My job with NBC News and MSNBC has taken me across the U.S. and around the world, covering everything from Hurricane Maria’s aftermath to the 2016 presidential campaign. But the most painful and personal story I’ve ever told is about the death of my father and the ongoing health crisis in my home country of Venezuela: I’m here to discuss that story, but please ask me anything about journalism or my experiences as well!


Comments: 135 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

TheTrueLordHumungous26 karma

Whats the end game in Venezuela? How long until there's another serious coup attempt?

nbcnews-25 karma

The end game should be peace and ending the humanitarian crisis. But it’ll be hard for the current government and the military to relinquish power

Chtorrr17 karma

What would you most like to tell us about the situation there?

nbcnews6 karma

That it is a humanitarian crisis. The UN labeled people fleeing Venezuela ‘refugees’ this year. So it’s very isolating when you are there and it seems like the rest of the world isn’t paying that much attention

LeftOfCenter1515 karma

Is this due to socialism, and does socialism work? Sure doesn't seem like it works to me. Thanks for the time.

filbertsnuts3 karma

This has little to do with socialism and everything to do with corruption and planning your entire economy around a volatile commodity.

nbcnews-1 karma

Nothing to do with socialism but everything to do with corruption and mismanagement of oil funds, as well as perpetuating the same Government in power for years on end...

JustOneSexQuestion10 karma

Thank you for doing this. And thank you for sharing such a painful and personal story. The combination of sadness and anger must be pretty hard to stand.

1.- Why do you think Maduro still has so much support inside Venezuela, from the people, and from the government?

2.- What do you think he's hanging his hopes on? Other than the hyper surge on the price of oil.

nbcnews5 karma

Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

1) he doesn’t have that much support anymore. Just this week he was thrown rocks at during a public appearance. People are starving.

2) Members is his government have been sanctioned by the US for drug trafficking and other human rights violations. If they lose power, they will be held accountable

fedupBiPeD6 karma

Hi Mariana, thank you for doing this. I'm wondering whether you think there is a viable alternative for government in Venezuela? From what I know, it seems that the opposition is merely asking for the current government to fall and it's members to be prosecuted. Given that the current government has unconditional power, it doesn't seem to me like a good strategy to motivate them to cede any of it.

nbcnews0 karma

The opposition has also failed the people of Venezuela in coming up with a viable political alternative.

Amiramaf1 karma

You said that the government, a decade ago, motivated you to look for opportunities abroad so then cover and help Venezuela from your foreign position. (Marvelous labor)

  1. What do you think is the next target to achieve as digital journalists and from your current position (talking about your career and Venezuelan people) ?

  2. What would you say to all students and recent graduates of your field that are Venezuelans and feel lost with the forced change as emigrants? How hard was become into the extraordinary profesional you are today even in a foreign language?

Thank you so much and congratulations!

nbcnews2 karma

Thank you for your beautiful comments and questions.

1) I think our next target should be to continue to cover the story and contribute to shed light in anyway we can.

2) it’s very hard to leave your country. many of us had no choice. But Venezuelans are very creative and resourceful and we have found ways to be successful amid these circumstances

Juliana_Barrera071 karma

The most powerful line on your article was : "My father believed in Venezuela’s recovery until his last breath. But for me, any hope that Venezuela would get better any time soon left with him in that black bag". What do you think is next for Venezuela or in the following years?

nbcnews5 karma

I honestly don’t have much hope the situation will change any time soon. After the same government has been in power for 20 years, it’s like Cuba, where any change is very hard to come by.

HazardMancer1 karma

Do you think that if there wasn't a price war over oil, Venezuela's government would have tanked as hard as it did?

nbcnews6 karma

The economic crisis was definitely perpetuated by a drop in oil prices and that weakened the government a great deal. But mismanagement of funds had a lot to do with it too!

fhurtado0 karma

Hi, Mariana. Thank you for doing this!

What do you think US-based journalists can do to cover the crisis from here? Any resources you suggest using? Any story angles you think need more attention?

Also, what can journalists do to make people care about something going on in another country? It seems empathy-building is one of the things readers struggle with, especially in the U.S.

nbcnews5 karma

More, more and more coverage for sure. There are a lot of threads that make this relevant to our US audience. The key is finding characters who are universal down there. Children are always an easy way into the stories. And there are so many children suffering the lack of food and medicine.

Make people realize this is about human beings dying (3 hour flight from Miami!) and use social media to build an audience around it.

madmoran10290 karma

Hi Mariana and thanks for doing what you are doing. To put the crisis into perspective what other country or region would you compare this crisis to? Also with this crisis what would you like to see being done by average Americans to help?

nbcnews8 karma

In terms of the humanitarian crisis, honestly this is similar to the special period in Cuba (shortage of food and medicine) and the refugee crisis in Syria. I would like average Americans to realize this is a country in our hemisphere, 3 hour flight from Miami, that is facing a crisis we can’t ignore

nbcnews-1 karma

Thank you for your question. We have to keep pushing on social and digital. Media is driven by clicks, and we have the power to also drive what gets covered based on what we click on. Find journos who are covering the story on twitter and click on their stories and give them shout outs

nbcnews-1 karma


nbcnews-2 karma

Thanks for your question. Hopefully no more corruption. But truth is that Venezuela’s capacity to extract and process oil has been diminished since the gov dismantled the state oil company and fired its top people in 2003

nbcnews-3 karma

The diaspora is growing everyday. The UN officially labeled people fleeing Venezuela ‘refugees’

nbcnews-3 karma

The government would need to stop regulating the oficial price of the dollar and start importing basic goods and supplies, kick starting the economy for the health crisis to improve slightly but right now it’s just getting worse and worse. Diseases that had been considered eradicated have resurfaced

nbcnews-4 karma

They are headed to neighboring Colombia, Brazil for the most part. But also Chile, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and the United States