Here is a bit of an update about basic everyday life in Venezuela, and the troubles people are facing these days as the situation continues to evolve. This covers a few different topics.
Home defense and personal security away from town
A reader asked about how people homesteading are dealing with the thieves and personal security away from town.
The short answer is, not so good. Anyone who could see a dozen starving people chasing a horse or a cow in the last footage back 2 or 3 years ago, to kill it instantly and tear it apart knows what I´m talking about.
I´d written a little bit about that, but at the public´s request, I will write an update.
Traditionally, in Venezuela private property respect is…somehow a grey area.
Criminals know people can´t be armed and they take advantage of that. No surprises there.
The good thing is, when someone living in a cottage, or a faraway farm is armed and responds to the aggression, usually the world ends up being a better place. The gang stays, wondering why some of their members disappeared, and they start to concern themselves about their numbers being too short to keep intimidating. That being said, some certain trees here and there inside that farm grow really superbly after one of those incursions…
Industry remains at a halt.
One of my cousins is going through hardship these years. Her husband works in the building industry, and as you may already suppose, there is no industry any longer to support these workers. Everything is at a halt. This is highly concerning. I myself have been affected because of this, as you must know. If the oil industry doesn´t get back on track anytime soon, how am I supposed to come back home?
And shadowy thoughts start flowing into my mind. Working temp jobs really is a pain. No medical insurance, nor a good school for kiddo. Dang, it´s hard. Could I come back someday and live there again? I have come, after 3 years abroad, to question myself this more and more.
One of my cousins there has told me that, should I think about coming back, I had better think about it very carefully. She says they´ve been growing some crops, but the general state of their local economy is crappy, to say the least. They have food, but the quality and amount is not the same without commercial fertilizers. I suggested she look for qualified assistance ASAP. She´s city people, never lived in the open country until now, when her husband received a patch of land as an inheritance. They live too far away from anyone – including people who might help them, and personal safety there is a concern. Roads to their place have been neglected maintenance for years, and they are torture to drive or ride on. Supplies are scarce because of this. Getting a car in good shape is incredibly hard if people are not skillful with maintenance and don´t establish a careful budget to follow.
Regarding the NCV-2019, people seem not to be quite concerned. China is pretty far away, they say.
But we have an uncontrolled international airport, in our capital city, Caracas, within a day’s ride of every major city in the country. An infected person could be on the opposite side of my wonderful country in less than 10 hours, driving. An open mind has never been a trait of most Venezuelan people. Precautions for the future, neither. People seem to be quite busy feeding themselves, to waste time in concerns. Information is fragmented, incomplete and outdated, too, as it is to be expected under an internet control and monitoring, and an informational blackout. Most of the population seems to have surrendered to this status quo, though.
However, it seems this virus doesn´t seem to like warm climates. We should be good, as long as it doesn´t mutate and decide start visiting the Caribbean.
Now we arrive to this point, there is something I want to mention.
It is the fuel situation. I´ve received mixed and contradictory information. Allow me to provide a quick picture. The West of the country has a long time oil-producing tradition. The East has some refineries as well, but not as big as those in the West, in Paraguana.
Nowadays, in order to paralyze the country up to a degree the invaders needed, oil production is not there: the little crude being produced is destined to pay the mercenaries armies, and the largest refinery in all of Latin America is not producing anything, guts corroding slowly as we speak. Gasoline, engine oil, and other derivatives are running low now. Of course, all of this is happening, and regular people tries to keep on going with their “regular” lives, the best way they can. But scarcity and lines in the gas station are common. Rationing is in place, by the last number of your plate. 30 liters for cars per week, 15 liters for motorcycles.
If something happens, like an outbreak hits or some other danger, how are you going to bug out, if you need 120 liters to arrive to your place? Once you get there, you need the car to move around. It´s almost a fact you´re not going to get any: gas stations nearby are not going to be considered a priority.
This is what I consider the worst part of the collapse: inner cities and towns are just being thrown into the oblivion. And that p**ses the heck out of me. Pardon my French. It´s like receiving kicks after you´re lying on the floor.
And even worse, I´d already researched (six months before having to flee) the purchase of a diesel quad: they can be bought as farming equipment, and being a rural town there is no problem for getting into town to repost or look for supplies. I have even some notes in order to makeshift one, if things got bad. As they have gotten, indeed. They are slow, meaning they´re not going to be a thief´s choice. And they have plenty of uses in a cottage.
And, as you have learned by now from this experience, the only available fuel without having to get in line at 4 am until noon, the only fuel you´re able to buy on foot in a station, with your jerry can…is diesel. The good, old, diesel. The same diesel they use in their troop carriers to mobilize the personnel to harass civilians in demonstrations. No scarcity, it´s always there. Just for the civilians in the know. Some other geniuses modified their Japanese diesel trucks, installing gasoline engines. Now they want to sell those frankentrucks like the big thing. “Runs faster, spares are cheaper, everyone can fix it,” they say. It runs faster, yeah, but only when you can find fuel and it is the day of your rationing.
One of my friends keeps complaining about having to get in line to refill his tank. I told him one year ago to get rid of his cage and get a good chevy truck with a diesel, auto transmission equipped, as he is a gentleman and has to consider his wifey. We´re colleagues; he´s an engineer, too, and even so, he laughed at me when I told him to ditch the gasoline engine for good. Now he doesn´t. Maybe in a few months, he will come to me, asking for some assistance in trading his beloved Japanese sedan for something that could run even on wasted engine oil.
My birthday came in, and we had a Twinkie in my bedroom with my kiddo and my immediate family via the internet singing happy birthday on Skype. Anecdotical data that will make us appreciate the good times ahead.
Any of these items will be useful for my future life in the cottage once I´ve gone back to my homeland. Ammo cases for example, instead of carrying ammunition, will be used to design a new “adventure” bike rack, suited for preppers, and I have not seen commercially available nothing like that. I could build them by the dozen myself, with my CNC machine, and have them available. The design will be simple, reliable, and affordable.
It is now time to do some good business. That is for those like me, who want to come back someday.
The problem is the scarcity of materials like thick, good quality aluminum plates in Venezuela to proceed with a serious business.
Commies made sure to destroy every major employment source to take over the country. Anyway, technical problems can be sorted out somehow, and as much as we have some degree of freedom for currency exchange (that being the main indication that made me flee away in the first place), we could hang on until we end by resolving this situation.
Want a hint?
We have common, and very insidious enemies.
America must unite. The North, the Center, and the South. And we’ll be invincible.
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