Tis The Season
The holiday season is in full swing. Typically, Venezuela almost completely shuts down until after the New Year. On that note,as we are Venezuela focused here at Tales From Teodoro,I want to inform all of you that we’ll be shutting down here for Christmas and New Years after today and returning on Tuesday,January 4th. I’ll use the down time to enjoy traditional Venezuelan Christmas and New Years festivities with my two Venezolanas, the lovely and talented Duglimar and the delightful Rachell.
It’s been quite an experience since we launched Tales From Teodoro last June. If we have managed to enlighten even a few of you on what happened in Venezuela (including the how and why),what’s going on now,and what the future holds then I’ve done my job. If we know and understand these things we can try to stem the socialist tide here in the US and make no mistake about it, it’s here!
In the interest of achieving the balance of then and now we’ll be doing a reprise of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole beginning in January. There was so much to absorb I think it’s worthy of a return engagement. When I originally wrote it I had to keep going over it and over it again,not just for editorial purposes ,but to keep straight in my head the ravages of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. I had been living it, watching it, and researching it for years but until I decided to put it all together I don’t think I truly grasped how widespread it was. The destruction was pervasive,reaching every area and aspect of life in Venezuela,and it all started with Hugo Chavez saying everything the progressives here in the US are saying and trying to do now. Socialism has always failed and always will…and yet it keeps coming back around. That is because it sounds so good despite it’s abysmal track record.I think of socialism,and by extension Marxism, as “wouldn’t it be great if…” It’s the consummate “looks good on paper but just doesn’t work in the real world” idea.
As most of you know,my favorite quote about the truth comes from the movie “The International” and it goes something like this…”There are only four things,what people want to hear,what they’re willing to believe,then there’s everything else,then there’s the truth.” Well,here’s the truth. As the great Milton Friedman told us, of all the great ideas and innovations that enable us to live in unprecedented prosperity,socialism has been responsible for none of them. I would add that each time socialism rears it’s ugly head it’s proponents tell us “it will be different this time”…it won’t! When confronted with socialism’s dismal failures and the suffering it has caused they say “that could never happen here.” It can! It follows the pattern of “The International”. Socialists gain power telling people what they want to hear. As their policies fail they tell people what they’re willing to believe, and trust me…people want to believe these things. Then, in the throes of their suffering they’re presented with everything else. Then,finally, they get to the truth.
Almost a year ago my wife,daughter,and I escaped the horrors of Chavismo. After being stuck there due to the arrival of the Coronavirus,when Maduro opened the country to limited international travel we made a break for it. Our journey was not without it’s trials and tribulations. It went something like this:
First we had to get from the island to Caracas. Thankfully that wasn’t a problem.
Then we had to get out of Caracas to Mexico. Even though the US was our ultimate destination we needed to get the resident visas for Duglimar and Rachell before entering the US.We had been working on getting the visas for a couple of years, doing things the right way (not to mention spending a lot of money). With no US Embassy in Caracas we had to go to the US Embassy in Bogota,Colombia, but when Maduro opened up Venezuela to international travel he only allowed it to five countries, and to complicate matters, due to the millions of migrants that had already fled the destruction of 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism the only avenue open to Venezuelans to travel without a visa was Mexico. So, it was off to Bogota,Colombia via Mexico. But not so fast…
When we got to the airport in Caracas the Chavistas didn’t want me to leave due to my expired visa. Just so you know, my neighbor on the island had a visitor that had recently left the country with an expired visa…no problem…but he was Canadian. My wife and daughter got through OK but they stopped me. I explained to them that I couldn’t renew my visa since all the government offices pertaining to visas had been closed for a year. They didn’t want to hear it, informed me that those offices had just reopened, and I had to go there to get a travel release document. I was told this as I was detained in one of those little rooms with no windows you hear about… you know, the ones from which people disappear.
So we cancelled our travel plans,spent a few days in Caracas, and for $500 bucks found a government official that was willing to give us the travel document. As this process was going on we wanted to pick up a little extra cash. My wife got a text from our hotel’s reception desk saying we could get over $400 from them and gave us the info to do the transfer. When we went to the desk to pick up our money they said they knew nothing about it. We were victims of a fraud. When my wife asked for an investigation it turned out that the one that would be investigated was my wife. Who knew the hotel was owned and operated by government mafia types? We returned to our room, packed our bags, and got the hell out of there before my wife could get taken to one of those little rooms.
Long story short, we got out of Caracas, on to Mexico,and on to Colombia where we spent about six weeks in Bogota securing the visas for Duglimar and Rachell (Thanks Senator Grassley!). Now it was on to the good old USA.
I was quite surprised to discover that since my last trip to the US,when I was considered pretty much just a normal guy, I was now a racist,white supremacist, and possibly a domestic terrorist (thanks AG). Thankfully,we have settled in Texas,where for the most part people still believe in freedom. My wife is working, my daughter attends a school which doesn’t allow the teaching of that racist garbage called Critical Race Theory, and I spend my days attending to my portfolio and scouring the news feed for Venezuela related stories.
I will continue bringing you Tales From Teodoro until democracy is restored in Venezuela and we stop the advance of socialism here. Socialists fall into two categories,people who want to tell others what to do and people that want (even if they won’t admit it) to be told what to do. I’m neither and that’s why I like Texas. Socialism already forced me to leave one place I loved. Let’s hope I don’t have to do it again.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE !!!!
See you Tuesday, January 4th….
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