The Kicks of a Hanged Person

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While the eyes of the world are concerned with Ebola and the Islamic State, in Venezuela - formerly the most stable and dynamic democracy of Latin America - a dictatorship is consolidating itself. In recent months, the socialist regime of HIM Nicolás Maduro, heir of Hugo Chavez, has increased the persecution of opposition leaders, arresting many and forcing others into exile. Now, the latest victim of the witch hunt is the former congresswoman and opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.

The new nemesis of the revolution appears to be a woman of a wealthy class and bourgeois femininity, a harmless butterfly that is no threat to anyone: but beyond her delicate appearance, María Corina is a rapacious eagle. Her popularity was consolidated when she was elected as congresswoman of the state of Miranda, Venezuela's second most populous state, in 2011 and subsequently after she interrupted President Chavéz in one of his speeches to complain about listening him speak for eight hours and then, impressing many, accused him of being a robber due to his expropriations. Later - after being beaten, kicked and pushed by the stairs by chavistas in the National Assembly - María Corina took a major leadership in the opposition movement after the February protests and the arrest of Leopoldo Lopez. Because of this, Machado managed that Panama ceded its chair on the OAS so she could express the oppression in Venezuela which costed her the wrath of the Venezuelan regime which unconstitutionally dismissed her from the National Assembly.

María Corina after the violence she suffered in the National Assembly. 

María Corina after the violence she suffered in the National Assembly. 

Now Maduro's government is accusing her of an imaginary plan to murder him and conspiracy and, if convicted, Maria Corina could face up to 16 years in prison, joining the list of political prisoners - students, mayors, judges and opposition leaders - and violations of human rights of the Venezuelan state. Freedom of expression has become a caged bird, a parrot in Caracas' suburbs. 

Here, in the North and South, freedom is gone and human rights are a sunken dream. Here, a cowardly dictatorship pursues an admirable woman for opposing his brutality, like the dragon and the Virgin - who always steps on the snake - in the Book of Revelation.

My blood boils with so much injustice. When will the abusing stop? When will they respect the Venezuelan people? We have become warlords; a country dominated by violence and abuse. We are a humiliated, trampled people. We are forced to make endless queues in the market and people die every night. What have we become? In this persecution of Maria Corina I do not see Venezuela. I do not see my country, the civilization of black gold. I see the dictatorial Cuba of Fidel, I see Perón's broken Argentina. We have disfigured the face of Venezuela and La Tierra de Gracia bleeds. In the air, only the sweaty terror of a petrodespot oligarchy before its imminent end is felt. A red halo of violence and abuse is felt. The kicks of a hanged person are felt. 

It is time to say enough!

"María Corina is accused for saying the truth"

"María Corina is accused for saying the truth"

The Tragedy of Aramaic

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The simple reason I am writing this post is because I want to show an unfortunate reality that few know. Yes, it will be kind of like a Wikipedia article but it deserves it. 

I must assume that many of you have heard of Aramaic (Exactly, the language of Jesus. The one of The Passion of Christ), but for those of you who don't know, it's an ancient language that was once spoken as the primary language of the Middle East and the liturgical language of the eastern Christian churches that reached as far as India, China and Mongolia. Aramaic is a Semitic language (ie it is related to Arabic and Hebrew) that originated in the deserts of western Syria in the late bronze age. From this linguistic crib came shepherds who expanded it into the rest of the Middle East. Aramaic later evolved into its imperial version as it became the official language of the Persian Empire. Due to the large area covered, and the number of peoples who spoke it, Aramaic ended up evolving into different dialects and languages. But the prosperity of Aramaic ended in the first centuries after Christ: After the advent of Islam, Arabic became the new language of the region and Aramaic (along Coptic and the Greek dialects in the Middle East) started to disappear. 

Aramaic scripture in a Mandaechian scroll

Aramaic scripture in a Mandaechian scroll

By 2000, after years of persecution in nations like Iran and Turkey, this magnificent language was reduced to the Christian populations in Iraq, small populations in Turkey and Iran, and three mountain villages in Syria. Then came the war and persecution. The mass exodus of Christians and their persecution by jihadists after the fall of Saddam Hussein reduced the number of speakers quickly. Almost ten years later, the Syrian civil war broke out.

The current situation of Aramaic is depressing: in Syria, the Aramean towns have suffered a loss of population and an exodus after the recurrent invasions by Islamists and subsequent battles against the Syrian army. In Iraq it's even worse: the Northern Plains, where the Chaldeans (Iraqi Christians) lived, have been captured by the Islamic group ISIS. This self-named Caliphate has declared a war against religious minorities and has made a hell in the Christians and other groups' lives. Christian civilians were beheaded or buried alive and many women have been sold into slavery: the rest have died or fled, leaving everything behind.

With the Aramean population refuged and scattered across the world, the future of this people is not promising. But why is Aramaic so important? This language, which suffers from a possible extinction in the hands of fanatic groups, has a continuous recorded history of over three thousand years: something only Chinese, Greek and Hebrew can celebrate. This means that Aramaic is one of the most important languages in the world and one of great importance for Western culture since a part of the Bible, probably the most important literary work of the West, was written in this language. An example of the importance of this language is the famous Aramaic phrase Jesus Christ said during crucifixion: Eli, Eli lama sabachthani - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me. In addition to this, as the linguist Ken Hale said, the extinction of a language is like throwing a bomb at the Louvre: Thought patterns, vocabularies, ways of being, idiosyncrasies and the history of a people are some of the things that are lost. 

The writing on the wall

The writing on the wall

Today the Arameans are not only scattered and dispersed throughout the world, but they are being brutally murdered and persecuted. This language and this people, with its three thousand years of history and its existence as a time capsule of a time already gone, are disappearing at an alarming rate and this could be one of the greatest cultural loss in recent years. The writing on the wall of the Old Testament, which was in Aramaic, predicted the fall of Babylon. Now, the fall of other people of the same rivers is predicted. 

The Devil's Fingerprint

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I thought no further action of this pantomime would impress me until I heard the news: worthy of the classic totalitarian measures of the Cuban regime, the government of Venezuela has approved a new dystopian law. This new law makes the installation of a fingerprint machine to control the purchase of basic goods mandatory at all public or private supermarkets and pharmacies. With what excuse? To combat smuggling.

We can not deny it. In Venezuela there is smuggling: supermarket food is purchased and resold by peddlers on the street at really expensive prices. But does that means that the nearly thirty million Venezuelans living in the country are thieves smugglers? That the food shortage is the fault of the people? Obviously not, but apparently our government, the biggest thieves out there, see it that way. The reality is simple: the smuggling that the government fights is a fantasy, an empty air created to distract the masses. There's no food in the markets and people are being killed in the streets, but the problem is smuggling.

The fingerprint is not only mandatory but it must be also purchased by pharmacies and supermarkets with their own money, another sample of the government's attack to the private sector.

This new measure is a step for the installation of communism. It is simply a modern version of the Cuban rationalization notebook. Now we are just numbers, numbers controlled by an Orwellian machine.

The MUD (The main opposition coalition), following a long tradition of stupid "solutions" to a brutal regime, has asked us to bang pots (cacerolazo). I'm sorry to say this but doing noise, even as much as we can, will not change the opinion of a tyrant who murdered nearly forty people during the months of February and March. These opposition measures seem like a joke, a bad joke that has no idea of what he has in front: the installation of the Cuban rationing system. It is time for us Venezuelans to ask for respect. The only fingerprint I want to see soon is Maduro's in his renouncement letter. 

Katy's Jean Dress: The 90s are back.

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Katy Perry's 2014 VMAs jean dress

Katy Perry's 2014 VMAs jean dress

Maybe Britney is no longer a sexy Catholic schoolgirl and the Spice Girls aren’t the face of England anymore (Cool Britannia, you’re still in our hearts), but their cheerful era is (finally) back. Pop culture has shown us many signals of this awaited resurrection, this zombie copy of the colorful antebellum times between the end of the Cold War and 9-11, but now we have the final proof: Yesterday, Katy Perry and her quite picturesque partner made their grand entrance to the 2014 VMAs wearing a jean dress and a jean suit. Oh yeah. You read it well. They were wearing a replica of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake’s infamous matching jean dress and suit from the 2001 AMAs.

Ok. I know. They wore the jean outfits in 2001 and not in the 90s. But you know, 2001 was almost from the 90s… It was part of the same cultural era: Britney and Christina were still quite popular, fashion was quite similar from the one of the late 90s and, well, the world was still enjoying that bubblegum pop infested cheerfulness from the Spicemania days. That’s the revived era I’m taking about: A period spanning roughly from the 1990s to the early 2000s.

Britney Spears' 2001 AMAs jean dress

Britney Spears' 2001 AMAs jean dress

Spending the summer at NYU's Precollege made me realize this resurrection. My dorm was in front of Washington Square Park, where I would spend some time with my friends sometimes. Under the bright sunlight coming through the trees, and with the Arch and the fountain in my view, I had my epiphany: I was living in Clueless!  People all over the park where wearing items typical from the era: tie-dye shirts, high-waisted jeans and miniskirts, parachute pants, crop tops, denim on every possible piece, jean overalls, Dr Martens shoes, high sneakers and even those enormous Spice Girl-like high heeled platform sandal.

As I discovered this new (awesome) world, where some hispters (or maybe a new urban species) dress up as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I started to realize new things in old TV series and films: “the clothing of Friends’ first season seems quite current!” or “Hey! This (outfit Cher Horowitz is wearing) looks like one of my sister’s!”. This soon evolved into a new worldview where I was rediscovering the 90s, like when I realized one of my friends was dressing like someone from Clueless. But fashion wasn’t the only thing being affected by this revival: news of the resurrection where everywhere.

Scene from Clueless (1996)

Scene from Clueless (1996)

First it was the video of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy, the song of the summer, in which entire scenes of the 1996 classic Clueless are revived. Then it was TV: The first thing I discovered was Lifetime’s upcoming new film, The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story (bullsh*t), but soon I found that classic 90s cartoons like The Magical School Bus and the Power Puff Girls where returning in 2016. Finally, I was amazed to see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles poster in the cinema (I bet we’ll have a Power Rangers film soon): the 90s were back.

Iggy Azalea's "Fancy": a total imitation of Clueless. 

Iggy Azalea's "Fancy": a total imitation of Clueless. 

The reason of this revival is simple: the world is a mess. We live in a planet where people are being decapitated because of their faith in Iraq and where rising sea levels are no longer a sci-fi dystopia but a reality; a world where tiny but powerful corporations cause big unemployment rates and where there has been non-stopping war in the same regions for a decade; a world where the economy failed and where sometimes people seem more interested in their phones than in their friends. It’s normal to look at the past and find enjoyment in it. It’s just a way to escape, an attempt to find happiness in a long-gone time. We are creating a world based on our glamorized nostalgia of the past, a feeling that even people like me, who were infants in those times, can grasp.

The 90s were great and their resurrection makes me more than happy. Their culture, with their pop culture and their fashion, is bringing fresh air to our dark, grotesque and pessimistic situation. Anyways, nostalgia is a cycle that happens during every decade and cultural period. I’m just hoping, after watching Katy’s tribute to Britney (I loved it, okay?), that the Paris Hilton-Juicy Tracksuit-Smallville era nostalgic revival takes long before appearing (Except you, dear Mean Girls, Freaky Friday and White Chicks. You can return whenever you want to.)

 

 

Hedonist Monsters

A few days ago, the young 22 years old Elliot Rodger murdered seven people in the city of Santa Barbara in California. The man, as part of that disturbed wave of public and spontaneous murders in the United States, took a gun and a knife and attacked innocent civilians in the city, committing suicide later. Rodger, who suffered from Asperger’s, sent a deranged manifesto by email in which he explained why he committed the act: women should be punished.

Elliot Rodger

Elliot Rodger

Delirious, he explained the reasons for his sickly mass murder. He had chosen the University of Santa Barbara for the parties and sex he never got and because of this he hated women and blamed them for his unhappiness due to being rejected many times in the sexual field. Rodger felt that women were semi-human bestial animals that didn’t deserve rights and that should be eliminated in a holocaust. He also hated to see happy couples or young people enjoying life and for this he attacked many strangers with hot drinks long before the killings. In addition, the young man was racist.

Many people blamed Asperger’s, a type of autism that he had, as being behind the murder. Asperger’s is not a personality disorder and much less a disease that makes people commit such inhumane acts. To say that this syndrome was the cause of the brutal act is a backward bias of pre-Civil Rights days. The real plague behind this murder is hedonism and the objectification of the body in modern culture.

Why did Rodger picked that university in the first place? He sought sex and partying. He is one of the results of what the media sell us (He decided that university after seeing a film about college sex). We have become a culture that does not respect human dignity and objectifies women and men. Rodger had those sexist points of view loaded with misogyny because of what the media has made of omen: men’s sexual prizes won by strength and sensuality. Our culture sells us sex as a mere hedonistic adventure in which the other member is a mere object of pleasure, a mere toy. It has lost all perception of love and depth in the personality and spirit of the person who commits the sexual act. Our outrageously promiscuous culture, that through this superficial hedonism transformed the promiscuous person into a sex toy shared by many people who only earn pleasure with the warm body of the other person, has turned us all into prizes and objects without personality or feelings. We are becoming more like Don Draper and less like Romeo and Juliet.

Venus and Cupid by Alessandro Allori

Venus and Cupid by Alessandro Allori

Here I am not talking about abstinence but about respect to the body (People are entitled to have sex when there is love and respect for the persona of the other). Rodger drowned himself in a culture where only pleasure and not the person matters. It is a total return to matter and not to the mind. We are people with bags over our faces.

Our culture teaches us that a sentimental bond isn’t required with a sexual partner, that only those with physical qualities can get "love ", and that in human relationships only matter matters. Many " feminists" even support this wild promiscuity, which really turn women into reused toys and hunting loots. These vain and superficial teachings and bestial, sexist and barbaric hedonism have created monsters like Rodger. We live in a culture that does not respect women, the body, and the sentimental bond in human couples and while we live in a world of people with bags over their faces, monsters will continue to be born.

K of Kardashian

Sometimes we say stupid things that threaten to collapse the whole universe and cause a man-eating inter-dimensional vortex of quantic nature that would open the doors to a universe inhabited by Tetris blocks-humans hybrids. Well, not exactly… But sometimes words can be really dangerous. So please, beloved readers, be ready to throw things at me because I’m about to say something a la “Let them eat cake”: I want to see a biographic film about the Kardashians.

Kim's wedding rehearsal was in the Palace of Versailles (Photo: nymag.com)

Kim's wedding rehearsal was in the Palace of Versailles (Photo: nymag.com)

History has produced important families of great public fascination: The Tudor, the Borgia, the Romanov, the Windsor, the Astor, the Kennedy, and more recently the Kardashians. This popular American family of Armenian origin has taken our newspapers, televisions, and pop culture. Why? Because their life is one of the bestselling drama shows: the reality shows “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”.

Between constant “I was like ‘oh my God’…” and Hollywood’s Babylonian preoccupations; the family shows their whole life to the world in a modern, “real”, and less elegant version of “Dynasty”. How could a Californian bourgeois family rise to that level of fame? One day, Kim did a sex-tape. Years later, she was celebrating her third wedding’s rehearsal in the Palace of Versailles. This family has become the fascination of thousands of millenials obsessed with the digitalization of common life (Instagram in macrocosmic level) and has managed to take the meaning of “KKK” from the worst racist organization of the USA to: Kim, Kourtney and Khloe.

It’s because of that sudden and confusing wave of Kardashianization that took our society that I want to see a film about them. Let’s face it; they are something fascinating.  They are a bizarre obsession of pop culture; they are haute icons with the talent of doing-nothing.

SNL's imitation of the Kardashian sisters

SNL's imitation of the Kardashian sisters

The Kardashians are a symptom of this convulsed Matrix-like times, that’s why I want a appealing film that tells how something so banal became so important; not because of them, but because of what they mean for modern culture. A movie that explains the Kardashian enigma and their rise to power; a movie that explains that abnormal cultural aspect of the modern Zeitgeist and of Generation Y’s world. Meanwhile, I’ll continue enjoying SNL’s parody that so funnily mocks the Kardashianmania and the enigma they are inside our current culture.


Caracas - Modernism Adrift

Villa Monzeglio, Bello Monte, Caracas

Villa Monzeglio, Bello Monte, Caracas

On many occasions, the citizens of Caracas fail to notice the architectural gems that build up our metropolis. Our eyes, focused on insecurity and food shortages are not aware that, behind the shantytowns and layers of grime and visual pollution, Caracas has a spectrum of splendid buildings stalked by decay.

A few days ago, I went to a wedding at the Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the neighborhood of Las Mercedes. To the horror of my eyes, across the street, a picturesque house of neo-Basque style was being demolished to make way for "progress." Las Mercedes is one of the few flat areas of Caracas and therefore it is doomed to become a commercial area. That is why the vast majority of suburban homes in the area have disappeared to make way for all types of businesses. Unfortunately, there is no law or any regulation on aesthetics and the area grows disorganized, smothered in tacky kitsch and vulgar architecture (the so-called novelty architecture): signs, architectural modifications, and aesthetic abnormalities. Las Mercedes has become a great visual dump.

Humboldt Building, Altamira, Caracas

Humboldt Building, Altamira, Caracas

Las Mercedes requires an architectural law urgently. Not only to control the panorama and prevent the further proliferation of kitsch, but also to protect the latest architectural gems in the area. That neo-Basque house was demolished and removed without any trace beyond memory and many other buildings in the area could end up with the same fate. Las Mercedes has other beautiful buildings worthy of protection such as various neo-Basque houses, dazzling buildings guarded by trees full of lush tropical vines and even the Polyclinic of Las Mercedes with its abstract bronze relief in the front area.

Canaima Building, Chacao, Caracas

Canaima Building, Chacao, Caracas

Throughout Caracas, there are unprotected architectural gems: The plethora of styles of Bello Monte, the buildings of Altamira and Los Palos Grandes, the houses of San Román, the futuristic Villa Monzeglio, the buildings in Los Chaguaramos and Santa Monica, the Altolar and Canaima building, the Jirajara house in Santa Paula, the Zena building, the old houses of Valle Arriba, the Art Deco of El Paraiso, the nostalgic buildings of San Bernardino and many others. All these gems live in the constant threat of the future, of destruction. Architecture not only has the highest aesthetic, historical, and cultural value of our country but it has the memories of all the people in Caracas. These memory boxes fiercely scream the country's history in their exquisite facades and urgently need a national law on architectural protection; something like a native National Register of Historic Places that would not only protect the buildings but would raise them culturally and would increase their monetary value. Thus, a culture of preservation and cultural admiration in the Venezuelans would be created. One of the largest samples of modern architecture of the twentieth century, my dear Caracas, could quickly disappear to give way to an unrecognizable city. Caracas is a living museum of architecture and its preservation is needed with urgency.

Altolar Building, Bello Monte, Caracas

Altolar Building, Bello Monte, Caracas

Altolar Building's tropical hallways. 

Altolar Building's tropical hallways. 

 

The Republic of Macondo

Yesterday, the world lost a great talent. This Latin Shakespeare, wrought by the jungles infected by parrots and mosquitoes of the south, changed Latin American history forever: Gabriel García Márquez.

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I think, frankly, that to speak of Latin America as a single cultural entity is a Eurocentric point of view. For example: While in Mexico the Day of the Dead is celebrated, in Venezuela Hallacas are prepared for Christmas. Still, Gabriel García Márquez left, directly or indirectly, a mark on all the nations of the region.

The biggest feature that unites the heterogeneous societies of Latin America is  incoherence and absurdity. Our societies assimilate and normalize the incredible and the unthinkable. We are exotic lands where the president speaks with reincarnations in the form of birds, being a witch is a job, and superstition is science. It's not backwardness or lateness, it is rather sick joke from the universe, determined to distort reality. Magical realism, the genre of the works of García Márquez, exists and Latinos live in it. 

Gabriel García Márquez, through his works, taught us something that Victor Hugo or F. Scott Fitzgerald could not: the reality of the Latino human. He was the heir of Gallegos and the king of magical realism, he was a Francisco Herrera Luque on continental scale.

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El Gabo justified our quirks: They're there just because. He taught us that absurdity is part of the real order of the south and those things that for other cultures is magical realism, for Latin America is just realism.

He also showed us, like Herrera Luque, that our story is perennial and it's doomed to repeat itself and to spit those archaic archetypes again and again. Our regional mythological figure, the dictator, arises decade after decade without end.

But more importantly, that the crazy and unreal town - The setting of his main work "100 Years of Solitude" -of Macondo exists and we are all its inhabitants.

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An example of this absurdity: Last year, Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler was being crowned Miss Universe in Russia while in her Motherland people were looting. Just read Toto Aguerrevere's blog (In Spanish), one that shows the absurd and the humorous of Caracas' society: A society that dries their hair when going to the beach. 

Sometimes we hate that surrealism, but like it or not it's a part of us that sometimes cheers up our existence in some way. His contribution to our society is a complex and complete justification of ourselves and that was the esoteric secret of his works.

That is the legacy of El Gabo. He taught us that Latin America is a place without beginning or end, a snake that devours itself. He showed us that in 100 years the story was the same, repeating eternally in the solitude of the routine. He showed us that there isn't a last Aureliano and that the cyclical history of Macondo, and its predestined end, will keep rolling until Latin America disappear in the ocean waters.

You will always be in our hearts.

Thanks GGM

Rest in Peace.

Caligula in Caracas

I met a traveller from an antique land

Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone

Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,

And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,

Tell that its sculptor well those passions read

Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,

The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:

And on the pedestal these words appear:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

"The General Zapped an Angel" - I can't stop relating this with the Ozymandias colossus. 

"The General Zapped an Angel" - I can't stop relating this with the Ozymandias colossus. 

Not long ago, I found a historical poem of 1818 by the British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley: Ozymandias . The poem deals with the decline of the great civilizations and cultures that become titanic ruins amidst a desolate world. This is expressed through the image that the poet paints: Two colossal legs and a face in the sand, the last vestiges of a colossus, in the middle of the empty desert and a pedestal that hails its great builder - the pharaoh Ozymandias (Ramses II) - but they are now nothing more but ruins and a blurred memory of the greatness of a splendid empire that lies dead. The first idea that I related with this poem was my own city: Caracas.

The beautiful Caracas has become a giant nest full of filth where criminals and corrupt men get drunk and vomit on extravagant feasts; where obscenity reigns over modesty and naked whores participate in euphoric orgies. It is a nest where human decay crawls in fetid mud and dirt like pigs. It is the decadent Rome imagined by romantic painters: A metropolis of dirty splendid buildings where light is scarce and crime and depravity are plenty. It’s the Babylon imagined by St. John in the Book of Revelation.

The Tower of David - The World's tallest slum. An abandoned and never finished business center. (Photo: www.imutc.com

The Tower of David - The World's tallest slum. An abandoned and never finished business center. (Photo: www.imutc.com

Still, this decadent and wounded city cries for help. It asks the barbarians to clean its mess and to rebuild it. It reminds us daily with those "temples to Zeus and Venus", once beautiful, lying like the Ozymandias colossus: The Parque Central Towers, The Children's Museum, the Tower of la Previsor, Paseo Zingg, the East Park, the old houses of El Paraiso, the Humboldt Hotel , the Tower of David and many others.

These remains are the remnants of a better and more beautiful Caracas: the once called “Subsidiary of Heaven”. They are the feet of the Ozymandias colossus that remind us, however impossible it may seem, that we were once some kind of tropical Constantinople: A progressive, modern city whose brightness would make everyone who saw her fall in love with her. A city without street vendors, motorbike taxis, lines of people in the market because of the food shortages, banners celebrating a dead tyrant everywhere, a sea of isual pollution, ruins, citizens terrified by crime, dirt, the grim pyramid of Barreto, the grotesque Bolivar Mausoleum and the apathy and indifference of many people to the neglect.

These splendid neglected buildings full of graffiti, grime and disrepair in all areas make me suffer and think about the decline of my beloved Caracas. Could it be that one day, among the prostitutes and corrupt men socially accepted and the waste of money Versailles style by the vulgar ruling oligarchy, I will find myself under the vertical favela/ruin of the Tower of David and the dirty towers of Parque Central (Neglected and one destroyed by fire) and read a pedestal that says, "My name is Caracas, queen of queens: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair "?

"Romans of the Decadence" - Thomas Couture 

"Romans of the Decadence" - Thomas Couture 

When a Continent Turns its Back on You

Original post published on 3-22-14

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Yesterday, oppression and despotism prevailed once again. During the last OAS meeting, the useless Organization of American States, the ethical state of Panama gave up its seat to Venezuelan opposition congresswoman Maria Corina Machado (Venezuela gave up its seat to the opposition of that country during its dictatorship a few decades ago). Unfortunately, 22 puppet and mediocre states voted for the meeting to be private, beating 11 states with moral and trampling Venezuelan sovereignty once again. 

The tragic news filled me with rage. Then, I watched a touching video of the protesting students. As something unusual to me, I exploded in tears. With goosebumps, I started to scream my frustration with the "15 Years of Slavery " of this government. "Damn! They destroyed my country," I shouted, “They took everything away. " Everything except hope.

40 years before the tyrant Comandante rise to power; the country ousted a military dictatorship. During the period 1958-1998, we were acclaimed and observed with admiration for our democracy not because it was exceptional, but because it was a rarity in the region. If there is something that the Fourth Republic did well, was supporting and funding governments and democratic movements across the continent. A continent that has forgotten it. 

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A hypocritical continent that has also forgotten the oppression they lived and that now we live. Presidents, have you forgotten how you were trampled and tortured? Dilma, do you remember how you were electrocuted and hung from the ceiling naked? Remember Garrastazu Medici, Geisel, Figueiredo and Castelo Branco? Cristina, have you forgotten the military juntas treading on you? What about Videla, Galtieri? Guyana, did you forgot Burnham? Peoples of Central America, have you forgotten Somoza, civil wars and many other despots? Haiti, have you forgotten the Duvalier, Cedras and Magloire? Dominican Republic, do you remember Trujillo? Pepe, don’t you remember the oppression of Conrado Alvarez? Evo, what about Barrientos, Banzer Suárez and Tejada? What happened to the Spanish oppression of your people, the indigenous peoples? Correa, did you forget Velasco, Rodriguez Lara and Poveda Burbano?

In red, countries that voted for the session to be private. In blue, countries that voted for the session to be public. 

In red, countries that voted for the session to be private. In blue, countries that voted for the session to be public. 

Obviously they don’t remember. Money and filthy oil filled their mouths and brains and now they cannot think or talk. If Nicolas Maduro spilled oil in the ground right now, you would all come running to lick it. Don’t worry, you now rejoice in your sadism to see my country made into ashes. You rejoice in your resentment of the times when we were the role models, when we were your most tireless dreams. Don’t worry; everything is paid in this universe. The truth is one: Your indiscreet attempts to imitate Cuba, your pathetic little governments and all your shit is kept with the oil from my country. You make feel disgusted, disgusted and more disgusted. But still, I repeat, when this is over and the oil stop flowing to you, you’ll fall in batch.