Venezuela

It’s Christmas Eve, I’m getting ready for dinner with my family, I’m drinking a glass of wine and I can hear my Mom’s speakers playing Revolution by The Beatles; everything seems exactly the same as it was a couple years ago, yet ironically, it’s a so-called “Revolution” that has changed it all.

Leaving Venezuela has been one of the hardest choices I’ve ever made, yet one of the most rewarding by far. Living in the States, if only for 4 months so far, has changed my perspective on life and led me to appreciate what we Venezuelans have that we so frequently take for granted, love. A love for our family, a love for our friends and a love for ourselves as a community. Granted, this love has been tainted, it’s been diluted with politics, fear, jealousy and hatred but it’s still at the core of who we are as Venezuelans. It’s what I’ve missed the most these past few months.

We as Venezuelans live a dual existence because of this love. As I heard our national anthem being played when Maickel Melamed crossed the finish line of the NYC Marathon and when La Vida Boheme started playing on the MTV Iggy stage, I had never felt such pride and warmth. But not a week later, reality hit me like a pile of bricks. I got the news that a dear friend was killed by a mugger. It was devastating, he became a number, one of the many who are killed everyday in Caracas. This internal struggle of pride and disgust is what we all feel everyday. Most of us love our country, but we can’t stay here if we want to build a future for ourselves. In Venezuela, it can be taken away from us with the pull of a trigger when we least expect it.

I love my country, I seriously do. I’ve fought for it, I’ve cried for it and I’ve bled for it, but living here has become a fool’s choice. I might just be a fool then. As I hear my mom setting the table and The Beatles still playing, I can’t imagine being anywhere else for the holidays. Maybe the circumstances will push me away from Venezuela for a while, but I’ll still come back, I need that love we all have to be happy, this is my place in the world.

See ya,

Kris.

P.S.: Happy holidays.

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