Reflections on Bugging Out – the Venezuela Experience Edition
By J. G. Martinez D.
I mentioned in my previous article how, in a sadly surprising twist, people have started to leave Venezuela on foot. For those of you who did not know, there is a good reason for that: it was the only way for those with fewer resources. Walking to the frontier to Colombia, then across Ecuador, until arriving in Peru is not exactly what you could call easy. People have been murdered, children have died, accidents have occurred. Weather in some places is unbearable for Venezuelans, who are used to a fair, tropical humid and sunny environment. It’s not easy to keep a record of how many people has left: the authorities are not sealing the passports (of the few people who hold them) because they are aware that in the future this is going to be used for prosecution. Forcing people into displacement is a felony, just as the guerrilla did in Colombia. There are hidden roads called “trochas” (narrow trails in the open country that go straight through the unpatrolled Colombian border) used by people to leave. Of course, guerrilla, colectivos gangs, and national guards in the Venezuelan side control this and charge cash to let people go through. There are some coyotes as well, and some people decide to go with them, even with all the dangers involved. Colombian forces just can wait on their side, with some water, medical assistance, and food, so the people can continue walking to their destination.
Some years ago this was totally unthinkable. Things were not bad, indeed, but the continued ransacking and looting of the country’s wealth and the destruction of the production means, including our main industry, left us without jobs, without a functional chain supply for EVERYTHING, ranging from basic needs like spare parts for water pumping equipment, medicines and basic staples other than those who can be grown in a non-industrial scale. Now, it has become just a matter of time for some people, trying to survive long enough to receive the money from their relatives in other countries just to fly away.
Here is what led to the destruction of the food production system in Venezuela.
Let me elaborate a little bit in what I have learned of all this mess, especially regarding the food production system. Our food industry, albeit not being so developed like other countries, relied on imported supplies, ranging from seeds to some fertilizers and some other stuff that I can’t remember right now. Our population until this apocalypse was growing fast, and most of the people in the country are young. Or used to be. Food production rates were not enough to produce the needed amounts.
Therefore, the thugs in power started with an elaborated plot to, via the food importing, to deviate huge fortunes, the product of our oil revenues. This is a fact. Instead of injecting financial resources to the production infrastructure, they started to import (remember, this is a military government). Overwhelmingly overpriced, of course. The oil was over 100$ a barrel, so there was money to burn. Beef from Brazil, milk from Paraguay, fruits from Chile. Everything importable was being imported. With almost a million of square kms and pastures everywhere, those thieves were importing beef, sugar, rice, pasta, and chicken “because the enemies of the homeland did not want to produce food for the people”. That was the general speech, loudly publicized by the foamy mouths of the commies. And a lie that I hated since the beginning. My origins are farming country, not in the oil-producing states. I knew there was huge business going on with the oil that I, with my coworkers, worked our backsides off to get out from underground. But there was not too much we could do.
Those who tried to destroy that bunch of lies were declared “enemies of the people” even if they were part of their own gang, like former minister Eduardo Saman, who was in charge of the reactivation of the farming industry and was crushed by the corrupted gang that deviated oil revenues to import food. He was threatened, combated, and tossed out from a ridge to the most absolute oblivion, after being a red bone communist that seized land from their original owners to hand it over to “communes”…who are not producing even the half that same land capacity. This has been extensively documented and proven. Many of those commune members are now in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, or Argentina trying to make a decent living. Go figure.
Government corruption destroyed alternative industries.
I know what you’re thinking. “If they would have stayed instead of leaving out, they took the easy way, so f…them” and similar stuff. I know, because I asked myself those same questions. Our situation in the open country is not like the developed nations. Our schools are not the same, and our health infrastructure there, albeit uncle Hugo tried (and tried hard, I have to acknowledge this because I am a fair man, so please don’t shoot me) with that huge amount of money, to build something worthy, corruption was too much. I mean, you have good intentions, and build a huge hospital with 600 beds, with a project to take it to 1000 beds. Great. But what happens when, in the middle of the project, (that lasts perhaps 2 years because of the corrupted gang in charge of all the needed bureaucracy, from the land movement permits up to the functioning approval) the oil goes down up to…say 90$ and you have a budget deficit? Furthermore: say you, fighting against wind and tide, build the darn thing. Cool. You planned a working budget for that hospital, based on the oil price. But the oil production machinery is getting old, it wears at an accelerated rate, and there is no budget for maintenance because the socialist party can’t allow quotes for popular housing projects and that sort of stuff. All of this is to say, that our health and education infrastructure was made to work with OIL. No oil, no nothing. They destroyed the alternative industry that could be used, with a tax reform and some privileges and a proper handling of financial resources (just like any decent government team would do but I remember…these are a military corps) to finance and provide sustainability to that infrastructure that is now lying almost dead.
Imagine how the situations are in rural areas, where our food production is. No education because the teachers left. No medical care because the doctors left. No electrical power to grind the food for the cattle, nor powering the pumps to irrigate the crops. The few products that can be produced have to go through roadblocks and control points, subject to the greed of the guys controlling that…with families to feed, too. Asking the people to stay in the fields and grow, is something to think about.
Bugging out of Venezuela made sense, but I may return.
And this my dear, valuable fellows, is one of the most tangible causes for the massive bug out, that includes this humble writer of yours.
We have a huge problem that the rest of the world, especially Europe is having: young people leave the countryside, and goes to the cities looking for a “better” life.
That is multiplied by a factor of 100, with all the mess going around in Venezuela, the product of the communist invasion. I am not going to define this under other terms, because it is EXACTLY what it is. A FREAKING. COMMUNIST. INVASION. No need to sweeten that.
I live for the moment being, in one of the most populated cities in South America, fellows. And I am just THIS close to packing my gear and head to my homestead. I don’t care if there is no power. Don’t need that much either. I can makeshift a windmill or a bicycle stand with a car alternator and power a couple of batteries for lighting at night. I can make a chicken coop with my own hands and pedal over 10 kms downhill (the hard part is coming back but my bike is like 20 sprockets) to sell the eggs that are in my backpack. But breathing fresh air, drinking the water from my underground stream filled with minerals, and waking up every morning without the clock of the bedroom rent clicking in my head, knowing the corn will be ready to harvest in a few more days, feeling my cat is with me and that she is well-taken care of…that’s something I am starting to consider.
Everyone I have mentioned this has told me that I’m crazy. Coming back in that conditions instead of staying and fighting to make a living. But maybe I am just too tired to fight. Wherever we go, we have to fight to live.
It would be quite interesting to know what the prepper community has to say about me coming back to Venezuela.
Thanks for your much-needed assistance, and I wish you happiness and joy, with all my heart.
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
About the Author
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