Venezuela, Official Hysteria

By Caridad

The people put on the mask and the government takes its off.

HAVANA TIMES – Fear is the emotion that controls every human reaction and behavior in general. Right now, talking about Coronavirus isn’t a synonym of fear, but terror.

I’m not going to go into the socio-political and economic interests (which are pretty much one and the same) behind the mass hysteria that is being spread by the media, taking this flu as its spearhead. Everyone can research what they want and believe what they want, according to their level of fear.

I’m not afraid of Coronavirus here in Venezuela. In Venezuela, I’m afraid of “Corona Maduro”.

Medical and scientific research has been brought to a halt pretty much, for many years. I have shed light on this matter in other articles.

Not only have they stopped because of a lack of supplies or state budget for them, especially because of robberies at institutions such as the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the harassment professionals have experienced when they have tried to warn about new outbreaks of diseases which were even considered to be extinct in this country (or at least under control), such as malaria and tuberculosis.

Most of the ministries have been taken over by the military, which means to say that they are being led by a man in uniform. I guess this is why information about this flu in Venezuela is being “offered” by the president, vice-president and the minister of Armed Forces.

A national quarantine has been declared in Venezuela and it doesn’t seem to be a measure that a group of scientists decided, but a group of ruling military men instead.

It goes without saying that if scientists all over the world have only just been able to agree on the best way to try and contain this flu (as the long-term effectiveness of quarantine still hasn’t been proven); this group of military officers will be at greater odds to try and come up with the best measures and way of implementing them.

President Maduro has ordered the compulsory use of masks, although the WHO has indicated that these should only be used by people who are infected with the virus or by those looking after them. In spite of this compulsory measure, masks haven’t been put on the market for an affordable price.

Private companies (many of which are owned by the “bolibourgeousie”, made up of people who became rich under the Chávez government) are taking advantage of the situation and these masks have been put on sale in some places for up to 2 million bolivars (almost 30 USD).

Anyway, even though the average price ranges between 70,000 and 500,000 bolivars, we shouldn’t forget that a minimum monthly wage is barely even 400,000 bolivars. I have just read on a digital newspaper that the National Guard with heavy firearms are arresting people in Caracas who aren’t wearing masks.

Nobody has said that these masks are D I S P O S A B L E. And while TV is broadcasting nice courses about how to make a mask at home, they aren’t telling us that the masks we make at home are good for absolutely N O T H I N G.

It has also been announced that the sale of petrol is being limited and controlled by the military, which isn’t anything new, as we’ve been having problems buying fuel in recent months.

However, if there were already problems with limited access to fuel, how will food move within the country? How will people like me who don’t have access to water, buy it? How will people get to a hospital if they suffer from any disease? How will people who work in essential services get to work?

They are also planning on shutting down Caracas’ metro system and its few railways. Of course, moving from one state to another, or between municipalities, has also been prohibited, even where there aren’t any cases of Coronavirus.

Forgive me those of you who are scared to death about a flu which, like most flus, affects the elderly and those with a weak immune system unfortunately; but this whole business reminds me more of the Weyler’s Reconcentration policy (Cuba 1896) more than anything else.

Obviously, I don’t believe that Maduro has created or encouraged the spreading of this virus; but as the proverb goes: It’s a blessing in disguise.

Along with the curfew, sorry, I mean imposed “social isolation”; tax increases were made official in Gaceta, which I wrote about in my last article. From 50,000 to over 1,000,000.

If in the everyday grind to survive, Venezuelan people barely have the time to find out about what the government is doing and the consequences of their actions, now that they have to fight against inflation, speculation, an aggressive flu, the government’s hysteria and an almost total lockdown on going out to work and earn your livelihood; they’re going to be paying a lot less attention to announcements that the government is making, at the top of their lungs, about the damned flu.

Maduro has also taken advantage of Coronavirus to try and make peace with the IMF. He has asked for a billion-dollar loan to “tackle” what he and his close circle have created over more than 4 years of economic crisis. If Venezuela doesn’t have medical resources today to even deal with a flu-induced fever, it’s Maduro and his lackeys’ fault.

If within a few weeks, the normal chaos that reigns in this country becomes uncontrollable, that will also be his fault.

As everything is taken advantage of for his own benefit, there aren’t any measures that truly help the most vulnerable groups of society to this disease. They talk about extreme personal hygiene and streets are buried in trash, water shortages continue, and you can’t buy personal hygiene items.

People are being forced to wear a mask so that outside of Venezuela, the international community “sees” that something is being done to tackle the epidemic here, but nothing is being said about how we can boost our immune systems with poor diets. And much less about how we are going to survive if we don’t work…

Venezuela doesn’t have the conditions to tackle any kind of epidemic, much less the conditions for the Venezuelan people to survive this kind of quarantine. It’s a lot easier to survive Coronavirus than it is to survive Maduro.