By: Jessica Dos Santos Jardim
“Probably of all our feelings the only one that is not really ours is hope.
Hope belongs to life, it is life itself defending itself ” -J.C.
For me, this Christmas was somewhat atypical.
Usually, these dates grab me as a journalist or sleeping, in a sort of grinch.
But, this year, suddenly I wanted to decorate the house, and since I did not have the money to do it, I cut little things allusive to Christmas to stick them on the door and on the bell switch, transformed glass jars into December decorations for my living room, there was a neighborhood breakfast, and I even organized several Christmas reunions with my friends.
At first, I concluded that maybe I was getting old. “It must be because I’m getting close to 30,” I told myself. But, with the passing of days I knew how to better define my feeling: NOTHING or ANYBODY was going to snatch the festivity from me, because this year, like a good part of the country, they had already taken too much away from me.
In this spirit, I went on the 24th to celebrate Christmas. In the area where I was the bus drivers were charging 70 Bs. [overpriced fare], the electric service went down a couple of times, etc. But, I was firm in my determination to have a good time.
During the party, there were people with the most varied political thoughts, and the issue of the pernil [pork leg] was present for a second year in a row.
Each one exhibited his experience. I did too: My building was promised 11 legs for 55 families, it would be about 800 grams each. They were paid long before the 24th. But the 24th in the morning they warned that they would not arrive and it would be necessary to wait for the return of the money from Inmerca. Some took it with humor, others got very upset.
Then, some of the debaters got mad, irritated because some people went out to protest for the “pernil” and not for more essential things like lack of medicines, prices, transportation, etc.
For some Chavistas, these people do not have “political conscience”, “notion of the dangers that haunt us”, “sell the country for a pig”, etc. Meanwhile, for the oppositionists, it is about a bunch of beggars.
Both visions show why we are where we are: a sector of Chavismo blames and asks more and more and more efforts from people without even recognizing that they promised and irresponsibly promises what they know they will not be able to deliver.
Well of all: it is not about a piece of pig, but about the disappointment, anger, and even sadness that generates this kind of game where they try again and again to undermine the confidence and reserve of hope that is left to the people.
While the opposition is not government or even a viable political option because their contempt towards the people comes from deep inside them and they prefer to insult or mock the people, rather than to do something useful.
Maybe that’s also why, at 2019, the President Nicolás Maduro calls for “a Great Motivation Campaign, in which all, and especially those who govern, should make a great effort to be more efficient in the search for immediate solutions to the problems of the people.”
First, it should be said that the people make unimaginable efforts at every moment and it is enough to demand from us something different every day (without even recognizing that the country is standing thanks to us).
And second, really? Now it turns out that our authorities are unmotivated? So why do we have these positions?
There is no greater motivation than to want to solve problems, but first you have to know them.
Maybe it would be enough for the authorities in charge of health to look for medicines or visit a hospital without previous notice, those responsible for the transport would use “perreras” [improvise trucks to transport people] for a week, the water ones would use buckets of water to shower (in the best of cases) for an indefinite period, the person in charge of food could stand a couple of lines, or the one in the economy would try to do groceries with a minimum wage.
If living this first hand does not motivate them, probably nothing will do it, because it seems that empathy has already run out from them.
Maybe that’s also why the opposition leaders are looking for trouble thinking on January 10, while deep down they do not give a shit about people and their problems.
Meanwhile, we, the most, continue to defend joy even in the midst of all evils. Maybe that is the only conviction that has left us receiving punches after punches: we will know how to solve it. I have no doubt about it.
And a good part of my certainty comes from the strength that gives us the affections that surround us: So, I care for them. And for each one of you. In my end-of-year inventory, I appreciate having them. We keep moving on.
Translated by JRE/AR