Comments: 813 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

photorooster1245 karma

How difficult is it to get food now? Basics like toilet paper, soap, and pharmaceuticals?

bolibombis359 karma

Pharmaceuticals are a myth, even basic stuff like Loratadine or Ibuprofen. Toiler paper/soap/shampoo/you name it, is astonishingly expensive due to the current inflation that is of course if you find it on a store. Food is the same as the latter.

regular-wolf30 karma

Can you give us an example of the kinds of prices you're seeing?

bolibombis63 karma

Do you have an exact product in mind? as an example I recently saw on a supermarket some shampoos with a price range of 90000-290000 Bs. depending on brand, Rice (1/2 kg) 80000 Bs., Milk (1 liter) 95000, keep in mind that due to being on an island (free port) we don't pay taxes on products, for reference minimum wage (monthly) is around 415000 Bs.

superfredge16 karma

For reference, 1 Bs is 0.10 USD.

Therefore a half kilo of rice is roughly $8000.

Source: The internet.

Edit: please correct if wrong.

Edit 2: Apparently 1USD is 50'000 Bs.

Thank you for correcting me /u/TerribleEngineer

Edit 3:OP says 103500bs=1USD.

EnterSadman18 karma

But then again, they make $41,500 a month, so you could just suck it up for a month and come back to America.

Or your conversion is wrong.

bolibombis2 karma

The most common exchange rate is 103500 bs = 1 usd.

bolibombis3 karma

The most common exchange rate is 103500 bs = 1 usd.

Dlrlcktd2 karma

bolibombis2 karma

There have been like 2 more increases since that and every DAY things get progressively more expensive.

curious_bee1212122 karma

So... condoms are like 70$ each? Is there an explosion of pregnancies at the moment?

bolibombis241 karma

They are incredibly expensive and yeah, the teen pregnancy rate here is off the roof, child mortality is also through the roof sadly.

mlorusso4113 karma

Does it make you angry when people on this site claim that socialism is the best form of economy when you are seeing first hand how terrible it can become? Or do you still feel it can work if you get the current leadership out?

bolibombis162 karma

Yes, it makes my blood boil but is understandable that people will think that way if they haven't experienced something of this sort. I don't feel like the current leadership even is willing to work this out but even if they were in my opinion they're too incompetent to turn things around.

sl1msn1per99 karma

Do you think socialism plays an integral role in the development of the current situation since the 90s, and if so how?

bolibombis215 karma

Honestly its hard to know for sure, you could say it does but I think the main factor is corruption, the money we made when the country hit its peak in oil export was never seen, sure the real fall in the bottomless pit we are now started with Maduro but with Chavez there was a slow but noticeable decay in the infrastructure of the country. Socialism looks fine on paper but I doubt very much we will ever see a PURE socialism country thrive, I think I went off track with your question but I hope it at least clear some doubts.

sl1msn1per51 karma

Thanks for the answer, I hope you'll let me ask a follow up:

How do you think the public regard of socialism has evolved over the last two decades? Has there been criticsm based on the idea that socialism has been the issue, or contrastingly, that Venezuelan socialism is "not true socialism"? Or perhaps that there hasn't been enough socialism? Have those opinions shifted over time?

Thanks for this AMA by the way.

bolibombis151 karma

Here in the country socialism is seen as devil incarnate, its pretty much hated by everyone, except obviously the people that still align themselves with the government.

shushbug70 karma

Thanks for this! I’ve been trying to get people to understand that socialism is not a good alternative for capitalism. I just always hear “socialism is great it just has never been implemented properly.” My conclusion is that if a system needs zero corruption to work... it’s not a very good system.

bolibombis90 karma

that's exactly the problem, on paper looks perfect but once you add the human factor its screwed.

hlg003586 karma

What limitations are there if you decided you wanted to leave? Are you able to fly out of the country or apply for visas to live elsewhere?

bolibombis97 karma

Mostly money, with minimal monthly wage on 4-5$ a plane ticket is very very expensive, I had my visa for like 5 years so I don't really know how's process right now, if its still obtainable through the embassies here. And recently to leave the country officials at the airports are asking for a new sort of ID the government issued not long ago called Carnet de la Patria (motherland's license), this is considered the new official ID to most entities (for example, being required to buy food/basic products through government markets)

Edit: also what u/indefinitallie mentioned, forgot about that.

hlg003528 karma

That sounds really hard. There's an interesting episode of a Spanish podcast called Radio Ambulante and it talks about the Cubans leaving and migrating all the way from Ecuador to the United States (even going through the Darien Gap). I imagine something similar is already happening or will happen with Venezuelans.

bolibombis54 karma

Yeah, sadly this brings a sort of resentment to Venezuelan immigrants due to the mass exodus that is happening now, as a famous journalist says here the only thing we are exporting now are brains.

TyrantRC3 karma

And recently to leave the country officials at the airports are asking for a new sort of ID the government issued not long ago called Carnet de la Patria

source on this? I'm also Venezuelan and is first time I'm hearing this dude, wtf? I have mine though, but still, fuck this regime.

bolibombis5 karma

A friend of ours was detained on Maiquetia due to not having it.

TyrantRC3 karma

that's fucking insane. I got mine because I was under the impression that they were going to give benefits only to those who have it, I was not wrong since they recently gave some stupid bonus of like 500,000 Bs to like 4 millions. This is how it starts I guess, soon you will not be a person without a "carnet de la patria"

bolibombis2 karma

That's one of my biggest fears.

Skyright54 karma

What are you studying to become? Are the universities good? Do you plan on leaving after you get your degree? If so do you have any plans on how and where you'll be going?

bolibombis159 karma

I'm currently on my last semester on Electrical Engineering, my short-term plan is leaving, I still don't know how or where but even if I'm starving in another country I'll probably be better than this, I'm used to hard work so I think I could work in anything that I can found in another country.

Skyright47 karma

A hard working, smart and skilled guy. Any country in the world would be lucky to have you. Your English is great too, I doubt you'll have much trouble getting out with all that going for you. Good luck dude, I hope things get better for you and your country.

bolibombis57 karma

Thanks man, I was actually kind of nervous to do this ama because of my english :P

skittles1552 karma

My wife is venezuelan and left when she was 20 (10 years ago). It was bad then, and worse now. I know the government is blocking a lot of what is coming in, so what can we do to help out (besides talking about it)? Also, are you in Caracas?

bolibombis59 karma

Honestly just raising awareness is a lot. I'm in Margarita, an island to the northeast of the country.

skittles1523 karma

Also my wife is from margarita. The pictures are beautiful

bolibombis23 karma

Yes, I'm somewhat glad I live here and not somewhere else in the country.

skittles1510 karma

Awareness doesn't do much for you, hate to say it. I've been spreading awareness for years. I want to help in other ways. Money? Pharmaceuticals?

bolibombis13 karma

I'm not familiar with charities or something here in my city, sorry. I can do some research and see if I find some in the country and let you know.

skittles158 karma

This is the thing. I know a lot of venezuelans, being married to one. I've marched in the protests in the US, I've shared things on facebook, I talk with friends and associates about venezuela. Awareness is not your problem. The problem is that your opposition was so fractured to begin with, between lopez, caprilles and anybody else involved that you never had a joint effort. Now you are here. I've tried finding ways to send money and medicine but there seems to be no avenues. Another thing that I have seen is multiple venezuelans getting out of the country with long term visas only to return a month later... It's really surprising to me. They will tell me how bad things are in the country and then in the next breath talk about going back in a week even though they don't have to. What do you think drives that idea? I know it is home and whatnot but if they say it is as bad as it is, why even bother going back, especially after the recent news of no opposition parties in the elections?

bolibombis3 karma

Probably they weren't psychologically prepared to the fact that starting over in another country probably illegally was going to be a hell of a LOT of work.

John__Nash1 karma

Como esta la vaina chamo? :)

Do you go over to Pto la Cruz ever? Have the cruise ships stopped coming in? Are things better or worse there compared to the rest of the country?

I'd assume Margarita is one of the safest places to be right now. Do you agree or no?

bolibombis3 karma

In terms of criminality, yes I'd say is one of the safest cities in the country in every other regard we are pretty much the same as everywhere else.

marculiu51 karma


bolibombis55 karma

sadly 0, I'm not familiar with the process but I doubt I have the rig for it (or the money to get one going).

Queef_Burgers48 karma

So do you live in a university dorm or at home?

Ooh, also what did you have for breakfast?

bolibombis82 karma

Thankfully I live with my mom so I don't have to worry about rent, an Arepa :x.

KryptosAnt14 karma

Con mantequilla y queso?

bolibombis3 karma

Una margarina medio rara y queso rayado :P

Aberdolf-Linkler8 karma

In Venezuela what are the overall expenses that go I to studying at a university?

bolibombis59 karma

Well it depends on the university, most are incredibly expensive, mine is one of the most cheap ones in the city, my last payment for 1 semester was 500000 Bs. (this will sound hilarious but that's around 5$)

meatboat2tunatown42 karma

What is the best Venezuelan ethnic dish? I like to eat.

bolibombis81 karma

Arepas are the most common, they are fairly easy to make.

skittles1520 karma

My wife and I just made hallacas. We do a party every year and a bunch of venezuelans come over.

bolibombis46 karma

I'm hungry now! Hope they are delicious, happy holidays. I don't know if you're familiar with Pan de Jamon but as a sad anecdote our family has a bakery and this year we won't be able to make them due to lack of wheat flour.

MrLonA40 karma

What are the chances that people there will be able to change things for the better in the near future and a second question, what do people in general blame for the current situation?

bolibombis62 karma

IMO this won't change anytime soon, the government here is omnipotent. The general consensus is Maduro and "his lackeys".

stickmarket26 karma

Have you ever felt like your life was in imminent danger? Or someone in your family? If so, what happened?

bolibombis56 karma

We have been mugged a few times in our bakery and on long weekends they have done some B&E also and taken a lot of merchandise. The most recent mugging was some hooded guy with a "chopo" (homemade firearm) that pointed at me and my mom, thankfully no one was harmed.

madathedestroyer22 karma

What's so bad about it? If you could live anywhere else then where?

bolibombis104 karma

Oh boy I'll try to keep it as short as possible. Even tho our government officials deny it Venezuela right now has a huge crisis, economically, socially, in terms of healthcare, you name it we have a crisis on that. Economically we are now in an hyperinflation with minimum monthly wage right now at around 4-5$, in a country where nothing is made nationally thus relying on imports you can see how everything is on a highway to hell. We have an alarming rate on criminality, with Caracas (our capital) at one point being the most dangerous city in the world. Corruption is rife with no independence of powers, everything belongs to the government, last year on December the opposition won the senate but was rapidly bombed by every other power and now they can't literally do anything. Elections are a joke here with even the company that makes the machines we use for our ballots openly claiming that the numbers the goverment reported being false, also the government put out a new form of identification called Carnet de la patria (motherland's license) that were investigated by journalists and confirmed that every person that owned one of this could vote for 3 people due to the fact that besides having an identification number (owner's ID) it had a serial number + a special code, this numbers consist of three zeros (000) plus a series of numbers, these numbers were a match to DECEASED people IDs (this can be checked through the official election ruling power website, the CNE).

Edit: I'm pretty sure I forgot some things but TL:DR things are pretty bad.

Malus_a4thought19 karma

The whole country went to hell a little while ago and AFAIK everybody's starving and/or fighting the government.

Or something like that. I got distracted when every actor in my country started molesting everybody. I've been avoiding the news lately.

bolibombis31 karma

That's pretty much it, protests are not as common as early 2017 due to people being focused right now on getting food/basics.

Malus_a4thought4 karma

Oh thank you. Actually that was going to be my question: what's the current situation there right now? How are people getting necessities? Is local govt still functioning?

The last news reports I read pretty much said it was mad max down there and half the population was going to starve. I'm hoping that was blown way out of proportion.

bolibombis9 karma

Local govt. is not even a shadow of what it was before, they are mostly proxy offices for what the guys up the ladder want, last sunday there were elections for it actually, not surprisingly the govt. won 98% of them, with this situation shady doesn't even begin to describe it...

meatboat2tunatown18 karma

Who would win in a Thunderdome fight: a 50 y/o Hugo Chavez, 50 y/o Trump, 50 y/o Putin?

Also, which weapons would they choose: huge wooden mallet, dog whistle, chainsaw?

bolibombis133 karma

Prob Putin but I think Chavez would give him a run for his money with his military background. I'll bet on putin with his bare hands, chavez with a mallet and Trump with a phone with twitter access.

FitzGreenLight16 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA. I recently had a family member pass away in Venezuela that was suffering greatly, due to lack of access to basic medicine (they had a condition and it was necessary for their survival).

On top of this, I had family members who literally left their homes with nothing, and escaped to another country when the opportunity arose. Mind you, this was after multiple break ins into their home, as well as having a child kidnapped for ransom.

I left Venezuela with my family when I was young and we also had to leave everything behind. It’s such a beautiful country and it absolutely breaks my heart and spirit to see the strife her people are suffering.

All of your mentions of food, arepas, pan de jamon, is bringing back the most lovely memories! With that being said:

What do you/your friends/your family do to keep their spirits up in such trying times?

bolibombis5 karma

In general Venezuelans have a pretty good sense of humor so we joke around a lot lol.

dee_berg14 karma

If you had to guess, what percent of the population supports the President? What is their logic for supporting him when the country is in its current state?

bolibombis42 karma

Prob around 15-25% and I think I'm being generous, about their logic usually the government in their officials statements spin things around and put the blame on X, as an example our current economic situation according to the govt. is an economic war brought unto us by the us government smh.

dee_berg6 karma

Follow up, with such dissent do you think there is a realistic chance of an uprising?

bolibombis14 karma

Probably not much, when people are worried about their next meal there's not much chance they will group and organize something of the sort.

umilmi815 karma

is an economic war brought unto us by the us government

What percentage of people believe this?

bolibombis2 karma

Anyone that supports the govt. and aren't leeching off of it.

tricolfutbol13 karma

Is moving to Colombia an option for you???

bolibombis26 karma

That's one of the options I have in mind for when I finish my studies, but I'm not familiar with the immigrant process over there.

edyalcantar_008 karma

Tu ingles es muy bueno. ¿Como lo aprendiste?

bolibombis10 karma

I took a course when I was like 11 yo plus videogames.

PolakoPunch7 karma

As a person from a former-communist country, I have an intense hatred for the ideology. Have people in Venezuela realized it is a flawed system? Or are they blaming the current situation on other things?

bolibombis3 karma

It's a mixed bad really but most people blame communism.

ChinookNL6 karma

What is your total level in Runescape?

bolibombis4 karma

Never played it lol.

boredsubwoofer5 karma

How easy is it to fly to Venezuela to meet a beautiful Venezuelan girl to marry, and then bring her outside of Venezuela? (Asking for a friend)

bolibombis3 karma

I'd say is pretty easy unless you get killed in the process by muggers.

Nexus_Destiny5 karma

Is there any stable jobs there that make any decent income? If you don't mind me asking, do you have a family and how do you support them?

I have a good friend that is graduating tomorrow from the Junior College/ Highschool I'm at (In the US). He is going back to Venezuela to go help support his family after he graduates. I wish the best for him, his family, and all that are struggling down there. I hope things might start to look better in the near future, but no evidence supports that view. Best of wishes.

bolibombis14 karma

The only stable job I can think of is being aligned with the govt in some sort of political position. My family is pretty short just my mom and I, we own a bakery but we are only surviving rn, but don't have much flour to work, the govt took the distribution of it in our city and the situation took a turn to the worse, our last assignment was 12 flour sacks (45 kilograms each) for december and january, it's such a ridiculously low amount, before that we worked with around 70-80 sacks a month.

Nexus_Destiny5 karma

Who supplies the flour? Is it just that expensive that you wouldn't make profit off of buying the previous 70-80, or does the supplier just not have much flour?

Edit: grammar

bolibombis5 karma

The flour is supplied by the govt., they take it from the companies that used to distribute it here (its actually know illegal to distribute it here as a private company in my city), if they offered us the previous 70-80 we wouldn't be able to buy it due to how weakened we are economically rn, but we could do 40 maybe even 50 and eventually more by getting back at our feet but honestly given the clarity (none) the govt provides of the situation we are in its hard to know.

Dementedumlauts4 karma

Sorry to be grim, but are people with diabetes dying?

bolibombis4 karma

In Venezuela, according to the Ministry of Health's 2013 mortality yearbook, this disease ranks third as the cause of death. And that's way back currently it's probably much worse.

red_panda234 karma

How are people coping without medicine if they have chronic illnesses?

Best wishes.

bolibombis7 karma

My mom has thyroid problems, she takes Euthyrox, the batch she has now is past its expiration date and due to how hard its hard to find she only takes half a pill every 2 days.

AirMoons3 karma

What did Maduro do right?

bolibombis55 karma

I'm inclined to say nothing but I may be biased.

R1ckJamesBitch2 karma

I actually have neighbors with temp 6 month visas which are coming up soon. They plan on going back when the visas are up. Would you go back if you were in the same situation?

bolibombis22 karma

Honestly if I make it out I would never under any circumstances (excluding the country getting better, but I doubt very much that will happen soon) go back.

YOLORVA942 karma

what do you think of Bernie Sanders?

bolibombis2 karma

I think he's pretty cool I would have voted for him, sadly in the end you had to decide between 2 evils (clinton vs trump).

supermav272 karma

I know this is dumb since your life seems to be very cemented in Venezuela, but how realistically achievable would it be for you to leave? What would be the hardest aspect of that?

bolibombis2 karma

Realistically it would be hard to leave due to how expensive it'd be, the hardest part of leaving would be starting over in another country probably as an illegal immigrant.

_CptSnarf_2 karma

Do you recommend other countries become socialist?

bolibombis6 karma

I would say no but given my personal experiences my opinion may be biased.

BrushGuyThreepwood1 karma

If you had some Bitcoin, would it help you to survive now?

bolibombis3 karma

With the price of bitcoin rn, it would help a lot in getting out, idk if people are buying/selling bitcoins here in the country but with those prices every bc is worth a fortune here, as a comparison monthly minimum wage is around 4$.

sheepery1 karma

Is there any real movement to overthrow the government? Do you think it will ultimately take a civil war to fix the situation or do you see a peaceful resolution to what is going on there?

bolibombis2 karma

Sadly imo the only way the leave is through a civil war, I cannot see a peaceful way this ends.

Miss_CrispyBacon-1 karma

Have you heard anything from the poor gringo that's from Idaho?

bolibombis6 karma

Sorry, who?