Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Years ago, it was Latin America’s richest economy. Now it’s a country in free fall with food shortages; the highest inflation in the world; a raging homicide epidemic; and a hugely unpopular government consolidating constitutional power while brutally repressing protests.
Venezuela doesn't have one crisis. It has many crises, all of which are interconnected and affecting ordinary Venezuelans. As life becomes increasingly difficult for the 31 million people inside of Venezuela, we speak to two Venezuelan women who live outside the country in this episode of Into the Deep.
Laura Vidal and Marianne Díaz Hernández belong to the Global Voices community. Marianne left the country, recently, because of the crisis; and Laura left the country nine years ago in 2008, when Venezuela’s social programmes were promoted as a model for Latin America.
Here's a sneak peek at the episode:
Everything that you do now in Venezuela has some how to do with how the country is being handled. For instance you run out of milk then you have to have a conversation with others about the fact that you can't get milk because you have to buy a certain amount of milk, a certain day of the week, because of certain political decisions that were taken. Everything that happens in the country, happens inside of that discourse and you have to locate yourself somewhere in the political spectrum and take a position.
There's always a way to make the other person shut up. Shut up you work in a ministry. Shut up you left. Shut up you received a scholarship. Shut up you went to a public university. Shut up you follow the government. There is always a reason why you shouldn't give your opinion or you shouldn't participate. And this is not only people who follow the government. This is something that has become kind of general. Now that I am outside the country, both parties absolutely silence me. I really have no right of opinion, even if there are things that I understand now that I wouldn't understand if I had not left the country.
Into the Deep is the Global Voices podcast where we dig deep into one topic that isn’t getting the media coverage it deserves. In this episode, we featured Creative Commons licensed music from the Free Music Archive, including Daemones (CC BY 4.0) and Scenery (CC BY 4.0) by Kai Engel; Bathed in fine dust by Andy Cohen (CC BY 4.0): and Mutinee by Podington Bear (CC BY-NC 3.0).
The image featured in this podcast is called “What young Venezuelans do when they’re not being killed” is by Venezuelan illustrator Gonzalez. It is used here with permission.