A propósito de The Venezuelans
Mi comentario (en ingles) en respuesta a esta entrada de blog ya que nunca fue publicado:
After reading this post a couple of times, and the comments, I only feel a mixture of sadness and anger.
Let me be clear: I think the blogger has written it out of good will and by and large she has been very objective. I don’t expect her to know the intricacies of Venezuelan politics neither I expect her to know the dark side of things. That Venezuelans are warm and loving people, are they really?
Let me explain where I am coming from and the main critic to this article. There is nothing here, absolutely nothing, that you could say it is something intrinsic to the Venezuelans. “This is a Venezuelan trait” for instance. All what I’m seeing here is the by-product of the lack of a State, a Government and the Rule of Law. The lack of a functional society and its institutions. There is nothing to feel proud about it, nothing to celebrate, unless you have a brother, or a sister, or a relative, which is completely paralysed from head to toe, in a wheel chair, but with a massive smile in the face simply because how the muscular dystrophy worked out. So the equivalent will be that you feel proud about this relative because “YES he or she is f’ up but look his/her beautiful smile in his/her face. Isn’t it wonderful?”
Stephen Hawking is always with a smile in his face by the way. Wonder if his enjoying the ride.
So my critic is about not going to the next stage of analysis and try to question not only how Venezuelans are but WHY they are like that.
As for the comments they are only an illustration of the same thing. People feeling proud because a Norwegian likes an arepa like if it was bloody Mana falling from the skies. God move on! Or because Venezuelans are “helpful” because a guy in a restaurant and his fifteen headcount family had an opinion on what you should eat. That’s for me is called a bloody nuisance, that’s not been helpful!
The flip side of this “helpfulness” is people getting their snout into every single aspect of your life. Fine if you are an average guy but if you deviate from the norm, and I mean with this the political norm for instance if you happen to be in the wrong territory, good luck for you!
So yes this is an article written like if an alien would have come to Earth with little knowledge about sociology, anthropology and History. A bit patronising to be honest but I understand the reasons why and I’m not judging the author. In any tribe or chiefdom you will find the same wonderful traits including the noise and the dancing and with probably less killings per one hundred thousand people.
YES it’s nice to have those qualities BUT only if you have already a functional state, government, democracy or whatever you call it. Of course! Call it Denmark, Scotland, I don’t know Canada but I know they have a socialist state. There aren’t many countries in the world that happily combine a social safety net and the warmth of their people. Normally they are inversely correlated hence the shock for you coming from Norway; one of the countries with one of the best welfare states in the world. That people are distant and a have huge respect for their space, well that’s what I would expect!
Am I too ANAL here? Too picky? A little bit of an asshole? Absolutely. Mala leche es lo que nos hace falta!
I have no hope in this country. That people living there has this or that opinion fine, but “expats” living abroad after God knows how many years feel somehow proud about it… Where are they living? In a Venezuelan ghetto listening regueton and eating arepas three times a day?
So no I don’t feel proud about adaptations, because these is what they are. Adaptations to chaos, frustrations, lack of the rule of law, lack of a State, lack of a society, etc, etc. I either don’t feel proud about natural accidents like a mountain there, or a river here. The same friendly–helpful–warm and loving– funny and laughing–disorganised–loud–food loving–not very punctual–patient–party goers–dancing lovers–rule breakers- talkative and superstitious (nice euphemism to call us believers), among other things, I can guarantee, will also feel very proud about a natural accident that either them nor any human inhabitant of that country had nothing to do with it.
So what is the celebration here?