The Collapse of Venezuela Was “a systematic destruction to seize our freedom”

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Editor’s Note: As we begin to become more concerned about the possibility of our own economic collapse, it’s important to see what has happened in other countries. Today, Jose explains how the collapse of Venezuela was deliberately engineered to make the populace bend to the will of a dictatorship. It didn’t happen all at once and most people never saw it coming until it was too late, and they were starving, oppressed, and dying. ~ Daisy

The Collapse of Venezuela Was “a systematic destruction to seize our freedom”

In this article, I would like to expose how this government-induced collapse has affected the psychological health of the population. And I would like to make special emphasis on the word induced.  The nature of the corruption cases has been so large, and the damage to our economy has been so wide, with such devastating effects, that there is no any doubt that this could never have been generated by ignorance, lack of the needed aptitudes and skills, or plain and simple negligence, nor combination of all these factors.

This was a systematic destruction of our institutions, our government structure, and way of life, to allow the government, against the will of the people, to seize our freedom and our democratic system.

What is a crisis?

Let’s formally define what a crisis is.

A harmful, hazardous situation lived by a person or community as a consequence of an unexpected and sudden change in their living conditions. This situation is a threat to their welfare; physical integrity, social and economic stability, and the usual way to face adversity.

This can result that the person crashes down, or otherwise, gets their guts together to overcome whatever they have to face. As it can be supposed, the magnitude of the impact is proportional to the threat, to the personality and the previous mind and body health of the individuals, of the support they could have,  and most importantly…of the preparedness level the people had.

The impact has been divided by the experts into 3 stages:

Stage 1: The Warning. This exists just when there is a previous warning between the initial awareness and the occurrence of the event, such as a hurricane. In this stage, the individuals shall be able to foresee the real dimension of the hazard to be able to act accordingly to mitigate or minimize the damage.

In unprepared communities the impact is huge. In the case of Venezuela there were a lot of things people could have done, but in our society the concept of preparedness is almost unknown, and this can´t be addressed enough. Even those who were aware of the possible situations, like us, saw our preppings swept out in a few months. A dictatorship taking place with bloody and lethal force was something that, despite what some readers may say, was not present even in the worst nightmares of Venezuelans.

Stage 2: The impact phase itself. The gangs took control of the food supply system, under the government’s eye in broad daylight. The military was designated via a presidential bill to seize food companies (including Cargill, and lots of other basic staples producing enterprises). The rationing became more and more common in the entire territory. Then a huge black market appeared, and medications and food disappeared suddenly. The military controlled a large corporation, CASA, in charge of IMPORTING food, instead of producing.

Huge business and bribes are involved here, therefore this was, to my eyes, one of the main signs about what was going to come, and I was not wrong. But the reactions are as different as persons. My main reaction was to prepare a “vacation” trip overseas, as our preps were not going to be enough and my job was a waste of precious time. The salary wouldn’t buy two weeks worth of food (now it does not cover even a week). So I bought my ticket 5 months before the trip and dedicated my time to other online jobs paid in foreign currency, to survive a few weeks while I could settle down and get my family out. Still a work in progress, though.

Having one of my most desired possessions in this world, a motorhome in good shape, would have saved us a LOT of money and it would be right now a very valuable asset. Renting an empty lot in a subdivision to park the RV, would have provided us a more solid condition to migrate.

Stage 3: The aftermath. The common feeling among my former coworkers who are in the middle of the collapse who did not prepare (basically all of them) are now struggling, and I mean, REALLY having a hard time. Their salary is not enough even for food. The benefits, like a full coverage medical insurance that was once the envy of the rest of the working class, are now useless. Doctors have migrated, there are no medications in the private hospitals either, and the coverage is not enough because of the high inflation rates. Those who worked 11 hours a day without developing a plan B, relying just on the company work, are getting their backsides kicked, and I am not lying: they STARVE.

Even with both of the adult members of the family working, their joint salary, benefits and special savings assignations the company provided (12,5% of the salary was additionally paid so the employees could have a savings ability) is not enough. A former coworker, engineer, and his wife, an engineer as well, told me via social networking that his family had been eating just white rice three days in a row. If this is not under your definition of collapse, then please let me know.

The rationing that should be once a week is not arriving to them but once every month and a half of the previous amount if they’re lucky. People want to get out and can’t. They need to buy food and can’t. They need medical care and can’t get it. They need to fix their cars and can’t afford the parts, not even an oil change. Crime is rampant. Kids have been kidnapped at gunpoint from the doors of their schools.

To me, this is the collapse. There was NOT any possible way to prepare for this, I think, other one than but bugging out  outside of the borders of that politically-induced mess until the dust settles down.

The reactions of the rest of the expat communities all over South America, the receivers of most of the Venezuelans who could leave, have been, in my opinion, appropriate. There have been blossoming NGOs to assist those who had to stay and those who are migrating in desperation.

There have been people who fell into such deep depression that they have commited suicide. Every week the news reports one or two self-inflicted deaths. Official media is under heavy censorship. This is not something that you are going to see in the world media.

In the hospitals, the children dying from malnutrition are registered with some other cause of death. Those pictures we used to see from Ethiopia, now we see it in the main social networks, but the children are white, with straight hair and clear brown or green eyes this time. But they are indeed starving, just like the Ethiopian people.

What could be done?

I am not the kind of person who stays sitting for too much time. I look for solutions to problems. It’s in my blood.

I am going to be creative now, and you will have to allow it to me so we, as a prepping community perhaps could submit some solutions. (I am already working in a project with nutrition specialists, agronomical engineers, and some other people with more experience in this stuff than I have.)

  1. Everyone with a small plot should start to grow assorted vegetables and fruit, under expert advising, focusing on a short crop cycle.
  2. The same should be done with those with land suited to have some cattle, mainly goats and pork, as these are short cycled and abundant.
  3. People in the cities, living in the barrios who are still working for a so-called salary should pack up their families and bug out, heading to the fields and rural communities. Crime, crowding-induced diseases, lack of water, and the general environment of desperation are taking their toll on the adults’ and children’s psyches. It is better to get to some friends’ farm or cottage and help as much as possible to feed the family than to stay in a barrio under gang control. There have been shadowy reports about the gangs getting stronger, to the point they have actually taken young woman as sex slaves.
  4. The communities should organize themselves to avoid robbery of their production. This is now a more and more common situation. If someone grows anything in their backyard, neighbors will trespass in the middle of the night once the crop is ripe to feed their own starving children. This happened several times to one of my plumbing freelancers. He packed, sold the house in that crappy barrio, and went back to his original mountain place where he had a small plot on the property of his family, all of them farming people. Now they can feed their wonderful kids, they are healthy, and in a less populated, closer-knit community in their small original rural town. This was my advice to him, and it was great to see them leave and improve their life conditions.
  5. A local exchange trading system should be stablished in the communities, as the currency has no value. This is as old as humanity itself, I know. But now we have one advantage: we may stabilize and set up fair trades because we have access to information from other countries and their economies. In a town close to a river with pleny of fish, it should be cheaper than another one with lots of green hills for keeping goats. With a little research, a fair price for basic staples could be achieved.
  6. And last but not least, alternative energy production systems should be installed, the better systems with renewable sources that one can afford. I am a huge fan of closed cycle steam turbines. They can be fed with vegetable debris product of the cleaning and grooming of orchids and crop plots, and their output power rate is decent. Combine these with home made wind systems or small water steam turbines, and there is a lot of potential. And they can be made up with readily available parts: bike gears, 200-liter barrels, and old car alternators, farm equipment, old batteries, you get the picture. Someone close enough to your place needing light for the house, at night, could provide you with eggs for the week, and you provide power enough for a TV or a small fridge. Why this? Because our power grid is going to fail anytime soon. There is a union secretary in jail because he transmitted the warning. The government called him a traitor, accused him, and he is in the can now. Go figure.

That is what preppers do, after all, don’t we?

 In our Venezuelan example, with a worthless currency these solutions could be life-saving.

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:

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  • Everything that J.G. Martinez has stated is of common sense. It is good when everyone is calm, cool, and cooperative. On the face of it, the suggestions will work providing that there is no outside influence involved. But lets look at it realistically, shall we?

    The economy starts to fail and prices start to rise beyond the reach of the poor and middle class citizens. There are shortages of common items like bread, milk, gasoline and so on. Then there is a mass termination of the working class workers The companies that they work for can no longer support their work force. Now families are in peril, no food, no money, no shelter; all due to the lack of money coming into the home. This forces men and women into the streets looking for work, food and shelter. They are aggravated, depressed, upset, worried and concern about what will happen to them. In their minds they will say. “Why this person and NOT Me!” They start looking for easy targets from which they can get their supplies from. Whether they seek these simple targets on their own or wait until the “MOB MENTALITY” takes over.

    Mob Mentality occurs when there is a large amount of people that can not be singled out as individuals. Sure the local authorities can determine if a person they know was apart of the Mob that broke into a store and looted it or destroyed it. But it is in the safety of the mob these people will operate from because they know that if the local authorities come after them then the mob will turn their attention to rescuing the offender because of the mentality of mob is this, “we are in this together. If they come after one of us then they need to come after all of us or none of us.”

    Mob Mentality is very fickle. These people are cowards except when in groups. They will turn of anyone, anything, at any time for any reason. They will even turn on themselves if the conditions are right. You need to look at the individuals in the mob to understand just how dangerous they really are. These people can come from all walks of life. They can come from the very rich to the very poor. It is how these people see themselves that is dangerous. If they see themselves as justified in their behavior or if they are entitled to get what they want; then any reasoning with them will be useless. If people act or react on an emotional level; then making sense of showing common sense will do little or no good. The only means of confronting a Mob or dealing with Mob Mentality is to show them the IMMEDIATE consequences – life or death. The threat of going to jail will only insight the mob to become violent or more violent. No one wants to be caught and captured while doing something that they know is wrong. But, when confronted with death or major harm the mob will think twice before confronting those with weapons.

    I have found that the individuals willing to join in the Mob Mentality is usually a person with little or no respect for others other than those in power to cause them harm, damage, or affect their lives. To others, they become very belligerent and offensive; but, if confronted by an authority figure(s) they will become pleasant, understanding, and forgiving. If this threat of authority is taken away then they will revert to their previous behavior, if not more so. This is the type of individual that will have no qualms taking from those that can not defend themselves. These are the opportunist. There is no way to deal with them on a calm level of understanding, they are in it for themselves and only for themselves. You must have the higher ground, advantage, over them if you are to win out. You must NEVER turn your back on them for they will sit and wait for the opportunity to pay you back, one way or another.( I have seen this in this country as well as in third world countries including Venezuela.) What is scary, I have found people like this in every country around the world, including the United States of America. You may think you know someone; until you don’t. (Lesson Learned.)

    So in conclusion, it is great that you follow the above common sense ideas; but, do so with a grain of salt. Keep your personal business private. Don’t disclose to anyone what you are doing or why you are doing it. Grow your fruits and vegetables, raise your livestock, but keep them on the QT, (you don’t want your neighbors to raid your garden and steal your live stock). It is good that you find like minded people willing to band together for safety sake, but, remember if a group of people come along and they out gun your people you may lose out – so plan to win, plan to survive, and plan your escape, just in case.

    I mentioned to plan to survive. Be Prepared for any and all emergencies. Learn to use alternate energy sources. Learn to use what is abundant in your area. Learn to hide your energy sources, again against thieves. Learn to have trade-able items that you can use in case of emergency. Know those whom you will be trading with, especially if there is a local trading system created. Don’t be flashy, don’t advertise what you have or your wealth because you will be a target for anyone/everyone that wants what you have whether they need it or not.

  • I wish that he had expanded more on the idea of an rv. I’ve often thought that an rv is a key to helping survive and thrive, but would be interested in his learned opinion.

    • Dear Sandra, thanks for your comment, and I will try to elaborate a little bit about it. Some time ago I had the opportunity to buy a small plot of land, in a mountains with a nice fresh, fair weather even in the tropics summer, enough to park a small RV and with a water well nearby. Bad thing is, the town close to this place grown up way too fast and in the barrio there are gangs. I have not been there in a while but I know how bad this can become with these thugs.

      An RV would have give us a lot of flexibility. We could have loaded it up, close our subdivision home and head to my parent´s place for a while, before everything in our state would go to heck, to Colombia (borders are closed on their side now for vehicles) or Brazil, much closer to our living place. With our pets. I could have avoid a lot of expenses.

      In South America there is not a lot of places to park an RV, and parking next to the road is just insane, at least in Venezuela, but boondocking with the permission of the authorities, close to a police station or a similar post, given the general crisis situation, would have been a relief for them. Just a family bugging out. We could have taken with us some valuable goodies that took us lots of work and time to get: a flat screen, microwave, the genset, and most of our gear like lots of LED lamps, the induction kitchen, our expensive cookware and so on. My survival gear is now reduced to a diving knife, an army canteen and a headlight. You can´t carry too much in an airplane. We could have rented a plot in other country, much cheaper, and have lots of independence. I just need an internet connection and 120v to make a living, and I could say that is my main survival skill.

      No matter the place, with an RV we could have bugged out a lot of time ago, and not to spend all this months far away from each other.

      My ideal setup would have been a diesel 4×4 pinzgauer with a custom made aluminum cabin, with a couple of extra comfortable seats, a good over the top A/C with a good setup of batteries and solar panels to run it, and an enclosed toy hauler to bring my bike and lots of equipment and supplies. Tough, simple to repair, military grade reliability, diesel fueled….I found a couple back in its moment but they were 6×6 and that is too much maintenance in tires and brakes, kind of an overkill because my idea is not off road to the top of a mountain, and we don´t have snow down here; but crossing a river out of its path or even facing a flooding in the Caracas highways, as already happened several times, or a meter and a half of water after some illegal water reservoirs lost their integrity. We had to go by a muddy backroad, and you would be AMAZED to see what a 1981 Mustang can do in a 200 meters slippery, one and a half foot of mud, in the skilled, highly nervous but adventurous hand of a Venezuelan prepper. Car never lost traction.

      I should have sold the RV before her stroke, at a fair price before people started to desperate (market now for selling something is incredibly hard, everyone is selling their toys) bought the RV / Pinzy as a backup for long travels (that was the main reason to buy the SUV), and bought a small, El Cheapo daily driver so the wife could take the kid to the school in the rainy season without having to swim in the flooded streets.

      There is another threat now: the government seizing the properties of those who are migrating. Just like Cuba. No one cared about coming back to that crappy island, producers of just sugar cane and tobacco so they just leaved it like that. I am selling my place but paperwork for taxes, mortgage payment (good thing is, the inflation ate out our mortgage debt, pay it is a joke, paying it with a couple of eggs they would have to give me change…if I had a laying hen) and similar is messy, because a lot of government employees have gone. If this seizing does not occur, and the government just finishes by falling apart (as everyone knows goes to happen), I would have a great RV, a plot of land 20 minutes from the beach, and another one in my parent´s place, 600 kms from there where I could grow andinean grains, chicken, fruits, and vegetables, perhaps even with a satellite internet connection I would be entirely settled. That would be great don´t you think?. I could find a plot in the mountains surrounding Caracas, in a nice subdivision so my kid could have a wonderful education, and the weekends we could go to my parent´s place.

      There is a lot of advantages for me having bought an RV when I could. Oh, and a money parachute in the bank product of the remaining of the house sale.

      My country is much much richer, much more complete, and with lots of industrial and oil&gas production infrastructure. That is why I am still as a tourist, until I can set my temporary residence permit. I plan to travel to my home again, if I can, after I leave my family here settled down, no matter how bad things could be. These reports are going to be interesting for you because I could taste the change in the atmosphere.

      Jeez I made this longer than I thought :).

  • To comment on solution number two, I believe raising rabbits and meat chickens will be your fastest and most easily and efficiently harvested animals for meat consumption.

    Although I do not disagree that the government of Venezuela is complicit in its own down fall, and as usual is doubling down on the same (or worse) policies of inducing collapse, I would be curious about the authors thoughts on the possibility that some form of outside influence has not helped these conditions to accelerate. My opinion is that the current conditions and more specifically the build up to these current conditions has outside economic, bribery, black mail and coercion all over it. These conditions remind me of paint by numbers, in time, real world execution of the strategies of the shadowy economic hit man and or covert intelligence agencies modus operandi, that of which has a long history within South America. If I remember correctly Venezuela was the wealthiest country in South America with ample petroleum reserves, it all so was talking about ditching the dollar and other anti western stances. Remembering under Chavez, his constant (and probably rightfully so) anti western, specifically the U.S. policies towards many South American countries.

    • Dear Black Cat,

      Under the Allende ruling in Chile there was indeed some sort of similar situation, and perhaps the real history shows nowadays, that indeed this outside participation was present to some degree.

      However, as a serious writer/researcher, without some sort of solid reference, it is not possible to state this for must of us without insider sources.

      Under this light, I do can testify that every single company or facility that the government has seized is no longer functional, and I mean food, car batteries factories, tires, fertilizers, steel, rebar, cement, and a lot of similar production assets. This is not just plain ineptitude, it is an entire conspiracy.

      Hardly this could be attributed to some foreign plot other than China and Russia taking over the country under the pleasuring eyes of the corrupted rulers. Most of the “managers” of such factories are military personnel, medium range, without other work experience than having privates clean their AKs and boots, without any knowledge about producing anything to get a profit and keep a business running. Nor there is any interest in producing because they receive bribes to NOT produce, so the importers mafia who receive the “assignment” of dollars can keep importing. I hope this provides some inside perspective to one of the real problems, perhaps the worst: the military and their corruption.

      It´s that simple.

    • Black Cat — As a military & civilian analyst, the Government has imported approx. 30,000 Cubans, much like Grrenada in 1983.
      Maduro is a surraget, Socialista/Communist. In order to convert a political concept to reality, Jose has noted the steps in human terms for an
      open restructuring of society. In essence, “O” policies with the aquesence of the left in the Unite States ( HRC, Kerry, etc ) has reopened the
      door which was traditionally closed.
      For the citizen, studying Jose’s work is quite valuable, while to comprehend the political manipulation a different set of eyes in necessary. Just one example: When the war in Spain was concluded, the communists were ordered out. This is not to show any love for Franco, just the actions.
      The 250,000 ( refugees ) were eventually sent to Central & South American countries. The same structure that Franco destroyed is arising in Venezuela. Actually it was latent to some degree, that degree was the creeping aspect, the nudging as it were.
      Kindest to all and Jose, godspeed.

      • Mr. Powell What sort of physiological babble are you talking about? You virtually said nothing that made any sense, at all. I AM a military analyst and I happen to be there in Grenada in 1983. For all that you have said, I will need a large shovel and a large dup truck. Welcome to Earth!

        • Jumpoffa

          Please elaborate a little bit more, I am sort of confused about your comment because Powell mentions some evident facts, as the bus driver being a commie, and he wants to change the structure of our society just like Stalin did. There have been some speeches (I would try to look for some references in English) where he has mentioned reeducation camps for protesters, for Christ sake…. The Grenada issue was a true eye opener for many of my coworkers, when we learned after a meeting that turned out to be a political indoctrination meeting instead of a technical/engineering one. What I see as somehow not so evident is the relationship between the Spanish expats and the structure that tried (because is no longer working effectively) to arise and change our democratic system to that Cuban parody. On the contrary, most of the Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish refugees despite being mostly peasants, merchants, and uneducated laborers, were hard working, honest, proficient and they loved the country that received them with open arms as much as their own. They were sick about political struggles, and hardly they could identify themselves with communist ideas and wanted to make a decent living, having a family and such.

          My grandpa was one of them, and he never came back to Europe even when my grand-grandpa asked him to do so.

          • Jose,your writer,

            With all due respect to Mr. Powell who claimed to be a military & civilian analyst I found his comments to be disjointed in their thought process and his claims of his credentials dubious. For 20 years, I was privileged to be a member of Military Intelligence Community known as PSYOPS, Psychological Operations. My services covered Ft. Bragg, NC, Ft. Huachuca, Az, the Presidio of San Francisco and the Pentagon, Washington D.C. In conjunction with the PSYOPS Community I also worked with our sister unit Civil Affairs.

            PSYOPS over all mission is to attack and defeat the enemy by making them to do or don’t do what you want them to do. An example is dropping leaflets over the enemy telling them that they are to surrender. In doing so they will be treated well, be given food and medication and wait out the war in safety. After they war they will be allowed to go home. During Desert Storm this is what did occur and we had more prisoners of war than anticipated but we kept our word and they went home after the war was over.

            Another function of PSYOPS is to transmit messages of disinformation, much like Tokyo Rose did during WWII in the South Pacific. There are other functions that PSYOPS can do but I won’t go into details at this time. It should be sufficient to say that we study our enemies and see how they interact with their people, neighbors, the world community and so on.

            Civil Affairs Command has the responsibility to re-establish a functional government when the prior or previous government has been destroyed. Civil Affairs and PSYOPS work hand-in-hand to create a stable government and therefore a country.

            We understand that foreign Governments fear their people. They will attack a group of people either through their ethnicity, religious beliefs, location in which they live or just the colour of their skin. There are many current examples of these occurrences and the atrocities that followed. I have found that a bully government will try and “re-educate” the weak, ignorant, or dissident to bend them to their will. Usually under the guise of re-education camps. These are concentration camps, make no mistake about it. To a country like the United States of America, we find such actions reprehensible, an abomination on the freedom that all people deserve and should have.

            In 1983 I was sent to Grenada to get the Cubans off the island with force. We were also sent there to rescue American students that were going to medical school to become doctors and stop the spread of Cuban influence.

            What the Cubans tried to do is create an understanding with the surrounding population by subjecting the population to their ideology. This was a three fold tactic. Get the people to understand what is expected of them from their invaders. Second, it gives the Cubans a good idea as to what to expect from the civilian population. Will they put up a fight? Will they behave and do as they are told? Are they educated and if so to what extent. A person with an education is more difficult to manipulate than an ignorant person. The Cubans get to see how the general population view themselves, in their own community, their government, and in the world community. Third, the Cubans made certain that they controlled everything. They controlled the import and export of goods, fuels, information and etcetera.

            So when we, the USA, invaded the island, the Cubans made sure that all information ceased. The population had no idea that America was coming to rescue them until we did. The Government of Grenada soon was reestablished and with the help from the USA as if they didn’t miss a beat.

            Now I can tell how the population of Grenada acted and behaved when they were confronted by the Cubans, how they were treated and so on; only because they told me. It would be hearsay evidence.

            You sir, can speak from your adventures in Venezuela. I know it was an ordeal, it was scary, and horrifying. You couldn’t depend upon what was up or down. We can all take lesson from your saga and sage advice. My grandparents told me tales when they were sent to a concentration camp in the Ukraine in 1938 by the Nazi’s. Your tales are set in modern times. Their tales were set in a so called “by-gone” era. The fact remains is this: It is the same dance, only the beat is different. The results are the same, human misery, unnecessary deaths, and destruction on a mass scale.

            Now, Jose I think I stated my position sufficiently compared to Mr. Powell and his ramblings and obscure references poorly put together. I can tell you what I had learn in Beirut, Lebanon or during my tour of duty in Desert Storm or Afghanistan. The same thing happen there as it did in Venezuela, Bosnia & Sarajevo, Ukraine and Nazi Germany.

            If we fall to learn the lessons of our past; we are condemn to repeat them again and again. That is why it is up to people like you to remind us and avoid at all cost the same traps and dangers you had to faced. It is up to you to teach us how to prepare for the inevitable . You see it happen here in America too when we put Japanese Americans into interment camps during WWII and Arab Americans during Desert Storm.

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