By Carola Chávez
There is a story that is not being told, that they do not want us to tell, our daily routine, that of millions of Venezuelans who wake up every morning to face and overcome the challenges that the war imposes on us. The story of the firm determination to continue forward, to overcome adversity, to impose our joy, our ingenuity, our solidarity, our essence. Stories that are not being told because they are our everyday, and those are muted by other stories the terrible, shaking, selling, convenient, depressing, and defeating ones.
No one is going to write the story of Carmelo, the boy who decided to set up a modest and tiny fishmonger in La Asunción. There are no great emotions, beyond those that he and his family live intensely every day in his small business, humbly mounted amid the most cruel economic harassment. It is not news that the business flourishes and in a matter of six weeks, it overflowed the small local outward, where two tables of fruits and vegetables serve us to complement the lunch. And now, a little further, he put cassava, bread and homemade cakes, just in case someone wants dessert.
The fish market of Carmelo has no news or literary value, as it does not have the “Nacimiento” that they prepare every year in El Guayabal, nor the children who have already begun to rehearse their Christmas “villancicos” and their roles as shepherds. It is also not news that, further on, Aguamiel Street is setting up a real-size manger. Ignore the neighbors hammering the structure that will give shelter to the Child Jesus, while a lot of children play around, excited by the expectation with “nerviecitos” produced by Christmas, is to miss a beautiful story that says a lot.
Nobody is going to tell how neighbors exchange ingredients for hallacas: “I give you raisins, you give me flour, I have pickles, if you do not have, I give you”. Nobody writes of the little lights in the windows, nor of the guayacán disguised as Christmas tree.
They will not be news, nor poetic stories, the millions of small stories that are woven in every street, in every town, in every corner of Venezuela. They are not worthy, they say, they believe and they want us to believe. I insist that it is precisely there, in the everyday, in the small, where we are writing an immense victorious history.
Translated by JRE