Tatiana Serafin

Venezuela

My mother-in-law spent much of her youth in Venezuela where her father went to run a business after leaving Italy post WWII. She learned to hunt in the rich forests, she swam in pristine rivers – it is like hearing of Eden. It is difficult to marry this magical vision to the tragedy that has befallen Venezuela today.

Several years ago, my colleague and friend Susan Kitchens travelled to Venezuela to tell the tale of Chavez and his Cuba connection. She saw a Venezuela of squalor and danger run by a megalomaniac who was squandering his country’s resources.

Today, my mother-in-law knows she cannot travel to a place she calls home. In Speakers Corner, clinical psychologist, Felicitas Kort, writes about the fear that pervades Venezuela’s psyche and its standstill. It reminds me of the fiction story, Trailhead, in the January 23 issue of the New Yorker. The last sentence of the story: “Finally, all that the Trailheaders knew was terror, ad the existance of a choice-they could fight or run from the horror.” Felicitas for the time being has moved out of Venezuela as has her family, but she remains attached to her home. Will change ever come? I would love to one day take my daughter to see where her Nonna grew up. Hopefully that day will come.

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