Let´s make something clear about Venezuela. Although some violence spikes here and there, it is not like the place is an entire mess (not all of the time at least). It´s almost a million square kilometers. That´s a lot of space.
The country is not like the Middle East. First, our culture is much more American (meaning with this South American, but American nonetheless) and there is some degree of order, usually even these days. There are some “official” gangs and they roam from time to time (especially in the larger cities).
These “official” gangs funded by the ruling class.
These gangs are being provided with all kinds of resources and don´t lack anything the regular citizen has to make miracles to get. Their members are chosen with poor criteria regarding morals, integrity, and values. There is little other name for them than warlords.
The character trait the ruling class looks for, is loyalty and obedience, no matter what. Those who can provide this and provide a degree of consolidation to the entire gang is considered a valued member. The ruling class has been under the counseling of Cubans for years. They have installed an intelligence apparatus just like the KGB, only that in a Caribbean environment and culture.
Common criminals are in the streets but these groups chase them and terminate them. It´s a badly hidden secret their business is to keep middle and poor people “safe” by eliminating low-end criminals, but they have been linked to plenty of other illegal activities too.
This is not surprising. It happens a lot in failed states.
I have written before about criminals being released from prison and armed. They control the society, avoiding uprisings, and at the same time, they terrify it, exhibiting an image of power and control that they necessarily don´t have. But the ruling gangs need to show themselves as having an overwhelming power. New combat units have been created out of thin air, under obvious duplicity of functions. But this has been just to arm sort of a praetorian guard working just to preserve the integrity of the 183 people responsible for the mess and looting.
It´s great such armed organizations are going to be declared as terrorist groups, because that´s what they are. Covering faces in public is prohibited in Venezuela. Why should a LEO do it then in the first place? These guys brag and walk around as if they were the saviors of the world while driving unlicensed pickup trucks. The stories are there, all over the place. They shot an RPG projectile to kill some rebels (who were protected by our constitution in the Art. 350) even murdering a pregnant woman. So much bravery.
Think about what will happen after the Covid-19 outbreak is over.
Maybe this information is not relevant with all the priority that the COVID-2019 has arisen. You´re right. But what will happen after the outbreak has spread? What do you think is going to happen?
What will be the behavior of such gangs, when they behave already as if they rule the place? Once the major, and maybe the military forces, malnourished and weakened have succumbed to the contagion, that precious red line won´t be there anymore. And the citizens are unarmed to redraw it again.
Under the excuse of impeding the spreading of a possible outbreak, this will be used to try and increase the social control, even in an already crippled society as the remains of what is left in my country. This is so unfair, that is unbelievable the world has allowed it.
My worst fears now include the fact of the outbreak being so hard, that this will make the attention to be redirected, leaving us entirely vulnerable to that terrible gang.
Thank God, there are people already providing consultation and advice to the administrative wing capable of doing something. OK, enough with politics.
Covid-19 has arrived in Venezuela.
Let´s provide an update about some stuff that has been happening. As most of you already know, the virus is very likely to have arrived in Venezuela. An eastern citizen presented symptoms after coming from a trip. He´s a senior citizen, but no more details were given.
In an incredible demonstration of media manipulation, this weekend a hashtag erupted and it was positioned on Twitter. (Remember, Venezuela has an incredible amount of bots working from Cuba via the submarine cable installed in the Chavez era, that provides communication between countries.) Of course, this is already an attempt to build up the needed contra-pressure to prohibit public meetings…in the name of the “public safety”.
How many dissidents already would have already been “victim” of the virus? Especially if they were dragged from their homes and thrown in a truck with people who are really sick.
It´s highly suspicious how this virus presented itself after the tense situation with the Hong Kong protests. The economic effects? I don´t know. By eliminating dissidence now, the party thinks that maybe they can enjoy 30 or 35 more years of peace and silence. Remember, they think differently to us Westerns. They think heavily in the next 3 generations and plan according to that. And dang, they have become good at it. I can hardly plan for this year my next moves.
I fear not so much because of me. My health (with a few dents here and there) is not that bad. I never get sick, otherwise because of my odd food choices from time to time. But as I usually have infusions, drink coffee by the liters (therefore yes, have some sleeping disorders) and walk a lot, my health has improved. I´ve lost some weight, and ate a lot of fish (in Venezuela red meat is something that usually was in our main meals, far from the shore sea fish was scarce and expensive, and river fish usually less tasty). My main fear is for my parents, both over 70. They´re isolated since some time ago, though. (smile). They live in a small town, with a reduced local economy…that has been good, and sometimes bad. We´ve had our issues, but we love and support each other no matter what. It has been quite painful.
I posted on my Patreon website some advice an Italian doctor, a member of one of the research teams in China gave. It came from a trust-worthy source, so I decided it was worth sharing.
Another report of what has been happening is, the warlords order their minions to go to the hospital and loot for medicines. You can read about it at this link.
This, dear readers, is what you can expect to happen in a collapse/SHTF situation. And it can be even worse, given the amount of zones with drug dealing/cooking and tons of other organized crime activities. If authorities become overwhelmed, these thugs will be on the streets sooner than you think.
My advice? Organize NOW. Prepare contingency plans. A, B, and C, and whatever other letters you may need. 911 won´t be there, trust me.
Make sure you have your own medical supplies.
A good part of your prepping budget should be addressed to the acquisition of medicines. How to store it long term? I don´t know. I almost lost 300$ worth of medicines since I started to store antibiotics (available without prescription) and all kind of those most commonly used, but we decided to donate it to our local community infirmary, asking the nurse (which we know personally and is a good friend, and a dependable person) please to provide them only to those in need. Some others were offered to friends, as we didn´t have family nearby.
It´s amazing to read the only acknowledged and accepted case of COVID-19 in Venezuela is under armed custody by the intelligence teams. After the collapse that wiped out the economy of the country, any outbreak is very likely to generate a real SHTF situation. Even worse than a war, in my opinion. Non-human components in the equation makes things really hard to analyze and predict.
Our main problem is the lack of trustable information. The Italian government has been entirely transparent, resulting in an infection and death rate several times higher than the reported by China. Of course, you can´t expect reliable data being released by that kind of unelected, but self-proclaimed governments. They don´t respect even the intellectual property, why they would have to inform the rest of the world what happens inside their borders? They are a culture dating from thousands of years ago. Are we little Westerns going to teach them how to rule their citizens?
That´s how they think about the rest of the world.
On the other hand, we already have a lack of services, and if the virus happens to hit hard (something that is entirely random) I can´t predict what could happen. If a humanitarian intervention wasn’t allowed in 2019, it´s very likely the irregular groups impeding it will keep stubbornly their position, unless the pandemics wipe them out too. (Lord have mercy on their souls).
I am constantly asking about the preparedness level of some acquaintances and the few friends that are still enduring there, but…they´re barely surviving. Don´t even think about preparing, but surviving one day after another. And many of them want to leave, too. Especially those with European parents and double nationality. With the outbreak in Europe and the severity it has shown…well, I haven´t had too much time to question them before writing this article, but I will surely mention it in the next few articles.
For the time being, we don´t know if the disease has affected anyone else besides that old man who came from China.
We don´t have the means to know it. Anyone informing or reporting will be chased and imprisoned. That´s the way that mock of a State acts.
I can only ask, this outbreak doesn´t affect us. We´ve been hit too hard, and don´t deserve it.
Stay safe, people.
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