3 Facts That Confirm Bugging Out of Venezuela Was the Right Decision

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Hello again readers.

I received recent reports that confirm the severe fuel scarcity in my former town is getting conflictive. There are struggles with the national guards and citizenship, and there is at least one person in jail I know of, at the moment of writing this.

Here are three reasons my decision to bug out of Venezuela was a good one:

  1. Price of precious metals. One coin of an ounce of silver is worth 20$. 5$ over spot price. Guns, I don´t know. It would be stupid to try to respond to an online ad to buy a gun. Getting a permit is impossible, so the only way is illegally. Not advisable.
  2. There is a remarkable water scarcity. No power grid means no pumping, and less and less gasoline is available for gensets. Last week I published about reports from inside the oil industry mentioning that gasoline would last one month. Immediately the governors issued rationing schemes, and the black market got much worse. There are rumors of people working with official emergency vehicles, such as ambulances getting fuel without and reselling it.
  3. There is a HUGE inflationary process in DOLLARS. $100 is worth nothing. The only ways to get money are by offering services or products. Bartering, buying something used that is damaged, repairing and reselling it for a fair price. The control of the country is divided by several gangs, each one reporting to the respective member. I have mentioned this before. The supply of essentials, though, is such as that things are starting to become really ugly. Of course, those with guns and resembling some “official authority” are going to “manage” these goods…whatever that means. More than likely they will just keep everything they could seize for themselves and their warlords. This is only to prepare the ground for a situation that will be impossible to deal with. I have been in touch with people supporting the regime, though. For them, things are…” normal”. There are no problems, and “social networks make a fuss” about all the scarcity and turmoil now in place.

The gasoline shortage in Venezuela has gotten much worse.

I am going to review some of the reports of the city of Maracaibo. It is considered the economic capital of the country because it produced very good quality oil and there was money flow all over the place. Large buildings, luxury subdivisions, good roads. Despite the burning sun and hot weather, people there love their city. The oil revenues really went to the infrastructure, managing of the public money was not as corrupted as it was in other eras.

The person reports to me that, through the window can be seen a large line of cars that covers several blocks in length, 6 or 7, the gas station is closed. There is no sign or any indication it is going to open anytime soon. The cars in line are parked since the day before, waiting for the station to open. Once open, people will come around from everywhere, and the queue will be much longer until the fuel runs out.

There is a terrible shortage of gasoline now that hasn’t been present ever, with the effects particularly strong in the interior of the country, much less populated that major cities, although lately, it is beginning to feel more in Caracas. This sense of normality they want to project in Caracas is because the enormous barrios were once the major support of the chavismo. It´s impossible to know how many people have left those barrios to look for better conditions in the rest of South America.

This is sad, but we could say that nowadays the most expensive gasoline in the world could be the Venezuelan one. How many man-hours are lost by those who spend a day in a line?

Prices for other goods keep rising.

It happens with all kind of goods. I saw posts in buying/selling groups an air conditioner selling by 450$, and two weeks later the same ad of the same business in 500$. Many merchants do not receive $1 bills. The smallest bills they accept are $5.

Beggars are everywhere, they come to you in the car window, in the gasoline line within a few minutes apart, or sometimes they approach the people near the supermarkets. Kids under 10 years old begging not for money but for food, even a cookies package.

Trading with cash is difficult. The cash is almost not available, and it has to be spared in case you find something to buy…because you can´t trust in the power grid being operational to run the payment platform, should you need to buy something. If you pay in cash, a better price can be obtained.

In the dark streets, there are mountains of garbage. The collection service is insufficient. There are beggars and robbers everywhere and you have to be extra careful.

Electricity is being rationed, so there are long periods of darkness.

With respect to energy, there are daily cuts of light in the city. The regional government, ruled by a Chavista warlord imposed a 6×6 scheme (six hours with electricity, six hours without electricity). Although rarely this is true. Sometimes they let the service run for a little more time, but most of the time is less. The power is rationed by sectors. They take off the energy from some entire parts of the city to provide to others, then vice versa. There are sectors where people go through 18 hours with electricity and 6 without, or 6 hours with and the rest without. It’s unpredictable. This has caused many inhabitants to leave Maracaibo to other regions, and others have accelerated preparations to leave the country.

A few days ago one of the “leaders” in charge of the energy problem came to the city. That day, there was no cutting off the power, all day. What a coincidence. By the way, she did not come to discuss the solutions to the problem. Instead, brought a lot of power plants to deliver to gas stations, and avoid public turmoil and protests.

This indicates that they do not have the slightest intention to solve the problem.

Many businesses have closed, and many that are still open are only accepting cash.

The entire city looks like a ghost town. No matter if it is in the middle of the day, or at night. There are relatively few cars in the streets, as most owners are in the gasoline lines (the person who reports me this do not to pass even close to a gas station: the streets have become large parking lots where it is difficult to pass through). Others prefer not to use their cars to work. Those who live relatively close to their jobs go on foot and walk or use their bicycles to ride great distances. The others, have no other solution but to use the “perreras” or trucks without any facilities for human transport: cattle trucks, and all kind of inadequate vehicles, as you can see in some pictures that are all around the world. Just like Cuba in the Special Period. Many shops and businesses have closed. The calculations are around 65% of businesses are in bankruptcy.

A decent amount of food can be found. Not in the quantity and variety we would like, but there is. Sometimes you do not get chicken, so you replace it with meat, or pork, or maybe some fish…and so on. But obviously, it is very expensive, with respect to the real salary that is not sufficient to provide to a family but for a couple of days or less. By the way, as I reported previously, in an increasing trend, lately many establishments are accepting only dollars in cash. Before, this happened only in some shady business in the downtown, always with a low profile and for regular customers. But now this is happening even in the big supermarkets and chain stores. This allows some people who receive remittances from their families abroad, or have their income from another source than a salary, to acquire goods more expeditiously. This is not formally legal: the dollar is not the current currency, but, well…yet, it is used, and it will continue so until something else happens.

The grid is not stable or reliable.

There are continuous short circuits in the power network, with sparks in wiring and transformer explosions in every city. This generates instability in the circuit that damages all kind of white line domestic devices unless they are properly protected.

This is a huge warning sign no matter how stable you believe your grid is. If you don’t have means to procure alternate energy for your basic needs, like a fan in summer and juice for your refrigerator to avoid your food spoiling (as I have learned in the social networks that tons of people have suffered in Caracas, which had been more or less untouched by the crisis), you are going to be in trouble. I don’t know what kind of event you prepare for. I would not prepare for a specific catastrophe. My planning was not as accurate as I thought it would be. As I mentioned in previous articles, this has been lasting too long. There was no possible way to prevent it.

Thank you.

Thanks for your reading, and thank you for all the assistance you can send every now and then, as it is much appreciated these days.

You are great, and I hope my story can shed some light into what we are going through, and help you improve your prepping.

Stay tuned.

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

Leave a Reply

  • Jose, thank you for keeping us updated on the situation in your home country. Do you hear anything from areas like Valencia or Puerto Ayacucho?

    • Dear Garry,

      Valencia has usually been bad for crime, even wen I was living there in 1999/2000. My best friend lives there and he was victim some time ago of an armed robbery INSIDE his own home. Gasoline lines, as the rest of the country, are the norm. Be aware, the consumption is close to 200k barrels per day and the production and importing is not even close to that. It´s like 8 or 9k barrels, according the information I have on Gasoline only. Diesel production has been though to determine. I suspect a strong black market, because this doesn´t need additives. My friend´s daughter migrated to Colombia. He stood with his younger kid and wife in Valencia. He runs his own construction business and receives a payment of a property he bought in Caracas, in USDs so he has been able to make the ends meet. Valencia was an industrial city, all the factories located there could deliver their products to the port in Puerto Cabello, for those who don´t know about this. Nowadays, the industrial park is 90% devastated. The life as we knew it, my friend says, no longer exists. It was surrounded by industrial poultry production facilities, not existing now, but a few here and there. Lines for laundry soap, for coffee, for everything we used to buy once without a 2nd thought. Blackouts (it was always a city opposing communism) and they have taken a beating.

      Puerto Ayacucho, in the other hand…that´s a completely different story, my friend. Being isolated, I have been told is now FARC and ELN territory. Not much to say about this. They have fishery in the Orinoco river, and being in the border with Colombia somehow should make some products available. Bad part is, the population is quite low, and it is not of interest for anyone, so gasoline shipments are very low. No reason to send it there, the corrupted management in PDVSA prefers smuggle with the National Guard the gasoline to Colombia receiving payments in USDs, ilegally, and under the guerrilla protection. Remember the movie Blood Diamonds? something like that.

  • Jose, thanks for a very informative post. I’ve been in this world for a long time, and what you describe is pretty classic during a decline. I guess various societies become very similar during their decline. Sad, it’s always sad. Especially for a lovely country such as Venezuela (used to be). I started working with refugees in 1979 (mostly Vietnamese ‘boat people’ then). Then there were the Ethiopians (from a portion of Ethiopia which is now Eritrea). And some Russians. And so it goes. It’s always heart-breaking. You made the right decision, for sure.

    • You´re welcome. Too bad you didn´t know Venezuela as its very best moment, circa…end of the 90s, I think. After the 1989 attempt where a lot of lowlifes were killed, it was nice because the crime rates went down to historical minimums.

      We will be a great nation again. And you will be welcome to join me there.


    • Thanks buddy! More to come, things are getting hairy, the Farc and ELN enemies are now reacting. Stay tuned.

  • What happens when tyrants (think Democraps here) get FOOL control of you country. They ROT it from the inside out.

    Venezuela, sadly, rotting from the inside out. You have to get rid of the ROT that started from the top down. California didn’t do that. Venezuela didn’t do that.

  • Thank you for this. The information you share with us is invaluable and very much appreciated by many like minded people.

    • You´re welcome, and thanks.

      Kind words like this are a truly encouragement to keep providing to the prepper´s community. There´s plenty more to come.

  • So I’m guessing you decided not to go back then?
    The similarities between Venezuela and the Balkans and other places like Africa aren’t flukes. The resources can’t be accessed and the events unfold in digression.
    Precious metal bartering is sketchy because I don’t know the value of it nor do I know a kuggerand from a maple leaf. I do know what a chicken is worth though.
    So many lessons in these briefs you give for us to learn.

    • @Matt in OK,
      I found the fact that silver was only going for $5 more than market (international) price surprising.
      If I were to guess, there are so few people with PMs, it does not have the value if it were a common currency.
      And, it is shiny. Nice to look at. But that chicken can feed you and yours for a day or three. And what is the going rate for a chicken? Might be dozen or so of those shiny coins.

    • Dear Matt,

      Oh, I am coming back.

      As soon as conditions are proper. I smell too much violence in the atmosphere coming up. If you read some news about El Paisa and the internal resistance being organized already, it´s gaining momentum and it´s just a matter of time before the constitutional military portions take over Maduro and the entire gang. They don´t have troops anymore. Just militia, bought up with some poultry or some other staple from time to time, and taken to the verge of fanaticism, that have never faced real combat nor are prepared to. The real soldiers can´t be armed and are starving (I know because I have seen pictures from inside). How much time do you believe this is going to last?
      Therefore, yes, I am coming back soon. My kids, sadly will have to be abroad for a while because of their schooling.

      PM are not much used for bartering now because many people can´t distinguish a good quality jewel of a fake one. My older kiddo, though used to work for some people and he learned pretty well, and the owner of that pawn shop bartered a lot with food and other stuff meanwhile he was in Venezuela, and he could invest his earnings (was paid in USDs) to provide his part of the bread.

  • The less ties you have to the system, the less control it has over you. Also the rule of three, one primary and two backups on all things (power, food, shelter, etc). I have a generator, solar panels, small wind generator, wood burning fireplace (dragon heater), garden, etc. I am not 100% self sufficient, but if it hit the osculating fan I am better off than most. I moved out of the city 11 years ago.

    However I see the same things going on here as Venezuela. Food shortages are predicted following the several years of bad weather and fires in our farming areas. Look for high prices. The politicians are spending money beyond what we have, but also giving it away to other countries. Silver is artificially kept down, but I may not want to sell you my food for silver. Although silver has a lot of industrial and medical uses. Can you say soldering, computer & cell phone wires and colloidal silver? The number of homeless people is growing. Don’t tell me the economy is good when thousands are being laid off from business closures. Now Trump signed an EO to take away all controls on GMO foods. If you are worried about your health or the next meal, then you aren’t worried about politics.

    The push to rewrite history and wipe out our past is being increased for political agenda. Did you know the General Robert E. Lee thought slavery was horrid. Before the civil war he had already freed all his salves. He was well respected by the north and south, top of his class in west point. Lincoln wanted make him the head of the Union army. Lee was a Virginian and went with his state. There was no such thing as a U.S. Citizen until after the civil war.

    For those who don’t read true history, the war between the states was not about slavery, but commerce. Lee and his wife had adopted black children. Yet, he is being disrespected and wiped from our history. Remember Gen. Sherman let his men pillage, raped and burned against the civilian population. He was a true war criminal. He made the Nazi look like children. Yet our history is being rewritten and wiped out. If you don’t read history, then you are doomed to relive it. We are becoming another Venezuela.

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