Leave Right Now or Arm Yourself to the Teeth: Life in Caracas
Editor’s Note: There are few places as chaotic or dangerous as Venezuela. “Life in Caracas” is a new series of short stories that seeks to capture the surreal quality of living in a land in total disarray.
When it’s not the ads, it’s President Nicolas Maduro taking over the airwaves for a Castro-esque, rambling speech that can drag on for hours. Or it’s the “Homeland News Program,” which blares state propaganda across all airwaves twice a day.
What’s emerged in their place is all so alien to me. The endless shows praising Maduro’s latest edicts, the 1970s music paying tribute to socialism and, of course, those damn ads.
Blended together into a single message, they’re telling me that life is either to be lived elsewhere or it’s to be lived in fear. The voice of the armored-car guy keeps popping into my head. “Since medieval times, armor and shields have played an important role in history’s difficult moments,” he tells me. “How much is your security worth?”