HAVANA TIMES — Imagine you’re sitting in your living room and you receive a call. You don’t recognize the voice on the other end of the line, but this person knows your name, your children’s names, your address and what you do.
Then, you receive a death threat, that they will kill one of your children or relatives if you don’t hand over X amount of money, your car or a specific object. But, things could be worse… Your house might be of interest to one of the gangs that are now gaining more and more force all over Venezuela. Then the voice, which might even seem familiar, will tell you: you’ve got three days to leave your house.
And you will leave your house because you know that if you don’t, death is just around the corner.
This isn’t a horror movie or sensationalist journalism.
It can happen to anyone, going beyond the normal robberies that have intensified and become more widespread with the crisis: in less than five minutes, your car battery, tires or any other part can be stolen, they don’t need to take your whole car anymore because any part (or even the oil) now costs a lot more than the original price of the car. Nowadays, everything can be stolen, everything is desirable to those who, instead of robbing the State, steal from ordinary people.
I would like to call upon Venezuela’s thieves: please be conscious of class, steal from the big businessmen (who didn’t get their fortunes from “nowhere”), steal from the government officials (many of whom are now big businessmen today), steal from everyone related to the government; but leave us miserable people, like yourselves, alone.
Of course, this call would only work if an ad were published in a national newspaper, but that would be forgetting that newspapers are no longer being printed because of a paper shortage (bravo for trees!) but especially because the Maduro government has devised a way for this to happen. Slowly, the government has been stealing the Venezuelan people’s right to be informed as most of the newspapers are now owned by PSUV governing party businessmen, that are also taking over TV stations, combined with the poor telephone and internet services.
Talking about government theft, they aren’t only stealing our right to be informed. Small producers, especially farmers, are finding it harder and harder to work, not only because of petty or organized crime, but because the police and State institutions are reducing their ability to organize and produce as self-employed individuals or groups.
Who do you ask for help when they come after your home, your health, your wishes for your children to study, your life, when you know that the police, the government, the criminals, are all the same people, on the same team.
Like in Cuba, here it’s no crime to steal from a thief…