By Sylvia Rodriguez
Venezuela: It is extremely difficult to understand what is happening in Venezuela nowadays. Political polarization is probably the hardest thing we have faced in Venezuela ever.
It is even responsible for many marriages and friendships breaking up.
The last few years have been particularly stressful for Venezuelan women, especially housewives, who try to make ends meet every month in a country that has the highest inflation rate of Latin America, and where stores face an increasing lack of food supplies.
Additionally, women fear their children will be militarized or brain-washed in a country ruled by the anti-US, revolutionary president, Hugo ChÃ¡vez, who wants to impose the â€œSocialism of the XXI Centuryâ€ in Venezuela.
In fact, the President wants to call for a referendum next December to change the constitution, which would impose an indefinite reelection of the president. Among other things, the new constitution would limit the concept of private property, the back-up of our money will only depend on the President, and there will be many limits to individual freedoms.
Venezuela has many contradictions â€” you can see extreme poverty and extreme wealth, particularly in the hands of the new government class whose members are famous for their flamboyant lifestyles.
It is fair to say that President Chavez had a few good initiatives at the beginning of this regime to help the poor, but too many promises have gone with the wind eight years later in a country with rampant corruption and lousy managers and government officials.
For now, the oil price is at its highest, but many wonder what will happen in the interim or long-run in a country that has not diversified its economy, depends entirely on imports, and fiscal spending increases day by day.
While all of that keeps hurting our pockets and our hopes every day, we are also witnessing the peculiar occurrences of our President, who tries to penetrate all of our lives.
President Hugo Chavez
He has promoted a list of changes in the country: a new national seal and the national name, and very soon changing the present currency for the â€œstrong Bolivar.â€
The latest change is pushing back Venezuelaâ€™s official time by 30 minutes. He defends this move as a non-arbitrary decision that will help children and allow them to no longer have to rise before dawn to go to school.
Many suggest that Chavez just wants to get out of Washingtonâ€™s â€œimperialistâ€ time zone. That may be so, but we are still left to wonder what his reason is for not wanting our daughters to play with Barbie dolls anymore.
Learn more about Sylvia:
Sylvia is a journalist with experience in radio and television. She has worked at Voice of America in Washington, D.C. as a writer, anchor and producer. She has also worked as a media advisor and foreign correspondent.
These days, Sylvia lives in Venezuela where, when sheâ€™s not writing for Latina Lista, she works in the area of corporate affairs.