I remember February 1999 when he got elected like a blurry memory that becomes a photograph. I watched the results on TV with my family, like many others, unaware that the man taking power would change our country and me forever. I was twelve years old, almost thirteen, and very excited about my upcoming birthday, March 5th. Back then I had no idea that the new President and I, would share life and death anniversaries. Time was infinite in those days and dreaming too. I remember I couldn’t wait to be fifteen and maybe get to visit New York or somewhere else, some wonderful place. I was so eager to grow, just like my country, but of course, I couldn’t even grasp the idea of the events to follow.
Chavez? He was just another president to me, as much as I was another “Oligarch Imperialist” child in the country he was “revolutionizing.” So, I grew up being told by our Commander in Chief that I didn’t want the best for my people, just because I was born in a family that didn’t support him as a political leader. We were all traitors for all he was concerned.
Before Chavez, my parents were the kind to stay away from political dogmas. But, that didn’t matter because in his eyes we were always going to be enemies of his Bolivarian Revolution, thus Venezuela. Could it be true? Where we the bad guys? I never felt like he was right. I knew that our main dislike was never his supporters or socialist ideas. Our true reason to not support the Revolution was its propagandist nature and little take of action. Plus, of course, the dividing and condescending message in the speech of its leader. Because if there is something I believe is that the truth should not be imposed.
So, I meditate about the last fourteen years and how things have unfolded. I remember how frustrating it became as a teenager, thinking that he may be in power for the rest of his life, which it seemed like forever back then and ultimately unfair for our generation. Where we ever going to get a chance?
I also look back at my family’s history and the stories my parents would tell about their childhood and youth. Tales of growing up in “Democracy,” which for who doesn’t know, it has never been the system of choice for our little big country. I recall stories of Venezuela going through its oil boom in the 60s and 70s. How those years of financial growth created a shared belief in our society that someday every Venezuelan was going to be profited by the riches of our black gold.
But then, I also look at our society and the extreme poverty some live in and how unfair it is, to be at the bottom of the food chain, in a country with such underlined Darwinist theories. I look at all that and more, and then, I may start to see Chavez’s point, when he unconsciously ostracized a young Venezuelan girl, who ended up migrating and setting roots in that so called Empire he loathed so much. How ironic!
The thing about not liking Chavez is that many automatically assume you don’t like socialism or are against social movements. But, the thing with political ideologies is that they can be misused and misunderstood very easily, and a lot of people really don’t see that saying Socialist Revolution doesn’t really imply advancement. I wish I could say our country is a model to follow but I can’t say that when history repeats itself and washed brains run a society, with no scruples when it comes to filling their pockets, with the money of the same people they claim to be saving. It’s the curse of oil I think. It’s the tart drug that runs our economy and fills our government with truly greedy people. A real shame when there is so much potential for growth.
It can be difficult having to be a spectator in this world where we still suffer from the same social illnesses. Hugo Chavez alienated his opposites seeking to become an omnipotent icon, and he succeeded, as we can see millions of Venezuelans mourning his death and fearing a future without their self-proclaimed God. He divided and conquered. He monopolized power in very strategic ways that seemed lawful and democratic. We can almost call him an innovator in the Totalitarian ways of government.
Venezuela post-Chavez shall be an interesting place, but I hope that finally, we will be able to breathe as one country, leaving our differences behind and move forward with the real Revolution that doesn’t lay in the hands of the government, but in every Venezuelan’s desire to renew our story for the History books of the next generation.
This new stage of your life, it’s quite different from the last one, especially in the communication area where there has been a lot of improvement, though it is still a little frustrating because your little head knows more than you can express, so language still can be a source of anger, but every day new words come out of your mouth so we are definitely understanding each other better, which I feel has made our bond really strong and I am really proud of that. I can see why they say that Mom is not who had you, but who loved you and raised you because blood is nothing without trust and familiarity.
Onto the Words!
+ Lala - Means Elmo. Derived from the theme song of the little red monster’s show. (Lalalala Lalalala, Elmo’s World).
+ NO - Your favorite word, although you have recently been nodding YES as well. We even play what I call the conflict game. You nod No and I nod Yes, when suddenly, everything turns into a dance and we are both shaking our heads like crazy people. It’s actually pretty fun! I have to say therapeutic as well, especially when somebody just threw her plate of beans all over the floor.
+ Ky - also known as Sky.
+ Appy - Happy
+ Pie - Foot in Spanish, not the eating kind of pie. Pronunciation Pee-eh
+ Quack - You are obsessed with ducks and chickens.
+ Ba (Yo Gabba Gabba or Bath)
+ Dame (Give me in Spanish)
+ Gim da (Give me that in English)
+ Where go? (First sentence)
+ There is
+ Baby Bear
+ Go Baby
Plus, an array of words that come directly from your genuine desire to communicate, but make no sense whatsoever in the languages that I understand, so, I’m trying to crack the code, more and more everyday, but, I know it will come at its time, so I just focus on giving you all sorts of stimulation so you can figure out the world on your own.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 5th 2013 I will turn 27 and Thursday you will be 18 months. Yes! We keep growing. But, your Dad will always be the old one, he will be 35 next month.