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Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez: the cause of emigration

By Reinaldo Rolo

Over the last few weeks I have experienced a series of events, and seen a couple of TV programs that have made me remember how much I miss my country, my family and friends. These somewhat involuntary circumstances have led me to reflect, once again, on the reasons why I am still leaving abroad. One reason, rather: Hugo Chavez.

I left Venezuela over 6 (long) years ago with the sole purpose of becoming a better professional by means of postgraduate education. I packed all my stuff with incredible enthusiasm because, in just a few years, I would be back with very valuable tools and knowledge that would help me contribute to the development of my country, not only through private, industrial practice, but also through academia.

Along came 1998 and Chavez with it. Many hopes were invested in him because of what he could potentially achieve. He had been given unrivalled political power so that he could deliver on his promises, many of which sounded quite good and reasonable at the time. This was the Promised Land, a president with good ideas and all the required support to implement tough, but necessary measures (including incarcerating the old, corrupt politicians). At least that’s the way I saw it at the time. Gosh! What a disappointment and deceit. We all know the story now, and it is not what we envisaged. But to be fair to many, we should have seen it coming. He is a true “golpista” with a lot of blood in his hands (remember the massacre of VTV personnel in 1992), and when you look back, he actually used to give some faint tips of his real stance.

Anyway, I am trapped. Many of my close friends and family know of all the times I have thought about going back to Venezuela, only to be discouraged by every single one of them. There is no work, instability is nerve wrecking and personal safety is all but inexistent.

So, what should people like me do? Go back and try to fight now, or stay abroad gaining experience until things get clearer? I sometimes feel selfish for doing the latter. The problem is that with such a fragile economy there are no clear opportunities for many of us to try to lead a decent life there. And unfortunately, contrary to Chavez’s ideas, one can not live with hunger and bare feet for the sake of his revolution.

One thing is clear, though. My heart is breaking apart as a result of the way in which these thugs are ruining our country, and by how many so-called intellectuals and international political leaders still turn a blind eye on the situation. I truly hope justice, divine or otherwise, will one day arrive.

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