Saturday, September 1, 2007

A little bit of downtown and some words

This is downtown Merida, at least little bits of it. It takes so god-damn long to get all these pictures ready and then come down here to upload them. I'm very selective. I'll try t put more on Flickr. It's also a trek to go downtown. I have to really want to go. I can't remember what this is. It's a statue
One of the many modes of transportation. This is not for tall people. These are busetas or camioneticas. They range from vans like this one to bigger buses like the ones that they use for free shuttles back home, like the Presidio, UCSF, etc. They´re about 30 US cents. The cool thing is you get on and a lot of the times everyone says hi. You don´t pay until you get off. You have to yell out "PARADA." The drivers are so chill. They"ll wait for someone who's across the street, unlike Muni, as most of you probably know. They"ll also stop and talk to people they know, while people honk like crazy behind them. Lot's of motorcycles in Venezuela
One of those guys that stay completely still. These guys beet them all, not because they stay really still, but because it´s fucking hot and they have all that make-up.

I love busy streets. Most of them are like this.

Cops. Here they don't have as much power. I've never seen them mess with anyone or heard of it happening. There are like 5 different types of cops, what they all do I don´t know. It's the same deal with the military. You see soldiers a lot, but Chavez has made them a community entity, meaning they work with and are here for the community. The restructuring of the country is amazing. It's going to be very similar to Cuba, I think. All the political power is in the community. There are groups in every Pedregal, which is something between a city and a neighborhood whithin a city. These groups have meetings and decide on things that need to be done and then they're done. Eventually they will replace mayors. I'm not sure of all the detils, but as I learn, I'll try to explain it better.
I'm amazed at the difference in information between here and back home. I knew we didn´t hear much, but it's insane how much we don't know. The opposition here for example. There are quite a few of them. They are made up of the upper and some of the middle class. They are puny compared to the Chavistas. Not only that, they are dirty. Every couple of days I see the stuff they do. They spew the most negative, fear-inducing garbage on their TV channels (who says there's no freedome of expression here). They got caught bringing in two busloads of paramilitary troops from Colombia to try to kill Chavez. A US lawyer came here with a bunch of legal documents that show the U.S. government sent money and helped subversive operations that were sooooooooo illegal. More than a thousand people in a bank, a big company, and in the government who are in the opposition just got caught in a huge subversive conspiracy. All the stuff that goes wrong is usually sabotage.
From what I've seen and heard, this is the truth. Whether or not Chavez is going to help the country is another story, although I've never seen so much money, work, effort go into a country solely for the public good. I could list all the things, but it would take me days. Chavez has proved himself about 19 times in different elections and referendums. He is the most democratic leader in the world, he is hardly a dictator. On top of that, I've heard that this constitution is the only one in the world to specifically and with priority ensure everyones human rights. We have the bill of rights, but not only is it vague, it is incomplete and easily manipulated.
I don't know all the facts and I can't say I'm 100% sure about everything I've said, but it's hard to hide all the good you see around you here. The only bad things I´ve seen are from greedy people who truely don't care and actually despise the poor.
As Edgar Torres always says, I jugde a society by the way it treats it's poor, it's elderly, children and infirm. I'm sure I missquoted him, but you get the gist.

No comments: