano y te digo de verdad la cosa no esta fácil pero conocí a steemit y conocí a @goglyeyes y ha cambiado todo mi mundo ganando dinero a través de mis post y de corazón te digo GRACIAS"

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you are most welcome!

stay strong! steem on!

I think that there is no like a Venezuelan in their own daily life to give a testimony of what is happening in their country, the Venezuelan is noble, credible, fighter and above all optimistic, who for a long time lived between comodides, arising, making forward. They are not guilty of politicians full of hatred, unscrupulous, sadistic, murderers, excuse my qualifiers it is not easy to combine the rational with the disappointment and the pain of feeling with their hands tied for fear that if we demand to be killed, the intense is not so much what they show to the outside because the majority is false in order to prove anything that happens here, we just have to pray and pray to find the way out. I apologize if I rebel but it hurts.

It is very frustrating not to be able to understand what exactly is transpiring in Venezuela right now. They have had such corruption in the government for so many years, and now inflation to the point of starvation. Good questions. 🐓🐓

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Yes, digging into the situation is not helping me either. It is easy to find many sources that will just be contempt with very superficial explanations. When looking into the recent history of the country (sources from a few years before the escalation) everything gets very heavily polarised, too. It's either painting the country black or white.

Pretty much everything I find about the situation reeks of an ideological narrative either for or against the country's "socialist revolution"... but where are the neutral facts?! Even in the present conflict, it's hard to tell if the socialist protectionist authorities or the private opposition conglomerates are keeping the food out of the stores...

From what I can gather: Chavez was a great leader and accomplished much for Venezuela, but somehow his socialist Vision has now completely ruined the country and his uncharismatic successor is an authoritarian idiot?!? Let's not speak of economic sanctions and international struggles... scratches head

Yeah, I am myself most certainly ideologically biased, but trying to look beyond that bias seems almost impossible.

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Truthfully, the situation in Venezuela is what I fear most about a one world government. So many people have already been dumbed down they believe what the media wants them to. Pay attention People before it’s too late! 🐓🐓

Thank you for taking the time to bring light to the challenges Venezuela will overcome. By sharing this information with the world you are instantly making it a better place. Y a todos los Venezolanos, sepan que son el futuro, y que en este mismo momento estan cambiando la historia que sera escrita. Adelante pueblo, lo mejor esta por venir!

This is the reality of socialism. I feel sad for people of Venezuale. Let's hope they get over this dictator.

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I am actually under the impression that socialism is just the scapegoat here!

The problems leading to where it stands now seem much more complex and far reaching than just the political ideology of its former and present "leaders".

But I am just a relatively ignorant and ideologically biased individual, blessed with being born in the part of the world that's on the winning end... so what do I know!

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I guess you want to tell me that it is the evil west that created the situation in Venezuela. But let's look at the reality. Most countries living the western way have a very decent quality of life and live in decent stable political conditions. This is the reality. And not the evil forces coming from abroad trying to destabilize a poor innoncent country like Venezuela...

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Oh no... not at all... "the evil west" is just as much BS as the "axis of evil" in the east... lol

But I do think there are more economic factor and potentially foul play involved when the country with the biggest oil reserves in the world goes apeshit like that!

Now the plummeting oil prices in recent years and huge government misspending and mismanagement have certainly done the majority of the later damages. But the history of Venezuela is not as straight forward as it is pictured in the brief articles I find online.

Some digging shows that the former president, Chavez, who took presidency and lead the country for most of the past two decades did do quite well. Social and economic equality of the population as well as education standards and such increased dramatically.

Meanwhile international tensions and silent conflict with the US certainly did play a part, too. Oil rich countries have a hard time if they don't want to play ball with the big guys.

I cannot say how much which factors contributed to the demise of the country. I am just not sure if it's so simple as to just blame socialism for the whole disaster.

I don't support any kind of governmental force, but I also don't give a shit what label is attached to it, in the end they'll always tell us it's for our own good, socialism may just be the ultimate PR scam with it's "cooperative" message. So don't get me wrong.

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All socialists think that evil crawls from underground. Socialists are narcists, incapable of self-critiscism, and therefore don't understand outcome of their actions.

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so are you saying that's main the issue? a flawed ideology?

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El problema principal que nos lleva a estar como estamos, es que nos cerraron las posibilidades de produccion en el pais. las empresas en su mayoria se han ido por temor a una expropiacion y perder todo, esto genera un colapso ya que el venezolano tiene que invertir el doble para traer mercancia dentro del pais y venderla a un costo triple del costo verdadero para poder obtener un mercadeo. fuente tambien puedes ver fuente cosa que fue mentira, ellos nunca invirtieron en dichas empresas.

The main problem that leads us to be as we are, is that we closed the possibilities of production in the country. Most companies have left because of fear of expropriation and losing everything, this generates a collapse since the Venezuelan has to invest twice as much to bring merchandise within the country and sell it at a triple cost of the true cost to obtain a marketing . which was a lie, they never invested in these companies.

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Yes! Socialism has never worked. Think about Soviet-union, Republic of China. Even Nazism was constantly living over it's budget. It has been theorized that Allied war against nazies were unnescesary as they were running out of building materials in real life, and would have collapsed anyway.

Edit. To add to that previous comment, I think it is about time to abandom socialism. It has been proven not to work so many times but is just repeated. It is almost like theres some kind of leftish church that is just spitting out nonsense. I live in Finland, and I am absolutely tired of socialists. As a little side note I have made few blog posts about my own ideology. Some of them are bad but the one introducing my core-ideas should be off satisfactory quality.

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You must have noticed that I have read some of them in the meantime (I left some upvotes)...

Now I appreciate your general sentinment in what you blogged about a lot, that's why I am even more surprised to see you clinging to labels such as "socialism"

Please, I absolutely don't want to argue for socialism, but i think when the country, especially one with the biggest oil reserves in the world, goes bonkers so fast so drastically. It deserves a closer look and not just a stamp saying "failed socialism".

please see my comment above, in the thread with @mrorange55 also.

P.S.: personally, I think it's time to abandon government per se

Wow, I feel a little ignorant now.
I knew that the situation in Venezuela is bad, but I did not know how bad it really is. I only heard a few very short news articles, but never did get into depth. Thanks for this post @fraenk!

Let's try to make the world a better place!

Love this motto! And steemit gives so many ways to make that possible.
Have a nice evening! :)

Wow, just wow - thanks so much for this post, I had literally NO IDEA, haven't seen anything in the media, but I've been told what Kim & Kayne have called their kid about a million times - what a messed up world? I had noticed some of the posts in googlyeyes, I'll be sure to upvote.

omg venezuela again! thats my country highlighting haha .. good post tho!

Muy cierto el post es lamentable la situacion que estamos viviendo dia a dia en el pais

Great article. I wish all the spoiled American leftists would take long hard look at Venezuela. Instead I'm sure the #fakenews will keep them focused on issues that doesn't really matter like racism (bc everyone MUST like everyone) or some other entitlement. Venezuela is what a socialist paradise always ends up looking like.

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Certainly #fakenews are keeping people well distracted from shit like this... but isn't the easy blame on "failed socialism" just as much #fakenews, giving us an easy way to understand the turmoil while feeling well above it ourselves?! I really doubt that "socialism" per se was the problem that lead to what we see today. I am quite certain that the Maduro government is fucked and most responsible for the current misery. But that's more than just a socialist problem.

purrrrrrrrr...

Read about the future of political freedom here

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for just a second, just the second before I had checked the link location... I thought this wasn't spam!

pretty witty, but also even more annoying!

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Nice post @fraenk bro . Best wishes !