This I Believe

Jessica - Sacramento, California
Entered on May 22, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope
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I Believe Venezuela Will Become the Serene and Independent Country It Should have always been with the help of President Chavez

I believe that the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frías, has the power to change the current status of the country’s economic, social, and political values. Anybody who denies Chavez has done something for the country is being blindfolded by their personal insecurities or they are simply afraid of change, as most humans are, but since day one way before the elections of 1999, Chavez let his actions speak for themselves. First I have to let you know that in Venezuela the powerful people are also wealthy and openly accepted by many international corporations, while the middle and low classes are stirred in the heat of boycotts, rallies, and coups that involve speaking in their own voice and defending their rights as civilians. What is the big difference between Chavez and the regimes preceding his government?

This president resided in the so called low or middle class society and this classification leads to an understanding of his strategy for maintaining a country, and at the same time coping with his ability to relate to the majority of the population in Venezuela. He was raised with the idea of being able to make a difference and stand up for his rights without a great amount of riches. This was the same criteria I was raised by: that without money I would have to generate solutions on my own or with my family in order to develop a positive change for the vast majority of the nation’s citizens, and not only those empowered by their own means or through the government’s wealth. Growing up as a middle class Venezuelan makes the “do it yourself” a theory that all people economically equal to you apply in their own life. Believe me, after experiencing seventeen years of this social categorization, it has become part of my heart, mind, and soul. The “do it yourself” theory creates solutions to problems, it helps you find courage amongst weakness, and it aids you in relying on liberation and understanding within corresponding people. It flows through your blood, and stands against any kind of egocentric regime which evolves around the idea that those in favor of all the ideas of the powerful will have an advantage. As a result, the country’s land and people have been subject to suffering endlessly through corruption. When I lived in Venezuela, I got the idea that those people who did not have enough money to be transported in cars everyday, who could not live in guarded area of town, who relied on the government’s income for their salaries were a clear depiction of the effects of a terrible past bureaucracy. If you had no car, you used the bus, and just to give you a hint of what kind of insecurity and violence we are dealing with in this country, I will give you an example. Once I was on a “carrito”, a regular bus, with its windows wide open, with people crammed up hanging on to whatever held them, and usually one or two people were half way out of the car. As we were strolling through the city of Caracas, it was a day, not too long before one of the coups during this regime began. Suddenly everyone was kneeled down on the bus because people outside were shooting at each other. Is this the kind of incidents that have to occur before someone establishes an organized and non corrupt government? Even though I am stating this happened within Chavez’s rule, also notice my intention was to let you know the kind of extremes any common person with some money restrictions might encounter. The problem was not known as a problem until these troubles started to happen to the wealthy people, which is the saddest part.

That is why I believe Chavez is not only speaking for more than half of Venezuela’s population of low-middle class society, but he also connects the similar problems all Venezuelans are constantly having to deal with. He has grown consciousness in those who did not expect a threat to their families and themselves and to those who took their wealth for granted at some point in time. If we take the country as a whole, so is every existing cell inside it. I am one of many who strongly approve his movement towards creating an equal, liberal, democratic, and independent country, or should I say transforming it. Each day we grow more as a country and to many natives Chavez has put a light in our dreams in becoming and he has created less ignorance of Venezuelan’s toward the world and the world towards us.