I wonder who invented the term “la dieta de Maduro”. For those unfamiliar with the expression, it’s a pun, or sort of a joke, when you see someone in Venezuela who has lost a considerable amount of weight, looking gaunt, or unhealthily thin, a fellow compatriot asks whether or not you’re working out in your figure or are you in Maduro’s diet.
I used to be quite the fat fuck.I weighed over 200 pounds during medical school.
But a diagnosis of hypertension at age 26, as well as the medical test having me score very poorly on the outcome of my health pushed me into taking care of my figure and I decided to get in shape. With the help of my fiancée I decided to be a better version of myself.
It’s costly in this county’s, considering we have the worlds highest inflation, food scarcity, and the pains of living that’s very well documented in medical literature, bloggers, and the writings of the press that chronicles how hellish is to live in this country.
Venezuelans have this thing for making a joke outta everything, even I the worst situation. It’s part of our demonym.
Back in 2010 I was almost kidnapped in Caracas, at about 9PM, exiting a movie theatre in the Hatillo Municipality I was ambushed by two cars, they boxed me in, and armed men stepped out the cars wielding firearms.
I managed to do a manoeuvre that fits right in the Hollywood action films genre, escaped and barely made it out alive.
The kidnappers fired several rounds, one of them got me right in the right arm and my limb was torn to pieces.
After getting to the ER and having orthopaedic surgery, while I was on heavy painkillers and doped out of my mind, when everybody went to the hospital to visit me, they asked many, many times, how did it happen.
And I told them the story and I jokingly said: “Well, at least the movie was good”, or “If you think I’m fucked up, you shoulda seen how the other guy ended up” (Indeed, I ran over one of the bastards, knocked a door out of the kidnapper’s cars and avoided a headshot, but that’s a story for another time).
Venezuelans have a nasty habit of making a joke outta every single goddamn situation, as a Venezuelan I even get pissed off at that fact. Not because having a sense of humor is bad, but because we push it way too far.
It’s become a bit of vice, and we laugh our asses of it.
Comedians have made a lot of money out it.
Laureano Marquez, Bobby Comedia, Emilio Lovera, even that mediocre hack Led Varela and the Miss Universe diction teacher “Professor” José Rafael Briceño make jokes out of the fact that Venezuela ranks in top of countries that have hand-grenade injuries.
The venezuelan diaspora knows this fact a little bit too well, most people in my country flee from it because of crime rate.
Comedienne Joanna (((Hausmann))) even did a YouTube video for Latino website Flama (sort of a rip-off on Buzzfeed) to joke about the horrid kidnappings fact that haunts this beautiful nation.
But the sick part of the joke is the fact that thanks to the absolute mediocre administration of chavismo, Venezuelans are not meeting their dietary requirements.
El Impulso wrote a note on how eight out ten venezuelans are having a single meal a day!
And trust me, that meal is not that nutritious at all. Protein in Venezuela is expensive. FUCKING expensive. Well. Fucking expensive for a third world country standards.
Considering the fact that inflation rates has even brought the attention for Vice magazine’s drug-addicted junkies to write a piece on how cool it is to do some tourism on a low budget. But for the average working-class venezuelan, that has to wake up to work his ass off for pretty much less than a dollar a day, buying food is awful.
And that shit takes its toll on the nutritional status of the venezuelan.
People are getting skinnier, and are looking gaunt, and unhealthily thin every single passing day, and yet we joke about it, because why shouldn’t we? Hell, if we kid about the fact that our country has kidnappings, teen pregnancies and murders, why shouldn’t we kid about the fact that we can’t eat?
Never mind the fact that Maduro’s diet, that tropical Holodomor famine that has the population fighting each other tooth and nail over a bag of rice, looting trucks on roads, and joking on how we skinny is destroying the neurones of millions of venezuelan kids, stripping them of the potential of learning, no.
Never you mind that.
Never you mind the fact that the People’s Ombudsman Tarek William Saab, former Anzoátegui state governor, MP, and chavismo’s mouthpiece calls “immoral, irresponsible and improper” in response to Venezuela’s National Assembly actions which call the current food and medicine situation a ‘humanitarian crisis’.
All those facts don’t matter at all.
It doesn’t matter that people die in my country because they can’t find food or medicine, or because they’re being slaughtered by armed thugs, or the political prisoners, or the lack of free press.
This tropical Holodomor is just another small headline in the “international news” section of every western media outlet in the world. And one of the reasons why it remains that way is because of the fact that save for a very large group of the diaspora makes stand up comedy about it, and our opposition leaders fear to call things by their name. They fear to call the venezuelan government a dictatorship.
They fall in the trap of political correctness in the same way that in the west, their leaders fear to say the words “radical islam”.
Ayn (((Rand))) once wrote that you can avoid reality but you can’t avoid its consequences- well the same damn thing goes for my country and the fact that we are all losing weight and intellect in this place because we can’t find food to eat.
It ain’t the fact that I lack I sense of humor.
Part of our tragedy is making a joke out of everything.
The Russians had vodka, ballet, and suicidal writers.
The Cubans had cigars, rum, and music.
What do we have?
Patria, beer, and humor?