My name is Andrés Rodríguez and I live in Venezuela since my birth and we never got to see a situation like this, where you don't find the food and supplies that you need in supermarkets and grocery stores like chicken, milk and even TOILET PAPER, right now we are through heated protests where students from different universities and colleges get shot and even dissapear (PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_YgWxCsH3M), the highest inflation of our continent, a weak economy where you can buy a 2L Coca Cola for 6$. The minimum wage right now in Venezuela is between 40 to 80$ a month! Be free to ask me anything.

PD: Some friend of mine (Venezuelan also) with the YangZD username is going to help me answering your multiple questions.

What's happening in Venezuela VIDEO >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFS6cP9auDc

My Proof: https://twitter.com/andreserm YangZD Proof: https://twitter.com/YangZD

Comments: 184 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

oldspice7512 karma

Would you say that most Venezuelans still support the government?

How much has crime affected you?

What common household items are you currently going without because of cost and scarcity?

Has your savings been wiped out by inflation?

Do you think that Maduro will stay in power?

Did you support Chavez and vote for Maduro?

Is there any news or TV outlet allowed that opposes the government's policies or blames it for the current problems?

Do you think of leaving Venezuela?

andreserm19 karma

No. There's a lot of people supporting the government right now but not the vast majority of the population. (According to some national and international studies).

I have been robbed 8 times in my life, 4 of those times in the last 16 months.

Toilet Paper, chicken, milk, cornmeal (IMPORTANT for the making of arepas), butter, rice, sugar, and some and some more.

Inflation is eating our souls, 56% in the last year and 3.3% in the last month. And i'm not telling you about the exchange control of our currency.

No, i think Maduro has its days counted.

No, i didn't support any of those.

No right now we are living through a media blockade where national and international tv channels are censored and even wiped out of the DirecTV broadcast.

Yes, but as time passes it is very hard to get away, it's so sad these things we are living. Thanks for Asking!

oldspice759 karma

I've lived in New York City almost all my life and I've never been robbed.

I hope things get better there.

andreserm7 karma

Thanks so much for caring about us and for asking, me and my people really appreciate this kind of acts!

SmartDeeDee6 karma

Just for clarity's sake, in case someone sees this, I would like to mention the media blockade.

It's not that we are unable to watch tv, like it happened in 2002 when the government took down transmission antennas. What's going on right now is that the TV channels are self-censoring to avoid being fined or worse under the RESORTE law, that states that channels can't broadcast violent content amongst other things, which are not clear in the text of the law.

Now, there was a channel on some cable services, a colombian channel called NTN24, that was taken off the channel listings under pressure of the government. I know that sounds like a baseless accusation, but it's happened before, when RCTV was taking of cable listings. And I'm talking about cable, not national broadcast.

andreserm3 karma

Your comment is the truth in every single way. Thanks for your words, people who cares would be grateful for that.

PantheraMontana11 karma

Hello there,

Do you guys think that the current situation is caused by the incompetence of Maduro, or is it simply the result of 10+ years of mismanagement by Chavez? I always got the impression that the years under Chavez were hardly ideal, but the country sort of got by. Right now, it seems that Maduro is totally clueless.

If there were to be elections tomorrow, with Maduro versus Capriles (just like a year ago), would Capriles be able to win this time? If the majority voted for him, do you think the government would try to rig the election to stay in power?

What is your opinion of the major opposition figures like Capriles and Lopez? Are they capable of organizing resistance strong enough to force government changes?

I've met some wonderful Venezuelans over the last few years. They and you deserve a better government. I hope the future will be bright for Venezuela.

andreserm7 karma

EXCELLENT QUESTIONS HERE.

-Yes Maduro is incompetent but not only him, all the executives in the government. Chavez in the last 5 years of his 13+ year term did all the expropiations and confiscations to private enterprises needed to cause all this mess and when you mix all that background with the corruption and incompetence of the actual government you'll get this stuff we are living.

-I think the majority of people will vote this time for Capriles, like the last time we had elections. And you can expect everything from the government, they can be capable to rob another election again, in front of our faces.

-Yes, Capriles and Lopez are people capable enough to do these changes, we had to admit that sometimes the pressure is so high that they commit mistakes, but Capriles is the main responsable when it comes to create a vision where the government isn't winning the general public opinion poll.

-Thanks for your wishes, we all here appreciate this kind of messages, thanks again!

Huebad8 karma

What are some of the ways the protesters are fighting against the government?

andreserm10 karma

Organizing marchs, rallies, street assemblies, social media, the use of some services like streaming, reddit, international organizations like OEA (today some students in the capital gave some documents to official OEA members) and some more ways that i can stay for hours just telling you. Thanks for asking!.

brandnewbodyspray23 karma

Fellow venezuelan here. Not pro-goverment but please don't be a hypocrite , don't leave out vital pieces of information, just like the government is doing. It's not all peaceful protests, there are several destroyed buildings throughout the city, and a few burned police cars. Let's not play saints here.

andreserm12 karma

The comment of brandnewbodyspray is totally true, some people of the opposition are not giving the good example.

Huebad2 karma

The protesters are live-streaming the protest. Is there a link to the video?

andreserm4 karma

Right now it is very difficult to find a Streaming channel that has the live footage, but you can go to Twitter and put these hashtags #PrayForVenezuela #SOSVenezuela to be informed and thanks so much for caring about our people!

spincrus6 karma

As a Turk, I highly sympathize with you. Although I haven't witnessed the era where there were huge lines for a stick of butter, or the two military coups we had in 1960 and 1980, I've heard enough stories of extreme street violence before the army intervened (coup is never a good thing, but here you can find a lot of people supporting them as well as opposition).

But I'm 30, and I've lived through the economic depression of 2001 with 70+% overnight interest rates and extreme devaluation, and most recently, eye-witnessed the police brutality and absolute media silence for the first couple of days during the massive Gezi protests in the summer of 2013. I highly sympathize and know how frustrating it is that these stuff don't get media coverage, because of intense pressure from the government.

This next comment will lead to my question: I've witnessed last summer how the police brutality (we were "lucky" to only have 5 deaths, if one can put death into the context of luck to begin with) has unified people from different political beliefs. It was a first for me to see communists, social democrats, leftists, liberals, nationalists, extreme rightists, secularists, extreme secularists, atheists, and even some leftist-Islamist groups taking a stance against the government side by side, gathering in the squares with their flags and "standard bearers" standing next to each other (these were the groups killing each other pre 1980 that lead to the coup, mind you).

How much of a unity have you seen up until now with regards to that? Can the protesters be categorized under a single wing of the political spectrum, or is it as diverse? I'm pretty sure it's a bunch of different sub-groups of political units that the students identify themselves in, but can they be generalized as "left" or "right", or is it just a complete and somewhat balanced mixture of both these spheres?

Thank you and I hope all the best for you guys, stand firm, stay alive, these days will pass I assure you.

andreserm3 karma

THANKS SO MUCH! We wish you the very best to your people in Turkey and all your words are just highly important for the understanding of this post! The protesters here in Venezuela right now do not care if we have left or right wing thoughts, we are a mixture of all the opinions all the visions, but the main goal is to win the battle of Democracy vs Kleptocracy, Impunity vs Justice, we as the young people we feel that Maduro's policies doesn't ensure our future.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR ASKING, from all Venezuelans we appreciate the time you took to write that.

Mikasa136 karma

I've seen a lot of my Venezuelan friends on Facebook calling for people to take notice. They say "the world needs to know about what is going on in Venezuela" "sign this petition for the international community to act." But what then? What would you want to achieve by this? Once the world takes notice, and the US Secretary of State has made a statement condemning the violence, then what? What's the end game?

I know you guys are putting your safety on the line going out to protest and aren't just sitting at your computers messing around, but I once saw a photo (from a friend in Venezuela) that made me think...It was a picture of an ugly looking protest in Argentina with the caption "this is how the rest of the world protests" and then a picture of several people on their blackberries with the caption "this is how Venezuela protests." How is this different than previous protests?

andreserm4 karma

HAHAHA, that was true. Until February 12th of this year, the very hard situation we are all living in this country is very hard and more and more people are taking notice of that, you don't know what to expect for the people or the government. But this has to end.

TheDebtThatAllMenPay6 karma

What is it like living there right now?

andreserm11 karma

A nightmare, if you go out to the streets at night or even very early in the morning you'll get robbed. If you go out in public transportation you'll see ridiculously large lines of people trying to get into the supermarkets to find some food and supplies. There's a group of people called "Bachaqueros" who smuggle these products to Colombia and leave us with nothing in the shelves of the grocery stores and market chains. I can stay for hours just telling you what kind of hell is this. Thanks for asking!

onicurien4 karma

Why take those products to Colombia and not the other way (taking them from Colombia)?

Edit: typo

andreserm9 karma

Because of the currency exchange, it's better to sell those products in Colombia and bring the money to Venezuela, sell the money in the black market and obtain huge profits in our Currency (Bolivar). All of these is because our currency is devaluated.

ParanoidPete5 karma

When was the last time you drank a glass of milk?

When was the last time you ate chicken? Also when was the last time you went to KFC and how much does it cost?

When was the last time you used toilet paper?

And how much did you pay for all 3?

andreserm5 karma

Milk last week. Cicken today and it cost us 20$ per Kg in a black market, the only place you can find the quantity you want, we bought three Kg. Here in my house right now we don't have toilet paper since four days. KFC combos are between 9 to 12$ You'll pay for all those 3 things like 27 to 30 bucks.

lucamobu5 karma

Colombian here. I don't have any questions for you. My girlfriend is Venezuelan and she is in San Cristobal right now. She tells me everyday how fucked up things are over there. A nation that was flourishing some years ago is now facing its worst time ever. I only hope you can remove Maduro from his chair and you can go back to a real democracy. My best wishes to a nation that has been always our "sister republic".

andreserm5 karma

Colombia is our sister since Bolívar was born. We really appreciate that our neighbours are caring for us, best wishes from Venezuela hermano!

gnualmafuerte4 karma

If Bolivar and San Martin had had it their way, there would be no Colombia, no Venezuela, no Chile or Peru or Argentina. 90% Of the surface of South America would be split between us and Brasil. And story would have been entirely different. Sadly, we chose to go another way, and we're still paying the consequences.

andreserm2 karma

To be true, i'm not a radical patriot or Bolivarianist, maybe their vision was to accomplish a very solid union among all the latin american communities in that century, but is very hard for me to say that it could be done without eternal conflict, I really appreciate your comment, and from all Venezuelans a big hug is sent to you.

HermanBeWormin4 karma

What is your favorite home-cooked meal?

andreserm1 karma

It's Quesillo, it's a traditional dessert from my country, here you can find how to cook it >> http://www.jahnweb.com/alfredo/recipies/quesillo/. Thanks for asking!

gnualmafuerte5 karma

I had to click there to figure out what Quesillo was. Argentinian tip: Mix it with Dulce de Leche. Absolutely delicious.

EDIT: We call it Flan.

andreserm2 karma

Hehehe! Delicious!

skittles154 karma

My girlfriend is from magarita and currently lives in the us. She marched with the students in 2002 and is heavily active in spreading awareness. She believes that these marches are doing nothing more than giving police more opportunities to promote their violence. I tend to agree with her. It have been shown in various other marches that the government doesnt give a shit about its citizens. Why march if you know what is going to happen again and again? When comes the time for you all to get your own hands bloody and start making a point? What is your end game? What are you trying to do by walking unarmed toward the police? Level the playing field...

andreserm1 karma

We believe in the consequences that these protests will bring, if we fall in despair we will commiting the same mistakes that we as opposition make in the past. We need to stay on the streets showing the world and to our countrymen that we are tired of the situation and that the government won't have an easy job on trying to get us out of the way. When you ask me what's the end game is like asking "why you are living?". There are some questions that can't be answered. A big hug to your girlfriend from Venezuela, and we wish you the very best! Thanks for asking pal!

skittles153 karma

So you have no idea why you march then. You march because you are tired about the government, but dont know what to do when the time comes. Youre like a dog chasing its tail. Once you get it you wont know what to do? I think the opposition needs more organization and better ways to attack the current government. Right now everybody is just commiting civil disobedience. These protests arent helping your cause on the worldwide scale. Honestly, the opposition needs better organization and a solid message other than "we want toilet paper". The world will take notice once your protests get serious.

Be safe.

andreserm5 karma

Maybe you're right, we need more organization, but our main complaint isn't about just Toilet Paper, is against Corruption, Insecurity on the streets, a bad economic model, crime in the government, smuggling of the products, Impunity, a bad justice system, incompetence, and indiference above all. We don't have a leader right now, and you and i agree that with better organization and a mid-term/long-term plan we can achieve real goals, but these new wave of protests are just beggining and in fact is the expression of despair and indignation of the people that is worried about their future. Thanks so much for asking!

nopex383 karma

I've read your other comments, but can you tell us more about what motivated this, and what you would like to see happen in the end? I think a lot of us just really have no idea what's happening. We see reports of violence, but we don't know exactly what's going on or why. Also, do you have any idea how many protesters have been injured or killed at this point? Best of luck to you, and I hope you can stay safe.

andreserm5 karma

Thanks for your wishes pal. For the same media blockade is why you can't know exactly what is happening here. Some students are disappearing, other are being wounded or even killed. The government yesterday wipe out the "pic.twitter.com" domain for national users of twitter and no one was able to see pictures of the current events on the streets, it is very hard to communicate these things with outside media. You can read the bio of this IaMA and find some of the things that motivated these social explosion.

nopex382 karma

Did the government give any reason for the media blockade? Even if it's bullshit, did they say anything at all to justify it? It's just scary as hell when governments do that; it feels like they're just pulling the curtains around their country so they can kill their own people.

andreserm2 karma

No they didn't give a valid reason, they say that it's because social responsability, if a newspaper puts an article talking about crime or criticism to the government that for them is innecesary and generates more violence, when in the constitution it says that people has the right to be informed by free press and free forms of communication, Thanks for caring so much!

trollateder3 karma

Have you ever been scared for your life because of the goverment?

andreserm14 karma

Yes, today i went to a protest in my hometown and in some point people began to run becuase of the police and the national guard, i thought so much stuff about my family and my friends, thankfully nothing bad happened, and that's an example of many that i can give you. Thanks for asking.

molly3563 karma

I've never been to Venezuala but I've always been fasinated and confused by Chavez, and now even more so with Maduro. I happened to be traveling in Cuba when Chavez passed away and his image was everywhere, almost as much as Che's image. Everyone was crying and seemed to be really heartbroken over his passing. As an American it is confusing for me, we have always been told that Chavez was the epitome of evil and then I go to Cuba and it seems like he is worshiped. What is your opinion on the American perception of Chavez and the opposite side, the Cuban perception of him. Did the majority of Venezualans approve of him? What do you think of the other leaders like Evo Morales of Bolivia and the Castros of Cuba and their relationship with Chavez and your country?

andreserm3 karma

Yes, when Chavez was alive the majority of the Venezuelans voted for him, but that doesn't mean that he was a great president. Chavez is the main responsable of this mess we are living, through expropiations and price controls, concentration of powers. I do not think bad of Cubans or Bolivians or any other people, but I think that our leaders are hiding behind a populist speech and are giving a bad time to our people, is fascinanting the figure of Hugo Chavez as a martyr of the poor people, but if you investigate more and talk more about it with venezuelans, you will find another face of the coin, THANKS SO MUCH FOR ASKING!

gnualmafuerte3 karma

I am an Argentinian, and I came here to say the glory is not all yours! We're slowly catching up. I know you are laughing now, thinking we couldn't possibly reach the level of backwardness of your government, but we are working very hard to reach that point. If you underestimated Argentina's desire for self-destruction, ha! you're in for a big surprise. We've already blocked imports, artificially controlled the exchange rate of our currency, faked our inflation rate to say 3% when it's 30%, attempted to control market prices, and generally fucked up our economy in several ways. You think you are more backwards than us because you had Chavez? Chavez is nothing but a cheap copy of Peron! We Invented Peronism, so we're better at it.

Weep, Venezuela, as we dethrone you as the most backwards country in America!

andreserm2 karma

Very sad to hear that but a very interesting way of telling your story with sarcasm and a little bit of humor, i wish the best for all argentinians, let's solve our problems with peace and reason. Thanks so much for stopping by!

gnualmafuerte2 karma

;-) Humor is the best way to deal with certain situations. It's a real shame such rich countries as yours or mine are going through such hard times, with our history, our many resources, it's almost inexplicable.

But we're tough. We're used to crisis, and we've been through worse, both our countries will surely get through this.

BTW: No te jode enormemente cuando Maduro uso la palabra "Bolivariano"? Si Simon lo escuchara se pegaria un tiro en las bolas.

andreserm2 karma

Cuando usa cualquier palabra mejor dicho. Les llama "Fascista" a todos y te apuesto que ni siquiera tiene una definición concreta de lo que es pertenecer a esa ideología tan radical.

gnualmafuerte2 karma

Indeed.

In the US it's "terrorist" on the Internet, it's "Troll" In Venezuela, "Fascist", in Argentina, "Golpista".

Simple words used by the simple minded to discredit those that don't agree with the establishment.

andreserm2 karma

Yes, that's it, Thanks so much for passing by and leave that comment.

rjg10213 karma

Do you perceive the risk of a military coup if the protesting escalates? Hay gente que ya sean formando los grupos guerillas?

andreserm4 karma

No guerrilla groups doesn't exist here, they are from Colombia and they stay in the border. But i think that if the pressure and instability here continues a military coup is feasible. Thanks so much for asking and caring, we really appreciate that!

_selfishPersonReborn3 karma

Ninguna pregunta, pero espero que ustedes tengan cuidado! Muchas gracias por esta sesion de preguntas y respuestas!

andreserm3 karma

Muchísimas gracias a ti por pasarte y dejar unas palabras de apoyo para nosotros, de parte de todos los Venezolanos te lo agradecemos!

lucipherius3 karma

Fuerza hermano si se puede

andreserm2 karma

Muchas gracias por tus palabras de apoyo amigo, sabemos que estamos cerca de la victoria y que nos falta mucho por recorrer, de verdad muchas gracias!

imaylie3 karma

Fellow Venezuelan here. Just came here to say thanks to both of you for bringing a light to the situation. Stay safe!

andreserm3 karma

We are brothers and brothers take care of other brothers, thanks so much for passing by. Viva Venezuela.

netzahualcoyotl2 karma

Han habido mas muertos ademas de los dos jóvenes que murieron en la protesta pasada? Que clase de ambiente se vive en este momento en Venezuela? Suerte Chaval!

andreserm2 karma

Gracias por preguntar en ESPAÑOL! Si amigo, han habido mas muertos y desaparecidos, liberaron a ciertos estudiantes, pero las calles estan peligrosas tanto por ladrones como por autoridades represoras, sobre todo en los estados del centro del país, acá en mi ciudad las autoridades han dado el ejemplo. Muchas gracias!

th_new_me2 karma

I understand that governments can mess up economies. What kinds of things did the Venezuelan government do to cause this mess?

andreserm5 karma

Expropiations, Currency Exchange Regime, Price Controls, Corruption, Smuggling, Frauds, Bureaucracy, Populism, Impunity, Incompetence, and more and more. Thanks so much for asking, from all Venezuelans we appreciate that!

th_new_me2 karma

I hope the best for you

andreserm4 karma

Thanks so much for those words, the same for you and for your people!

thekev11302 karma

My fiancee is from Venezuela, having moved to America two years ago. Her brother will be coming next month on a travel visa and staying. Have you ever thought of doing the same? I am at a march in Kansas City now, fyi.

andreserm3 karma

WOW! That's amazing! if i had the chance to move to the USA with some family there i would do it. Cheers to all the people there and thanks for taking some of your time for our cause!

therudhman2 karma

Are you allowed to grow food in your house? How about owning an hen that lays egg? will the government take away that too?

andreserm2 karma

Yes we Venezuelans (said by the government) can do that, but I live in an apartment, the government doesn't take away EVERYTHING that people have, but i have to say that expropiations to private enterprise in the last 7 years is the main cause of the shortages that we are experiencing.

yorugua3 karma

andreserm2 karma

MUST SEE.

[deleted]2 karma

[deleted]

andreserm2 karma

We are here to serve, thanks for comment!

bonesoup2 karma

Take care of yourself and your family and friends, mi amigo. -from Brasil

andreserm4 karma

Thanks so much for your words, we really appreciate it! We wish the best for Brazil, and his people too. Don't forget about us! Thanks again amigo!

Lucifurnace2 karma

Cuales estan sus metas y como puedan tener exito? Es un golpe del estado posible y si es, que proximo? Como van a arreglar la economia?

andreserm4 karma

Nuestra meta es crear un escenario donde nuestra población y la comunidad internacional se de cuenta del grave destino por el que estamos yendo. Para tener éxito se necesita de la colaboración de todos los Venezolanos y sobre todo no caería mal el apoyo de ciertas organizaciones extranjeras. Acá en mi país el Golpe de Estado es algo ilegal y no creo que sea la manera de resolver las cosas y para arreglar nuestra economía es necesario hacerla un poco o mucho a decir verdad mas flexible y libre, nadie quiere invertir en Venezuela y nadie quiere trabajar por ella debido a la situación economica y politica inestable que presentamos, Muchas gracias por preguntar en español!

springbreakbox2 karma

Do you recognize Socialism as an evil ideology?

andreserm3 karma

Not that way, i'm not a radical, I just think that we don't live in Socialism and neither we're going in transition to it, and to answer your question I don't believe in socialism, because it doesn't fit to the human character and to the XXI Century ways of living, that's my humble opinion.

Thanks so much for asking, we Venezuelans appreciate that, cheers!

lucp22 karma

Hey man, Brazilian here. First of all, I had no idea about what was going on in Venezuela until I red this AMA. I can't believe our government support Maduro.

How bad is the media blockade?

andreserm3 karma

Very bad man! We have all the television media controlled by the government or even owned by them, like Globovisión (former opposition TV Channel) And two days ago the government blocked the access to the photos and images on twitter so you can imagine what's the mess we are living here. THANKS SO MUCH FOR ASKING! Here in Venezuela we are grateful in answering!

window52 karma

Are there any parts of Venezuela where people experience economic freedom, a relatively normal life?

andreserm2 karma

Only the richs and the criminals experience that economic freedom here, the medium class had a resurgence in the last 2000s but with the global crisis and the policies that the government took, everything screwed up and people now have to make miracles to just live a tiny decent life.

AccountHaver252 karma

What are the goals of the protest? I haven't been keeping up. Is it more reform (we don't want to change the government just some of the policies) or more revolutionary (we want Maduro out!)?

andreserm5 karma

We want Maduro out. To be sincere, but that's very difficult, but we think that the consequences of these protests will be a vital tool that will help us to get out of this nightmare we are living right now.

Some protests are pacific, some are not. We are humans and we are tired of this.

AccountHaver252 karma

I understand that this must be very hard for you. I wish for Venezuela the same I wish for all countries, happy, free and comfortable citizens. Venezuela has a lot of economic problems and that isn't good. Good luck to the Venezuelan people. Also, how is Maduro taking this?

andreserm3 karma

He shows up on the television dancing with kids and saying things about pacifism when in the streets there's a lot of violence and complaints about the administration 7 out of 10 Venezuelans thinks that this government can't find solutions to our problems, and that's worrying.

AccountHaver252 karma

Pacifism from the guy that pushed for greater relations with Gaddafi's Libya who funded many terrorist organizations? Hahahahaha! Good one. What are the solutions to the problems Venezuelans are facing and how can a new government take those solutions into effect?

andreserm1 karma

First we have to create a Front of Social Responsability and a good Justice System, make our economy more flexible and less bureoucratic, get rid of the currency exchange regime in a mid-term, and be sincere with the prices of the products so that Producers of goods can sell them for a fair profit, that's a tiny example of what miracle we have to do here.

AccountHaver252 karma

How has the government managed the economy? I know the government claims to be socialist but is it really? How about the justice system?

andreserm2 karma

Our justice system is the worst in the hemisphere, we have people who are called "Prams" they are criminals who control the prisons and the crime in streets from there, that's a tiny example of corruption in that context.

About the economy whe have a currency exchange regime that only lets you carry 3000$ a year for expenses if you want to go out borders and a black market where you cand find dollars 8 times more expensive.

Our inflation is killing us with 56% the last year, the largest in the continent (some say the world) and some extraoficial studies say that was 78%.

Our currency is devaluated weekly so you can imagine how we are dying slowly in here, we don't know what to expect. These are some examples, thanks so much for asking.

AccountHaver252 karma

You're welcome. That sounds horrible. Is there anything I can do to help?

andreserm3 karma

Yes, you can talk about it to your friends anywhere you live and spread it through social media, you can find information in twitter in these hashtags #PrayForVenezuela #SOSVenezuela or even on International Media, that's all we got, but THANKS SO MUCH FOR CARING, We venezuelans really appreciate that!

LuggagePassword123452 karma

What would you like to say to the millions of people who believe they finally can get socialism right?

andreserm1 karma

I don't understand the question, do you mean > what can i say for people who believe in socialism and have not tried it?

LuggagePassword123454 karma

Idealists in first world countries always seem to want to establish socialism where they live, because they believe they can do it correctly. What would you say to them?

andreserm7 karma

THATS A GOOD QUESTION: Eduard Bernstein german social democrat (close to Marx and Engels) once said that Marxism and his derivates had to be revisited in the study camp, he once believed that through Capitalism you can achieve a good amount of socialism in cilivized communities. Personally i don't believe in socialism, and i think that commerce and freedom are indeed natural forms of expression in human beings. Those first world countries can take those experiments because they have enough money and people prepare for the understanding of that, but i don't recommend it.

oln1 karma

There are a million definitions of what socialism means. In Europe it's generally used to describe anything left of centre, many of the major social democratic parties still use socialist in their name. That doesn't mean they support the kind policies Chavez and Maduro run. Similarly, Obama, is termed a socialist by the right in the US, but would be considered quite right wing outside the US (at least in Europe). In short, what would be described as socialism by some, might be described as neoliberal/conservative/whatever by others. So, I think it is a bit of a fallacy to say "socialism doesn't work", when there are so many ideas of what it means.

If by socialism, one is referring to things such as Maduro's policies or Soviet Union then I would agree that it doesn't seem to work very well. If by socialism, one is referring to a european-style welfare state such as Germany, then I would argue the statement is less accurate.

Anyhow, I hope you manage to make a difference and stop this madness.

andreserm2 karma

Thank you for your words, that's my humble opinion, maybe there's a possibility in where socialism can be applied and cause progress in the people by the people, but that's a long-long story and i'm not qualified to discuss that matter. A big hug for you and your people from all venezuelans.

RamallahRambler1 karma

Qué tal, Andrés? Gracias por tus respuestas, es muy interesante leer de lo que está occuriendo en el país. Espero que tu y tus seres queridos esten seguros!

Vivo en Londres y siempre me ha llamdo la atención que mas o menos todos los venezolanos que he conocido han hablado mal de Chavez y sus metas. Siempre he luchado con eso, por que pensaba que su proyecto era impresionante (aquí me refiero a sus logros en subir la alfabetización del país) y algo que iba en contra de la lógica neoliberal en la que vivimos. Sin embargo, tengo la mente abierta y acepto que no vivo en el país y por lo tanto nunca voy a saber realmente lo que pasa.

Tengo muchos cuates que dicen que ese punto de vista (que supone que Chavez era un idiota que no sabía lo que estaba haciendo) le pertence a la gente que tiene dinero. Te quiero hacer la pregunta: estás de acuerdo con eso? O sea, la gente pobre, que dice de lo que hizo Chavez y de lo que está occuriendo en el país ahora?

Muchas gracias por tu tiempo! Que te vaya bien todo, hermano!

andreserm3 karma

Muchísimas gracias por preguntar querido amigo! Chavez era un hombre con mucho carisma, que se escondía tras un discurso populista que a la larga le jugó en su contra. En realidad no todos los planes y obras de su gobierno fueron malas, ese el de alfabetización fue uno de los que le dio mas fuerza a su gestión, pero la situación que vivimos ahora viene dada gracias a su incompetencia en el area economica, el era militar, no economista ni abogado y ni siquiera comerciante. Y al parecer nunca se rodeo de buenos consejeros. Al final tantas expropiaciones y controles de cambio de la moneda resquebrajaron nuestra economía y la terminaron dejando como esta, un paraíso de la corrupción e impunidad donde para comprar un paquete de azucar al precio economico debes hacer una cola de 6 horas en un supermercado.

Amigo no crea en populismos, hay que ser realista y saber que el comercio y las libertades son expresiones humanas intransferibles. Muchísimas gracias por preguntar, de parte de los Venezolanos un gran abrazo!

Msteven71 karma

En que parte del pais vives?? Es la situacion la misma en todas partes o mas concentrada en Caracas? Tengo muchos amigos en Venezuela, espero que todos esten bien y seguros

andreserm8 karma

Amigo bien estamos por los momentos, seguros nadie. Vivo en Maracaibo y de verdad la cosa acá esta calmada, siempre hay uno que otro bobo que quiere prender en fuego la ciudad pero se le calla, en el centro del país la cosa si esta muy caliente, no se sabe que pueda pasar de acá a unos días. Muchas gracias espero tus amigos se encuentren en sus casas tranquilos. Exitos!

Msteven72 karma

Gracias por contestarme amigo! Ojala las cosas se arreglen de una manera suave y rapida, y gracias por hacer esta AMA para que estas noticias se llevan a todas partes. Suerte Amigo!

andreserm3 karma

De verdad muchísimas gracias de parte de todos mis hermanos venezolanos.

crosetaft1 karma

Do you see a lot of women at the protests or standing up to police? How are women generally treated in this difficult time?

andreserm2 karma

Yes, in fact yesterday i went to a protest and the majority of the people were women, in my country we always had a high respect for them, and in my hometown i haven't heard anything about wounded or dissapeared women, but recently a video recorded in Maracay (City from the center of the country) shows horrible events were a women is beated by policemen and even been robbed >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOMolXNJLTo

Thanks so much for asking and Vivan las Mujeres!

crosetaft2 karma

Good luck to you. It's amazing what you are doing.

andreserm2 karma

Thanks so much for asking and passing by, we wish the very best for you and your people!

window51 karma

Is it legal to own a gun in your country?

andreserm3 karma

No, since two years ago it is illegal to own a gun, that law has just increase the crime in the streets, people doesn't have any medium to defend themselves.

benjaminkp1 karma

In Mexico they organized vigilante squads that took control back over their regions.

I say "control" though, which is a very dicey word.

If people are robbing themselves, among their own pockets, then there is sadness there.

To re-direct the flow of your community to instead look outward at the cause, hopefully strength would be found there that can help your people.

Stand up!

Let us rise together and take back our senses.

(In the mean time, many plants can be doubled as toilet paper, like mullen. Chicken and milk can be grown from chickens and cows! While I have no idea what the land is like there, are people stealing chickens too?)

Also I'd stay low! I do not know the control of forces affecting Venezula, but it sounds very serious friend!

andreserm0 karma

Thanks for asking and staying, first of all here in Venezuela there's a lot of crime commited by the government and the people, people who are benefited by the crisis, smuggling, making the black market of currencies larger and so on. It's very hard to re-born the spirit of national production but i have faith that this government will end and the opportunities of change are still there. He who doesn't risks, he who doesn't wins.

romikk321 karma

even if the U.S. helped you, what makes me think your countrymen won't just turn on us like everyone else we've helped in the past? Then WE'RE the bad guys

andreserm1 karma

Rómulo Betancourt (Twice President of my country) said: "Go ahead and tell Fidel Castro that when this country needed heroes, it didn't imported them, it gave birth to them".

I don't think the US are the bad guys in everywhere, ask that to Japan, Panamá, South Korea, Post-War Europe, the people that's saying those kind of things are the leftists that don't have any space to live.

Freeiheit1 karma

How's that whole socialism thing working out for you guys?

andreserm1 karma

Bad, it's disgusting and depressing, there's no law, there's no justice, there's no incentive, there's nothing.

heswet1 karma

Did you vote for Maduro?

andreserm2 karma

That's a good question, i didn't vote for Maduro or Chavez. Thanks so much for asking!

alfienism-1 karma

Venezuela is also known to have the best plastic surgery (booty!) in South America. How does Ms. Universe bright forth light on your current political and human issues? $6 for a 2 Ltr of coke? A butt implant has to cost bank! How do you fund the revolution there?

andreserm2 karma

Very awful, there is not a revolution here, it's just an evolution to a kleptocracy. And yes a plastic surgery here will cost an eyeball. We have an actual Miss Universe and the worst economy and political bureaucracy of the Universe too. If you need a passport as a Venezuelan you have to pay more than 1000$ to get one or wait 6 to 9 months. That's an example of the corruption here.

alfienism2 karma

That is awful to hear. I hope there's a better future for you, if not there, some place else if you migrate. Jah' Bless!

andreserm1 karma

THANKS FOR YOUR WISHES, we really appreciate it!

window5-1 karma

Can the situation in Venezuela be described as tyranny by the poor people? That is the poor vote 95% for the Maduro/Chavez dictatorship. They vote that way to receive handouts from the government. The government delivers to a degree and the people who run things also enrich themselves. The people who get screwed are those who want to make an honest living. Kind of like the government system that the US is transitioning to.

andreserm3 karma

I don't know how is the situation in the US right now but for my country I can say that our government is like a Kleptocracy, they hide behind a populist speech and they give gifts to the very poor people like TV sets, Fridges even Washing machines just to get their vote, and then these poor people realize that they don't have any money to put food in the fridge, they have to bandalize TV cable connections to see it, and even they don't have money to buy clothes. Meanwhile people working for the government are getting ridiculously rich and buying stuff that contradicts their message of marxist-leninist socialism >> http://prntscr.com/2s9ojd That mac costs around 4000$ dollars here, so where are the socialists? That's a tiny example of many that i can give you. Thanks so much for asking!

Cgn38-2 karma

Definitely not just another CIA coup attempt, defiantly not that.

Same shit different day, read up on the history of "popular" coups attempts...

andreserm4 karma

Excuse me. So what do you mean? Be straightforward pls.

nopex3810 karma

The US has a history of funding and encouraging government overthrows for our own political gain. The original commenter was being sarcastic, implying that these protests are somehow being funded or encouraged by the United States, secretly. I have no where near enough information to form an opinion, but what do you think?

andreserm5 karma

False. Indeed we need help.

nopex384 karma

I wish I could; I wish we would. His original comment was about CIA backing-- the CIA doesn't give money to help actual people, just financial and political interests. This is about the only way our government would get involved.

andreserm2 karma

I really want to thank you for those words, we Venezuelans really appreciate your concerns THANKS!

Deliriumm1 karma

If you really want help start fucking with the oil

andreserm3 karma

That's hilarious, but what dou you really mean?

SmartDeeDee1 karma

He means that if we want other countries to act, which is not what we want, we need to stop selling oil to the US so they can export some democracy here, a la Irak.

andreserm2 karma

That's insane, we depend on the US so much that we can do that stuff in years, one has to be sincere and realistic.

Lucifurnace7 karma

the 2002 "coup" was believed to be backed by the CIA

andreserm11 karma

Some say, some not. I don't really care if the CIA has to be related with that, here in my country we are living in a very hard situation for every venezuelan. We need help and solutions not theories.

Mikasa135 karma

If you've been reading any of the comments on reddit, you might've noticed that for whatever reason people seem to be very cynical or skeptical about what's going on in Venezuela. Some people seem to think that this was instigated by the US. Maybe because after watching a documentary or something they think they know what's really going on. I'll give them that there is reason to question it because of past history of meddling in South America and because there is oil in Venezuela. But maybe you can shed light on the fact that regardless of that, what you live through every day is reason enough for anyone there to protest. I guess maybe that's the point of this AMA.

andreserm2 karma

Thanks for understanding! We here protest for a reason WE NEED A BETTER FUTURE and We are going to build it. I know that some international interest are seeing my country with bad eyes, but right now we need solutions, and help, not theories about conspirations. A venezuelan is saying these things to you. Thanks for been here!

Brad_Wesley2 karma

I think he is being sarcastic. The US is full of leftists who think that the Venezuelan riots are all just spoiled rich kids backed by the CIA

andreserm1 karma

Thanks for helping me understand the sarcasm used by Cgn38. And this is not backed by the CIA. In fact we need some help here.

th_new_me-8 karma

Our president of the US is a socialist too, were all screwed.

andreserm2 karma

We Venezuelans before Chavez always had a great relationship with our brothers from USA, we wish the very best for you and your people. Stay safe and in peace. Thanks again for passing by!

deus_irae336-4 karma

Good enough with the AMA, however, I think that is one sided. There's no neutral view from this user, since he's obviously a member of the opposition. I can get an idea of how bad things are... for people who are against the goverment, who clearly, are not the majority since Maduro won last elections against a coalition of all right wing parties.

Basically, this is a problem that affects the working "middle class" of the country. The goverment concentrates in giving privileges to the working low class (wich is majority of people) and giving restrictions to the middle and upper class. Even with these problems, inflation and a dropping economy are hitting the country, however, Oil is the panacea that keeps the whole ship still floating.

I have good friends that live in Venezuela right now (Caracas) and they are of course with the opposition. I respect their points of view, however, I must say that the way they try to change things is sometimes, funny.

The way anti-goverment movements work is through social media, trying to get recognition of their "unfortunate" situation by showing information that most of the times is unaccurate and clearly taken out of context in favor of their cause.

Things like "#prayforvenezuela" are so dumb IMO. It is true that communication thorugh Twitter helped to gather protestors in Egypt that shut down a dictatorship. This worked because their people was ready to change things and they had an idea (as a nation) of what they didn't want, however, they forgot to discuss what they really wanted to have, and that misinformation led to put a new and EVEN WORSE dictatorship. Now they have an even BIGGER problem and not only that, they now prosecute the young people who helped them to get into power.

Back to Venezuela, they are trying to reach people's top of mind (and international attention) through Twitter and other social networks, however, is not working and is not going to work.

Why?, you may ask. Well, the thing is that now, people will question everything they see in the Internet. Not trusting the internet is a very natural thing to me. Goverments of the first world question internet information too, so if they see crap like "JELP MI, PRAY FOR VENEZUELA" they will check if what you are saying is true, and if it is true, they will check if they should stick their noses into other country's business for things like, you know, confirmed violations to human rights and shit.

So, problems in Venezuela are bad because of a bad economy. They have a bad economy because the goverment is full of crap (and of course, the opposition is full of crap too), making stupid laws and policies that will favor low class people but it will fuck the ass on the middle class and people that own big companies.

How to change things? I'ts really difficult to say. People will have the goverment they want. I've heard that so many times and I know it's true. No dictatorship is eternal. There will be a time when people get tired of that shit and they will surely change the goverment via elections or violence. Either way, is up to ALL Venezuelans to get an agreement of what they want to have.

andreserm2 karma

First i want to thank you for passing by and caring for us Venezuelans. The second thing i want to say is that even if i am from opposition i've been saying the good and the bad of the Chavez administration, you have to read more in the comments section, it is true that we are with the sword against the wall and the only thing we have to communicate is Twitter and social media, all of that is because our government controls the majority if not all the media on Television, radio, newspapers and even two days ago they blocked the domain "pic.twitter.com" that allows us to see images and photos of the current events on the streets.

It is true that some protests are not pacific from our side, but you can watch videos where officers from authorities are using guns against students and people. Not to mention that the police are working together with criminal gangs like "Tupamaros" (Marxist group) in order to repress these protests.

PROOF >>https://twitter.com/rafavalbuena/status/433675541229490176/photo/1/large >>http://www.midiario.com/sites/default/files/styles/618x385/public/uhora/ven12f14v1.jpg

Video >> http://www.dailymotion.com/us?ff=1&urlback=%2Fvideo%2Fx1bxrd0_lo-que-no-se-vio-de-parque-carabobo_news

deus_irae3362 karma

Yeah, well, I have so much feed in my social media about the situation that I just rather ask to my friends if they are ok and that's it.

I like the fact aht you guys accept the things that you are doing wrong, but what I would like to bring to your attention is that if you want to change the goverment, you are doing it wrong. What you have to do is FIRST get close to the people that is currently supporting the actual goverment and AGREE with them with something that can create the country you both want (and of course doing it, becuase if you fail, they will never ever vote for you again).

I understand that there are some irrational dumbfucks that are so brainwashed that would not agree with you in anything, however, most people would agree with you if the oposition shows them a project of a new nation that can benefit all in a better way.

Capriles and the oposition are just crying for every action that Maduro does. They will attack every single action they make and also they will attack to their supporters, creating more division within the country.

andreserm3 karma

You're right in every single way, we have to reach those who think different from us and show them what is the country we want to build with them. I'm a oppositor of the government since i was 18 years old and was able to vote, my fathers, they have always support the government from day one in 1998. they believed in the project of Hugo Chavez, and everyday i said to them what i thought was wrong, and what was right, they respected me, and i respected them. My mom last year went in a International travel and change her mind, she became an indignated person when she saw all the problems face to face. Now in this moment we don't have any money to buy some food and we're going to borrow some money. They faced the problems everyday and they began to realize this was a mistake, a mistake for believing in populist agendas that lack real knowledge about how a country must be managed.

Thanks so much for asking, and your words are very important for every venezuelan who wants to read this IamA.

window5-6 karma

Are you aware that where you are posting, Reddit, is dominated by Obama supporters? And that Obama and his supporters are pro Chavez/Maduro? Reddit people want big government to run society. Which deep down they realize results in the horror you are experiencing. But they are willing to sacrifice you and your compatriots because they so want to believe that government has the answers.

andreserm2 karma

No, i didn't know that, and in fact I don't believe in that theory too. But i just want to thank you for asking and staying here. We wish the best for your people and for you!

AtarashiiSekai-8 karma

I support Maduro, I support the Bolivarian Revolution, and I support the Venezuelan government in dealing with these critical economic problems that are happening in the country.

Truth be told, the Venezuelan private media and private companies are the ones waging an economic war (causing shortages, driving up inflation by black market exchanges, etc.) in an attempt to destabilize Maduro's government and then blame the problems on him and his government.

I hope all the best to everyone in Venezuela, and I hope you guys work out these problems.

YangZD7 karma

First of all, thank you for coming here and expressing your sincere opinion about this subject, despite knowing that you could be probably flamed or witch hunted because we clearly expressed that we reject the current government.

We welcome you and are glad to hear your views on this issue, despite not agreeing with you and discusing this issue healthfully; Because, that's what freedom and democracy it's about. Sadly, the government you support doesn't think the same about us.

First of all, I would like to ask if you live in Venezuela?, are you constantly informed about the issues the country goes through everyday? If so, through what media?

the Venezuelan private media and private companies are the ones waging an economic war (causing shortages, driving up inflation by black market exchanges, etc.) in an attempt to destabilize Maduro's government and then blame the problems on him and his government.

Look, you need to know how basic economics works, if anything, this whole disaster has been caused all by themselves by setting price controls and a currency exchange rate regime. Let me explain, shortages are not happening just because some executive bourgeois decided to hate on Chavez/Maduro and thus decided to not sell stuff anymore or decided to sell stuff at a bigger price just because they want to give Venezuelans a hard time and blame it onto Chavez/Maduro. That's just silly. Prices are dictated by the market.

What does that mean?, let me explain it with an simple example, let's say we got this guy called greedy capitalist n°1 and this other guy called greedy capitalist n°2. They both sell toilet paper, and it costs 1,5$ to produce 1 roll of toilet paper. Guy n°1, being the greedy bourgoise he is, decided to sells it a 1 million $ so he would make a profit of 999,999$, but hey, nobody his buying his stuff!, why?, well because it's so expensive!, so here comes Guy n°2 and sells each roll for 10$ each and PEOPLE are buying it!. Guy n°1 realizes that people will not buy stuff at absurd prices, so he changes the price to 8$, and now he's selling, but guy n°2 is running out of bussiness, so he changes the price to 5$.... and this circle continues, until a fixed and naturally set price comes to happen. That's what we call market, prices dictated BY the people, not some numbers some guy decided to because he felt like it.

Let's say that the price ended in 3$, then the government come in and say that it's to expensive for the poor, so they must sell it at 2$ (or even lower that the 1.5$ needed to produce it) so, one of the guys say "Hey, wtf!, this is not worth it anymore, I can go to this other country and still sell my stuff at 3$ there but not here?, screw this! I'm going there!" And BAM!, shortages happen.

That happened in Venezuela, happened in the URSS and will happen in any country a price control is set.

Videos explaining this very same issue:

Venezuela Police Confiscate Toilet Paper

Venezuela Has No Toilet Paper and Is Still Terrible

AtarashiiSekai3 karma

Thank you for your reply

Yes, I am very interested in what is going on in Venezuela and try my best to keep up with current events and developments going on in the country by various independent news sources and news coming in from my own country about developments in Venezuela.

Venezuelanalysis,com has done extensive reporting and coverage of the opposition protests in recent days, often reflecting on the relativity violent nature of some of the protests, and some of the violent radical opposition groups reflect an almost 'coup-like' nature to the protests.

Before you hear my opinion on this, you should know that my political convictions are towards a more Marxist socialist line, meaning I believe what Maduro is doing is good but had not gone far enough. In my opinion, he should have expropriated the private media day one.

There are many different types of economics, each one depending on which theory it subscribes to (neoclassical, Keynesian, Austrian, classical, Marxian, etc.) so economics does not fit in a one-size fits all package, there are multiple types and practices, each following different laws on profits, markets, etc.

shortages are not happening just because some executive bourgeois decided to hate on Chavez/Maduro and thus decided to not sell stuff anymore or decided to sell stuff at a bigger price just because they want to give Venezuelans a hard time and blame it onto Chavez/Maduro.

No, of course not. The shortages are not occurring because prices are being raised. Shortages are occurring because products are being HOARDED, thus raising the price because these items become scarce. Or the media announcing a shortage that isn't there, which actually does create a shortage as people are in a mad rush to buy things before they run out. Venezuelan inspectors and police have found HUGE warehouses of these hoarded products. All of the things that have shortages (toilet paper, powdered milk, etc.) Presumably, these products were to be shipped out of country (probably to Colombia) to be sold at black market exchange rates in order to make more profit for owners, which raises inflation due to all the extra money entering the economy and devaluing and inflating the currency.

Economics doesn't justify that behavior; stealing from the people and destroying the economy.

andreserm3 karma

We respect your point of view, and we like to say that Chavez and his advisers were obsessed thinking that way. Right now that system is a failure in our country, doesn't fit our lifestyle, and doesn't fit our public opinion. Yes there's a lot of people who has been hiding all the products, it's true, but it's just a consequence of an economy vastly destroyed by that way of see how economics should be managed. Maybe in some other country can be applied but here in Venezuela, we are tired of this, people don't know what to do and stay in a line for 6 hours just to get a Kg of Sugar is just awful. We wish you the very best, thanks for passing by!

andreserm3 karma

The government right now doesn't have the credibility and neither knows how to use the tools that has correctly. Private media is now owned by the government or taken by them, making them act like proxies, private companies are trying to survive thanks to a failed economic system based on expropiations and corruption, the black market is increasing beacuse of this consequences too. We really have to thank you for your final words but i think you need to talk about this things with more venezuelans who live the TRUTH you are looking, best wishes from me Andrés to you.

MrMcAwhsum-10 karma

How does it feel to be a counter-revolutionary hack for the CIA?

andreserm4 karma

Excuse me but I don't understand the question.