Editor’s note. We are starting a new series of articles where we have as a writer and protagonist a man and his family struggling to survive the worst economic and social breakdown. Since the beginning of the crisis in Venezuela, they had to face extreme food shortages that lead to severe hunger, riots, a broken infrastructure amid an ongoing political and economic nightmare and a collapsed health care system being next to none existent.
The economic collapse in Venezuela has grown up to a societal breakdown where the murder rate is 20 times higher than in the U.S.
Here is the first article in this series by the Venezuelan Survivor.
After my wife told me I was going to be a father I had a lot of thoughts and mostly concerns that kept me distracted during the day and awake during the night. This was happening a few years before everything has gone from bad to worse now reaching a nightmare peak when the political noise was a sign about the end of our former President Hugo Chavez. In the next few months prior to his death most of us knew conflict was inevitable and so it was.
With the second child on the way in already difficult times, I was thinking every moment about the safety of my family. I started to become a prepper solving one possible scenario after another and having a logical approach. I started thinking about what would happen if my newborn would have a fever, it is raining and the light goes off (this is a daily occurrence by the way) but what if it would take several days to get back?. How would I solve that? First I would need a power generator, flashlights, batteries, and some candles to save the batteries. Easy enough so I did that. Then I would need some fuel to run that generator, done that as well.
What if my car does not start and we don’t have enough food in the house (which is a very common phenomenon as well) and we live in a remote area because of my work (I was a technician in a mining company. Then we need more foods with a high expiration date, a larger freezer. Done! That leads to a new storing room that we had to build to store all our goods and so on, you can understand how one thing leads to another and I become a prepper without having that thought in my head in the first place. All this was happening in a normal modern country, not the Venezuela you know today when I write this article. I can not thank God enough for putting all those thoughts and concerns into my head and helped me to overcome them and prepare a little. I started very late is true but what I managed to do saved our life.
My main goal at that time was to retire early and spend more time with my family. I always liked to be as self-sufficient as possible and I wanted to provide for my family when the signs started to predict bad times ahead. Thank God I did see those signs because things got really bad!
Starting to prepare at first signs of political trouble
Let me start by telling you that when these signs clear enough, it might be too late. I wish I would have started a lot earlier and that would give me more time to do more things that would be very handy right now.
A few months prior to President Hugo Chavez’s death those sighs were clear enough for some of us. I could tell that our country’s economy could crumble under a poor government and it did.
In the beginning, right before the ”spike” a lot of people lost their jobs and enforced by huge debts they sold their belongings at very low prices in garage sales. That was the point we’re able to buy most of the stuff that helped us to survive to this day.
The nightmare of food rationing in Venezuela
Up until 2015 when the food shortages started to happen things were pretty much normal. We had a lot of people with weight issues from eating too much, now we have infant deaths from not eating at all. President Nicolas Maduro refuses to accept humanitarian aid and there is nothing we could do about that. Things went worst faster than you can imagine.
It all started with the oil sales drop and a crashed economy that had been hidden for too long up until the point it could no longer be hidden anymore amid huge debt and political turmoil marked by severe hyperinflation and food scarcity.
If you don’t know the Venezuelan government runs a food rationing system to cope with the food shortage and stop the wealthier people to buy in bulk in reselling the goods and hyper prices on the black market (everyone is desperate and try to get the most out of this frustrating situation for the loved ones). Yet, it doesn’t seem to work. Black-market exists and prices are very high for food, comfort goods, and most of all medication.
Most of the looting and unrest come from lacking food. For some of the people, food shortage was somehow to be expected, and they prepare for it. But for the most part of the Venezuelan population, it was a shock. They were unaware of what is happening and when things they have been taken for granted started to run out, they had no idea what else to do in order to be able to eat and survive. Looting and killing became part of their everyday life.
I remember two years ago one of the neighbors, the father of two young girls came to our door begging for some food for the kids. He was attacked by a group of men on the way back from the store and they left him beaten up and with no groceries for his family. He had no gas to go in his car and he went on foot. He lost the entire food he was able to get for that week and he would be able to get more only the next week (as the food rationing implies), that if he would be lucky enough to find something on the store. At that moment we had extra supplies and we gave them some rice and a few cans of canned meat. Two months later they moved to his father’s house and never heard of them since. I spend the next few days hiding the supplies we had and fortifying the house in silence.
No hospitals, no medicine, and no health care system with a growing mortality rate.
Right before things got very bad I quit my job. I had a very good medical insurance and my wife said it would be better to keep my job for that reason only but I knew that with doctors running out of the country right before the collapse because of the drastic budget cuts and no medicine available unless you get it from the black-market the insurance would have no point whatsoever. And it didn’t.
Most of the hospitals and pharmacies have been looted and stripped of equipment at the early stages of the collapse leaving hospitals like ghosts of what they once were.
My 15 years old niece died earlier this year of pneumonia because we could not find the antibiotics needed to save her and left all my family in great grief. All she had was the flu signs, she would not eat and she was very sluggish, we had no idea it was pneumonia. She didn’t even have a fever at the beginning, then she was coughing and spitting some mucus (a brownish color). When you see any of those signs you need to stop anything that you do and rush to a doctor. The lack of hospitals and healthcare claimed many lives in these few years and it will claim even more.
This is surviving in a collapsed country and trust me, it is about to get even worse before it gets any better.
Editor: I have never asked for anything like this before on my website but the writer of this article has a found raising campaign on GoFoundMe. Please donate whatever you can or share this link on your social media. Thank you!
Also, I highly recommend this book to everyone. 300 pages, color, paperback. The Lost Book of Remedies is helping Americans achieve medical self-sufficiency even in the darkest times using the time-tested methods of our grandparents without spending lots of money on toxic drugs and without side effects. A great asset when doctors and hospitals won’t be available anymore. You may not be Claude Davis, but you can make use of his procedures and techniques to increase your chances of survival!