Caridad

Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

Will Venezuelans Die of Hunger to Keep Maduro in Power?

Caridad

Street dog.

HAVANA TIMES — I’m at the Barquisimeto bus terminal in Lara State. It’s 4:30 AM. At this time in the morning, I’m surrounded by the normal hustle and bustle; bus agents each shouting out their routes at the top of their lungs, coffee vendors are selling real coffee (not roasted corn, like the one that is going around right now because there is a shortage in real coffee).

A lot of people, like me, wait for the daylight to come to take to the street to try and find a route that will take them to their destination within the city of Barquisimeto. Some drink coffee, others drink hot fororo.

Fororo is a drink made from roasted corn, which has recently become very popular again in the Venezuelan kitchen. In Barquisimeto, it’s normal to find fororo with milk sellers. As I haven’t had anything for breakfast, I’m thinking about buying one of these hot drinks which are a lot cheaper than other breakfasts.

Next to me, there’s a dog. She drags along a paw and she has myiasis on some parts of her body. I suddenly think about what I can give her to eat, the arepas they sell at a kiosk are a little too much for my pocket. So, the fororo will be the best option.

Will she like it? I know dogs who live on the street and they don’t eat just anything. It’s going to be hard to throw out a glass of fororo. It doesn’t matter. I think she will drink it, after I leave the bus terminal I won’t stop thinking about the damn dog, and this glass of fororo might be the only thing she’ll have to eat all day. She’s a female dog and it’s harder for her to survive and the myiasis will soon eat away at her.

I finally decide to buy the fororo. It’s hot and at this time in the morning, it’s cold even in this state which tends to be quite hot in the day. I take a sip of the fororo. Mmmm, it’s delicious, and its warmth feels good in my stomach. Now, me wanting to drink it all and not leaving anything for the dog is all I need. No, I won’t do that. But, the truth is that this man really knows how to make this drink, it’s delicious. I try it again, two or three sips, it’s really creamy.

Dogs without a home.

I look at the dog, she is sleeping in an isolated corner. A little behind her, but near her, there are two people. They aren’t travelers. These are two people who spend the night at bus terminals because they don’t have homes. They are dirty, which means that as well as not having a home, it’s likely that they are caught up in taking poor quality and very addictive drugs. If I put the glass of fororo out for the dog, these two people won’t think twice about taking it away from her. It isn’t easy to get a hold of more then a thousand Bolivars to buy a glass of fororo.

In these times of crisis, people who live out on the street are at a greater disadvantage. Before, it was easy to collect 5 or 10 Bolivars to eat something, just by begging on the street or collecting some recyclable material. Now, you have to have at least a thousand Bolivars and that isn’t even enough to get you breakfast.

The dog or the “tin can collectors”.

That’s my dilemma.

I shouldn’t have this dilemma. The dilemma should never be between feeding a stray dog or another person. This person has more options than an animal. And I shouldn’t be holding a glass of hot fororo in my hand at 5 AM deciding on who to give it to when my stomach is the first one to ask for it.
But, I have a little bit of money on me and food at home. My stomach stays out of this discussion.

The dog or the “can collectors”.

Awful me, when I could just buy another glass of fororo and not have to decide. But, these aren’t the only people walking about the terminal without a roof over their heads.

And my salary is barely enough to eat.

Food, food. Everything comes back to food. Everything revolves around it right now. Although there is food in stores, prices are tripling everyday and it makes it hard for us to eat properly.

The former foreign minister has just said yesterday that even if we die of hunger, Maduro won’t stop being president.

This reminds me of one of Fidel Castro’s solemn phrases. Has anyone in the former foreign minister’s family ever died from not having medicines? Has she seriously ever thought about not eating lunch for at least one day?  Die of hunger… hahaha.

With this fororo which is so delicious in hand to be thinking about the former foreign minister and her too expensive shoes so as to believe that she would even be able to give up her morning coffee to a child out of the thousands who go to school or work in the morning without eating.

I leave the glass of fororo next to the dog. She wakes up startled. I don’t know if she isn’t used to people being nice to her or whether it’s her sickness that stops her from eating.

I don’t look back. I don’t know if the can collectors take the drink for themselves or another animal. But, somebody will have it I’m sure.

  • Ruben Alberto

    Sure they will, if not they will die anyway from the GIANT CORPORATIONS taking their Oil, Jobs, property, and MONEY.
    It will be pointless, one or the other, the Giant Monster, or the Masses Gathering for all others.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      That remark Ruben Alberto demonstrates a total lack of comprehension of the pain being felt by Caridad. It reeks of Marxist self-satisfaction and shows a total lack of compassion. Go and eat your supper!

      • grok

        Marxist analysis TELLS us that what Venezuela is suffering is in fact *economic sabotage* — c/o U.S. Imperialism’s CIA — and now under the present, preferred form of a ‘Color Revolution’ (Cuba’s fate, soon..?): complete with a wretched, lying ‘social media’ campaign with all the bells and whistles.

        It really galls to have petit-bourgeois supporters of the bourgeois Capitalist order sniffing at marxists, and speaking of smug ‘self-satisfaction’. Really.

        • Carlyle MacDuff

          There is no doubt ‘grok’ that the Marxists will blame others for their own mismanagement and economic incompetence. That is their history. Certainly Venezuela has a “wretched lying ‘social media’ in addition to the Maduro propaganda machine of TeleSurTV.
          I feel sorry for those supporters of capitalism who you suggest are “sniffing” at Marxists, the stink must get up their noses. Really!

          • grok

            You are not COMPETENT to comment on marxism, anti-communist know-nothing. Maybe you even work for MUD.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Firstly ‘grok’ it is not for you to determine whether I am qualified to comment upon Marxism (capital M). You know naught of my experience of politics including Marxcism/Leninism in practice. You know naught of the terror imposed in Russia by communism, of the purges of millions of Russians for example for the “crime” of being kulaks. You do not have experience of knowing people who risked their lives to escape from the countries of Eastern Europe under the imprisonment of the USSR. In short ‘grok’ you are short of knowledge of the practices of communist dictatorship and in consequence ill-qualified to make useful comment. You do not live in Cuba, indeed I don’t think (based upon your displayed ignorance) that you have ever been to Cuba. I could suggest that you are an “academic socialist”, but you obviously that would be a miss-use of “academic”.
            You obviously ‘grok’ have deep knowledge of wading in the mud, it is your natural habitat.

          • grok

            Yes, I AM qualified to judge your competence on the subject of Socialism/marxism/communism, ‘MacDuff’. You spout the usual litany of propaganda lies and half-truths: surely a sign that you have experienced NONE of any of that suffering of the past century… MOST of which was at the hands of CAPITALISM. *ALL* the rest as a direct result of Capitalist interference inside any regime weak enough to not be able to keep them out. Which includes the stalinist ones.

            However you’re clearly not informed enough to even know the difference there — and clearly immoral enough to not care either way, as reflected in your sophistry. I hope anyone reading this wretched little (too usual) exchange understands what they’re seeing, when they read your crude, hackneyed, anti-communist propaganda cant.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            I note with amusement ‘grok’ that you provide no basis whatever for asserting that you are qualified to judge my competence on the subject of “Socialism/marxism/communism (marxism ought to have a capital M).
            My experiences of the quadro-partite system in Vienna from 1945 onwards, of witnessing the Russians in action, of people being removed at gun-point from their homes, never to be seen again, of displaced persons camps in Germany filled with people unable to return to their homelands occupied by the communist USSR, of knowing people who risked their lives to cross the Iron Curtain obviously count for naught in your mentally twisted unsupported comments.
            So ‘grok’, take this opportunity to tell all of us of your own experiences? How it is that you can without basis deny mine? Go on ‘grok’, TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR QUALIFICATIONS!
            Have you visited Europe? If so where?
            Have you visited Cuba? If so when and for how long?
            Go on ‘grok’ just provide everybody with some basis for your comments!
            Otherwise you can just be dismissed as an academic windbag!

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Speak up ‘grok’. Tell everybody about your qualifications and experiences with those who have been exposed to communist persecution. Don’t be modest!

          • grok

            Did my last comment not get thru to ‘MacDuff’ and other extremist Reichwingers? I’m not here to answer to trolls like ‘MacDuff’.

            My experience speaks thru my logic. All ‘MacDuff’ & Crew have to offer up in response, is their FUD — ever-aimed at the gullible and impressionable.

            And I still believe Hugo Chávez was ‘poisoned’ (it being necessary now to add air-quotes to that loaded word, on account of the studied, disingenuous sophistry practiced by these insincere, immoral clods).

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            You ‘grok’ are unable to answer to anyone, for your opinions are continuosly without qualification.
            As for your assertion that Hugo Chavez was ‘poisoned’ that view only serves to define you as both gullible and ignorant..
            I supported my opinion by explaining that I know the Cuban surgeon who operated (twice) upon Hugo Chavez.
            As for your fatuous claim that “My experience speaks thru my logic.” Your illogical statements prove that you have little if any experience, but reflect only that you have a mindless Marxist vision.
            Just face the truth ‘grok’, you speak as one ignorant of Cuba, of its people and of the reality of communist repression.
            As one who did military service in Germany, let me remind you that Adolf Hitler was a National Socialist and political ally of Joseph Stalin with whom he agreed to invade sovereign Poland. Both Hitler and Stalin subsequently invaded Poland in September 1939. Incidentally as a supposed font of information, where was Hitler born, what was his original name and what rank did he achieve in the German army? (You may need Nick to assist you).

          • grok

            My only response to the above blustering B.S. is simply to point to a WORLD of CIA-created & backed deathsquads. Simply that (and not ALL that ‘Free Market forces’ are MOST guilty of). Since you want to queer any discussion with the usual diversionary one-sided condemnation of stalinist Realpolitik.

            Which, as I say — you are clearly NOT competent to judge. Unlike myself, in comparison.

          • Carlyle MacDuff

            Although I recognize ‘grok’ that your closed mind cannot assimilate open information, you continue to bleat of your qualifications although unable to provide any.
            So ‘grok’ whereas you name the CIA as responsible for “one-sided condemnation of stalinist (ought to be Stalinist) Realpolitik, you fail to remember that Stalin was ruling Russia, purging millions, imposing starvation upon the people of Ukraine and filling the Gulags with the innocent for almost thirty years prior to the introduction of the CIA in 1947. So get your facts straightened out before making unqualified comment.