Sometimes it is important to take a step back to see the full picture. I do this a LOT. In doing so, I have been made aware of many things that I find difficult to accept, because they´re simply anti-human. For example, forcibly imposing a vaccine developed in only a few months.
Governments all over the world seem to be having similar knee-jerk reactions to the aftermath of SARS-CoV-2. These “standard measures” sound more like an attempt to divert attention away from those who are starving and struggling.
Before scarcity became the norm.
In Venezuela, most supermarkets are owned by Asians. Our country gave them a national ID, without taking an oath, and allowed them to live free and open businesses. Many of them either do not speak our language, or they simply choose not to. They live in communities isolated from the local population. No matter how small, every town in Venezuela has at least one of these Asian owned establishments.
The prices at these Asian owned supermarkets used to be the lowest. Supermarket chains like CADA (torn to pieces by Hugo, like the EXITO supermarkets) and Central Madeirense (originally Portuguese owned) were known for their quality brands, first-world quality products, and customer service. However, the majority of these larger chains were not easily accessible, making the ubiquitous Chinese supermarket the solution.
During my last 15 years in Venezuela, I lived in a very privileged place. Close to one of the most amazing natural attractions, Cueva del Guacharo, the Guacharos Caves. Near these caves lies a valley where vegetable production could be enough for the entire Eastern population.
In countries without the mafia controlling food production, it could have been done. But, in Venezuela, food traffickers are the norm and have been around for decades before Hugo. Now, these traffickers are organized, institutionalized, and wear uniforms.
When did the warning signs begin?
In 2013, when kiddo was almost 6, trying to find milk, a staple normally easy to find everywhere, became a problem. (Because come on, cows have been around since the times of Columbus.)
So..I applied my prepping technique of “biting the bullet”, and bought 72 liters in three weeks at different places. None of these places complained about buying 4-6 liters at once, and a couple more in the afternoon. I was working in another town, 60 km away, and bought whatever I found there as well, mostly canned beans. The milk was UHT- Tetrapacked. I kept it at home, just in case and renewed weekly, using the FIFO technique.
The first indication that prepping could become illegal was when the cashier told me not to be seen taking the entire box to my car. My initial thought was, “WTH?” She told me that some products might be sold only by the government.
I had the uncomfortable feeling at that moment that those prepping years were not going to be in vain. The black market was already showing its ugly face.
In the usual hypocritical way, those few responsible for occasional trafficking were being attacked solely for commie propaganda as a war weapon. I used to buy everything by the dozen or by the bag if I could find it. I already gathered enough supplies for 5 or 6 months and…my then-wife decided to bring her sister and her sister’s husband and four kids.
Everything depleted quickly in only two months.
RELATED: Prepper’s Pantry
Why didn’t anyone see this coming?
Venezuelans don’t seem to read much anymore. Once avid readers, like my own mother, have become submerged so deeply in social media, overall, reading in our culture has dropped substantially.
Disinformation campaigns began flooding the internet. Uninformed and generally unaware people were inundated with disinformation. These campaigns hid the alarming signs of what was to come. Those holding the warning signs (many of them now living abroad as exiles) tried to control the situation. Meanwhile, innocent people went to prison.
Our economy entirely collapsed in 2012. Between 2004-2010 economically, things were still going well. Then, disaster came.
One of the first warning signs of the collapse I became aware of was the merciless, systematic, and unstoppable takeover of government organizations by Hugo’s gang. By the end of 2010, scarcity began to settle in. Powdered milk, a quite consumed staple in Venezuela, was one of the first staples to disappear. Then, cornmeal and corn flour for arepas. And so on.
Once the oil price started its free-fall, meat and milk imported from Uruguay and Argentina, everything coming from South America or Asia, suddenly was not on the shelves anymore. Simply because there was no money made to pay for imports, and the national production was already affected by government thugs.
These thugs needed to take down regional and local food production to promote their monkey business. (Which they did by confiscating Agroisleña, one of the largest private importing and trading companies, specializing in agricultural machinery and supplies.)
Many national seed producers went bankrupt after this takeover. The thugs in command of the seized company decided to pay whatever they felt was a fair price. Seed producers just walked away and started other different businesses.
However, falling oil prices were NOT the primary cause. The structure was severely damaged already.
Early indications of what was already happening.
Many indications of the collapse appeared at the same time. Here are just a few of those warning signs:
Warning Sign 1: Food disappearing off shelves, but appearing in the black market at international prices.
Warning Sign 2: Continuous claims about the media showing false situations of scarcity. Even though at the time many of us were coming back with 3 or 4 items instead of 25.
Warning Sign 3: Imposition of price controls: a straight blow to the private industry’s face, and knocked them down. Businesses closed, and people went to jail for “speculative actions”.
Warning Sign 4: Confiscation of money INSIDE the bank. Venezuela’s 100-bolivar note was pulled out of circulation in December 2016, sending many Venezuelans rushing to the banks to exchange their 100-bolivar notes before they became void.
My entire 14 years of savings was stolen because of this. The bank would not allow me to manage my account because I was outside the country. I couldn’t even transfer that money to my parents so they could use it before it became void. Nothing could be done.
We all sat there, astonished at what had happened – hoping for the world to react to the barbarism against us and our coming generations.
When I saw the reward of my almost 15 years of hard work to make my country a better place was just ashes, I cried. Alone in a crappy bedroom 3500 km away. I’m not embarrassed to acknowledge it. In fact, letting that out just made me way stronger. A few bitter tears from the eyes of an honest man just unleashed the desire for justice.
Time to get out of dodge.
Venezuela imposing rationing with a card and fingerprint registry in 2014 was the last straw. This was the triggering of my escape plan. I had gotten our passports, in 2013 after Hugo died, because I already knew he was very sick from someone I know who had contacts in Cuba. The worst-case scenario was an internal war to seize power between the different factions.
Using my savings, I bought my ticket to get out of dodge.
This fingerprint registry was the definitive imposition that some sheep, blindly trusting the thugs, accepted and cheered. Mostly the few lefties remaining, believed it was a necessary mechanism to “provide food for everybody, especially protecting the poor”…what a payload of b******t.
The reality of that mechanism was to control and measure how much of the production could go to the black market, ran by the colectivos (armed, illegal, militia gangs in hoods.) Those thieves made huge fortunes. Some of them may be living in the US off that stolen fortune. The United States migration authorities would be wise to investigate every Venezuelan, including some middle-ranking military who worked during that period and then left the country.
It is more important than ever to gather our resources.
By writing this article and sharing this information with my readers, I hope to help you realize how vital it is to use some of our time to improve our knowledge of how to collect the needed resources we need to survive and maintain that survival.
Before things get out of control. Before savings are stolen right out from under us. Before things become scarce, again.
Here are a few suggestions:
- You can´t garden because you´re in an apartment building? OK, try to find land elsewhere with permanent water flow and cultivate a garden there. Start storing seeds and other things now. Have you been living in harsh winters or scorching summers? Surely you have gained the knowledge of how to plan ahead. Much better than we South Americans, the masters of improvisation. Yes, without too much pride, I include myself in that. Although, the only event I planned in my life was my kiddo, and I got excellent results!
- Start downloading videos and articles to be used in the future. Invest in data storage devices, instead of upgrading to the latest zippy-zappy laptop/tablet/phone. Just start learning.
- Some of my readers and Patreons have suggested putting together a team. My lack of ability for some fine manual labor is legendary. (Ask my mom. She remembers my first attempt at using scissors in kindergarten.)
- If you do not have the means to invest in land, learn about mechanical maintenance and invest in an RV. For me, city living is great. It is hard to imaging living off the land. This is the challenge for me in the next few years. There are advantages and at the same time disadvantages. I am doing my best to plan ahead as much as I can. Try to make arrangements with a land owner.
- Get yourself a brushless motor, get some batteries and start looking for videos and blueprints to make your own pushcart. Get creative!
Identify your strengths and weaknesses. What are your passions? What do you like to do?
I look forward to your comments!
Be safe! Jose
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151