Venezuela resembles a land from a post-apocalyptic novel. You can see modern skyscrapers but cannot charge your phone. You can have a computer, a mobile and a flat-screen TV but still have to cook on wood-burning stoves. While shopping it’s more practical to weight money rather than count it. Millions of people are running away from the country and those who stay, often starve.
Hugo Chavez, who came to power in 1994, believed in radical socialism and nationalization of industries (which he pursued to an extreme). He personally participated in most of the decisions being taken which, given his ideas, led to frequent overspending outside the budget. Venezuelan economy obviously started to collapse, but Chavez stated it is a result of „economic war” fought against the country. He replaced directors of state agencies and other crucial specialists in various areas with trusted followers. Obviously, this led to greater chaos. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, maintains a similar strategy (yet without Chavez’s ideals and charisma) – under his rule Venezuela plunged into chaos.
Recently, in early 2019 inflation peaked above 1.7 million percent. It means that salary can barely get you anything – average monthly pay of a doctor is enough to get a pack of eggs.
The house in which the Reinoso family lives is an old building requiring an urgent repair. Rainfalls mean sleeping in wet beds and walking in an inch of water and struggling to secure a dry spot for people (and animals).
No electricity means you can’t charge your phone, thus call an ambulance if needed, work after dusk, use a refrigerator, a computer, an electric cooker. No meds mean if a feral cat bites you, you may lose your hand. Internet shortages mean you can’t talk to your friends abroad and feeling of isolation is even greater.
But not Reinoso family. Every so often they take in yet another cat who was left behind. Despite little food available they always manage to provide their furry friends with some nutrients. They know and love each and every one of them.
Popy and Popina