Today’s Venezuela is in a crisis where adults do not go out to work and children do not attend school. Venezuelans spend the day looking for water, food, fuel, and medicine. They live in the shadows of a chronic and unpredictable rationing of water and electricity. In today’s Venezuela children starve and their mothers can do nothing for them. This is a Venezuela where they arrest doctors who dare to say that there are no medicines to treat their patients. Our family members share the odyssey of going to five health centers in search of a blood transfusion. They tell us how people die due to complications from diabetes and asthma in the hallways of hospitals. We hear with anguish and frustration the stories of those who live in the rubble of a country that was at one point the most prosperous in Latin America.
For Venezuelans who are abroad the fundamental question is: where is our fatherland? At a recent meeting of Casa Venezuela in Arizona, that was the question that framed the evening. We gathered to remember the importance of keeping ourselves strong so we can continue to help our family and friends who are still living in Venezuela. How many years have you lived here? The answer varies: 18 years, 36 years, 3 months.
“They say the government will fall in August,” someone says. On hearing that comment the faces of those present reflect a mixture of emotions that we hide during everyday life: hope, uncertainty, and sadness. What we all have in common is that we all yearn for our Venezuela, our people. Because no matter how many years ago we left our country, we will always be Venezuelan: zulians, cumanenses, corianos, caraqueños. We have gathered to seek peace, encouragement, hope.
Where is the fatherland? Venezuela lives in every one of us; In the memory and heart of every Venezuelan, no matter where we are. Venezuela is in Colombia, Peru, Argentina and in so many other countries that have opened their doors for us. The fatherland we carry in our soul, in our dreams, in our yearning, and in our roots. Venezuela lives in bits and pieces in every one of us.
And when the doors open, we must return to restore the Venezuela that has been scattered all over the world. We will come to rebuild the country that gave us so much. When we return, we will kiss the ground where we grew up. Some of us will kiss the graves of the parents who stayed behind. Because to rescue Venezuela, all hands, minds and hearts will be needed. Venezuela will be rebuilt by all Venezuelans. It is not someone else´s work but ours. Venezuela will be like the Phoenix and it will emerge from the ashes much stronger and prosperous than ever.
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