If I hadn’t already left, #meiríademasiado

Hand it to the alarmingly clueless kids behind Venezuela’s new viral video sensation, Caracas, City of Goodbyes: they’ve made an exceptionally compelling bit of content. Compelling, that is, in the way Rebecca Black’s Friday was compelling. You sit there, slack-jawed, disbelieving that kids could really be so dismally devoid of self-awareness that they fail to see what total asses they’re making of themselves.

One way or another, it’s physically impossible to resist the urge to comment. In that – and in exactly nothing else – you have to tip your hat to them:

To the non-Spanish speakers, what we have is a bunch of aggressively spoiled rich white kids sitting around feeling sorry for themselves that Venezuelans are so beastly that they can’t even exercise their core human right to party until 4 in the morning in relative safety. Their incessant whining about the fact that all their friends are leaving town are sprinkled with a failure of understand the world around them that just boggles the mind. This film is only superficially about emigration: really, it’s about a class that’s utterly failed to understand its own privilege.

The Venezuelan twittersphere has gone to town on these hapless kids. It’s as easy to see why, and hard to work up any real sympathy about the cyberbullying they’re now suffering.

What’s valuable about the video is that it peels back the curtain on a corner of Venezuela that’s more mythologized than understood: the very top of the socio-economic ladder. Here we have a generational self-portrait of heartbreaking earnestness: transparent in its inability to empathize with the third world country all around it, in its blasé sense of entitlement, in its unwitting determination to confirm every single chavista stereotype about itself.

I’m not even going to try to hide the successive waves of self-loathing that washed over me as I watched it, a horror born of recognition of too much of my own upbringing in these kids’ lives.

It’s staggering to think that even now, even at this stage in the game, kids who were maybe 6 or 7 years old when Chávez came to power exhibit no insight about the nature and injustice of the insane privileges they (we) enjoyed.

That even now their sense of Venezuelanness is made of nothing beyond eating arepas and empanadas.

That they could live through what they’ve lived through, enjoy the educational advantages they’ve enjoyed, witness the things they’ve witnessed, and come out the other side with such a black hole of civic engagement, of critical awareness, of minimal comprehension about dónde están paraos.

I find it impossible to suppress the thought that maybe, when all is said and done, the one good thing chavismo will leave in its trail is precisely that this bit of the elite really is saying its “goodbyes”, that a class that will always feel much more at home in Weston than in Antímano is fucking right off and going to live in Weston.

But then I think back at their counterparts – kids who I also know are out there, because I’ve met them – who grew up with amazing privilege and are now working their asses off to give something back, to build a democratic order far more inclusive and just than the one their parents and grandparents bequeathed them. I know that Caracas, Ciudad de Despedidas showcases the very worst of our economic elite, not all of it.

And I reflect that those kids – smart, engaged, conscious, hard-working and self-aware -they’re the ones I met working on Henrique Capriles’s campaign. And Pablo Pérez’s. Hell, even in María Corina Machado’s.

The political class that will run the Venezuela of, say 2030-2050, educated at elite Caracas schools and, in a lot of cases, foreign universities, is the political class that’s cutting its teeth in the fight against chavista petrocaudillism. They’re the ones who aren’t saying their despedidas, the ones who stayed behind, and who are doing the tough, grinding, day-to-day work on the ground to create the conditions for a return to democracy.

We’re unbelievably lucky to have them…and we’ll be better off for having them run a country that’s been self-cleansed of the detritus shown on that compelling, compelling video.

Incidentally, if you want to see a properly smart/biting video about the reasons to want to get out of Caracas…


224 thoughts on “If I hadn’t already left, #meiríademasiado

  1. “The political class that will run the Venezuela of, say 2030-2050, educated at elite Caracas schools and, in a lot of cases, foreign universities, is the political class that’s cutting its teeth in the fight against chavista petrocaudillism” I was one of them. And although I want to get rid of Chavez, I repent of all the time I spent trying to do this “fight”. I regret using my really low entry-level accountant salary to buy omeprazol for the other kids that were more hardcore than me, that were in a hunger strike. I regret not telling them: “stop hurting your body, this is not worthy”

    And that’s it. This country is not worthy to die for. I hate the video… I can’t stand caracas-sifrino accent. But truth is, leaving the country has giving me the chance of thinking something else, and realize that the opposition in Venezuela is a bunch of socialists that have the sifrino faces of Caracas with the exact same policies than Chavez. So, glad to be in Canada.

    • Salomon, do you think you are so different from those kids? Perhaps because you “are not socialist like those sifrinos de Caracas”?
      You didn’t get it at all. You are a part of it.

      • dude, I’m not gonna be an ally of someone that wants to change a failed policy for another failed policy, only having as difference the way to speak (sifrino instead of malandro) or the way they look (light vs dark skin). When there is absolutely no hope (despair) you only have extremism and radicalism at your side (Movimiento Democrata Liberal) I preferred to go to Canada :)

        Maybe in your view I am part of the problem. Can’t help with that.

        • It is fascinating that someone against socialism chose Canada as an ideal destination.

          VSolomon, what would the problem according to you? Political views? economical? Do you rgue that Venezuela needs liberalism?

          Also one must look beyond the looks, having a malandro or sifrino or light or dark skin tells you nothing about someones ability to make good decisions. Education and experience are better determinants of that.

            • If Canada is a socialist country like Cuba, despite having far more economic freedom, I guess I am a socialist too. We are all socialists now. Chávez is actually trying to create a Canada in Venezuelan soil… (I wish I could be stupid like that)

          • Much as one who cooks is not necessarily a chef, a nation with socialized education is not necessarily socialist.

            • All I am saying is that Canada has socialized education and health. Also a lot of state owned utility and other services. Economic freedom has to do more with regulations that actual state ownership.

              If anything Canada is more socialized than many latinamerican nations a definitely more than the united states.

              • I’m not sure but I think much of Canada’s healthcare, for example, is private, but people think it is “socialized” just because the government pays for it, but the institutions are still privately run. Similarly, other aspects of Canada’s “socialism” have many more aspects of “capitalism”.

                So, you can argue that Canada is socialist but if you go to meetings of socialists, the last thing they’ll describe is Canada.

                Think of it: Queen, Parliament, freer economy than most, majority conservative party, buddies with USA, stronger private financial institutions than most, etc. As far as I know, Canadians aren’t taught to be “socialist”, they’re taught to be considerate of those less fortunate, and to be socially responsible, but also to go out and make money, the more, the better. I would say Canada is more capitalist than socialist.

            • It’s a false debate. Living here, my take is that Canadians (or, at least, Quebeckers) are both more capitalist and more socialist and there’s no contradiction in that because what they really are is good at bureaucracy.

              It’s stunning how smoothly things run here, how hassle-free and bullshit-free everything is. You can register a new company at a photocopy shop in a few minutes. I lost my Medicare Card and my driver’s license a few months ago and it took literally less than 10 minutes at a public administration office to get them both back.

              There’s zero tolerance for bureaucratic bullshit and obstructionism, and that’s an attitude that cuts across the public sector/private sector divide.

              • Quico, I’m surprised that you would be picky as to when it was time to call Venezuela a dictatorship, but not picky as to calling Canada a socialist nation. Perhaps it’s semantics, but a nation with a queen, a parliament –a conservative majority one–, and promoting free and competitive market enterprise as much as it does is not a socialist model by any definition. Just because it has institutions, programs, and policies that are pro-social does not make the government a socialist one.

                I agree that it has more socialist and more capitalist than latin american countries, but that still doesn’t make it a model of socialism. Ask a socialist.

                If you get right down to it, you may as well call UCT a socialist proposal, but it’s not. It’s pro-social, yes, but it’s as capitalist as it can get. It’s not socialist, no matter how much more to the left its anti-poverty bent is than anything chavez has promised doing, let alone done.

                “an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels” World English Dictionary

                ^^ , Canada is not.

            • And that’s the way it should be. Venezuela is stuck precisely because this debate of either socialism or capitalism happens. It should be a little bit of both in an appropriate balance.

            • I think is dumb to have an aversion for either capitalism or socialism. A lot of people in this country seem to have that. The two systems don;t have to be contradictory.

              By socialized health care is that it is plaid with taxes and you pay for it whether you use it or not (not very liberal). I am not sure how do they weight economic freedom since it is something that involves many things from regulation to state ownership.

              ps. I agree that HCR economic ideas are not great and I am more in line with MCM, but HCR democratic and institutional ideas are in line with what I think and that’s why he will get my vote.

            • This is how easy it is for having your opening up your own business. It’s easier than subscribing to wordpress…


              The system is not perfectly free, but hell, people here respect my crazy shit no matter how crazy it is. They just ignore me. They don’t send the cops to put me in jail every time I say something politically incorrect. Sometimes people may try to shut me down not with force, but with arguments. I like that. It’s fun. I’m not saying I’m right…

              Canada is all about state rights instead of the federal government saying what to do. It’s not perfect… but that’s harina de otro costal.

        • Excuse me but the last time that I check Canada has a socialized medical care system.
          The problem is not the socialism, it is the degree of development of the country. How many European countries have socialism governments?
          About the video, I grew up with the “Sifrino’s generation” in the 70″s and I could stand it then …now you have the Sifrino ME Generation…I just can believe it!

          • After reading your comment I am sure that Vsalomon’s comment is right. Venezuela is hopeless because its people still cant see who the enemy is. Capriles would change a hardcore socialism for a softcore socialism. And this softcore would still be far more radical than any socialism from the first world. The last to leave please turn out all the lights please. Greetings from Brazil.

          • Canadians really do things well. They provide socialized health care with somewhat private institutions. It’s not that I like it. It’s not that I think is perfect. Canada is more like a voucher system… I could make that compromise for education and health care.

            • I lived there 8 months as a temporally resident I got health care for free… Canada it is a model to follow in social development, I invite you to live there and you will see and it is more than other Latino american countries…

              • I´m feeling too sorrowful for communism in Venezuela. It´s the same as in Cuba. People has not Ipad, nor Iphones, Nor Imar, Nor Wii… Nor even aesthetical surgery. I´m feeling like in Cuba.
                In Holy Weeks, Carnival or any other vacation times, nobody travels. No one goes to the discotheques.
                I´m feeling depressed, maybe someday I cut my veins again, because Venezuela has a lack of good glamour. “Ranchos” that were manssions once upon 16 years. Ugly and black people, who don´t speak English, only malandro spanish. Indians.. I hate indians they are so .. dirty. Colombia is a developed nation, with no tukkies (malandros), with no poor people.. USA is great, Spain too, there is no crisis: not Okupas, not niscrimination.

              • Why the mockery? Canada has a genuine socialist health care system; socialist because of its nature as well as for the fact that it was the socialists who established it an got it into the Constitution. So why are you mocking this? Are you just one of those ignoramuses that every once in a while show up around here, or are you a specimen of the uñaenelrabo Chavista who considers having a father, not being poor, having an education, taking a bath once or twice a week, or HAVING A WORKING HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN A REASONABLY WELL-RUN COUNTRY as bourgeois values?

  2. I don’t think it necessarily has to do with the fact that you’ve stayed back home or that you went on and studied abroad. It is more a matter of crude elitist ignorance that does inhabit a fairly decent chunk of the upper class (go to Rosalinda or Le Club and you’ll meet tomorrow’s above-the-law jerks). It was something you would’ve expect Marie Antoinette to say back in French Revolution times, a complete lack of understanding of what is really going on around them, as it is well put in this article.
    But then again, there’s an active and involved group of young people, who are back home or abroad, but committed to the rebuilding and reunification process that ought to lead Venezuela 20-30 years for now. Many of the ‘estudiantes’ from ’07 ans ’08 are now masters or PhD students. That is why losing faith seems utterly pointless, in spite of saps like those depicted in this video (the guy from the east of the east, the ‘i would totally leave’ idiot and the Hipster Nazi who loves Polly Pockets and Origami.

    • Danny Moe. I agree with you about the guisero jerks you find at Rosalinda and Le Club some times. But what bothers me most is how must people suck up to them as if they had invented windows, when all they do is buy and sell dollars with special government grants. There is a big destruction of moral fiber in our generation with the easy money they make these days, that will be veeery hard to deal with later on…

      • Definitely. Our generation has been the group of people sucked into the chaos the hardest, I find. It was us who had to deal with the whole April 2002 thing in our most troubling and unstable years (the teens), which has to do some damage. It was at our most impressionable age that we saw, nay, witnessed our parents, older relatives, friends, neighbours, and a long etcetera try to topple a government, with radical chants, and the most intolerant position around. Put simply, in the age when our values had to be confirmed, restructured and solidified, we were forced to pick sides of something we weren’t completely sure of what it was. We were simply told what to believe, no discussion involved. Now, I’m not saying Chavez was right, and that we are indeed Imperial terrorists, pero de que nos tenía locos, nos tenía locos.
        Go forward in time five years, when these teenagers were already university students for the most part, and a new breaking point was reached: la Reforma. Naturally, that lesson learned some time ago and that lied passively in the back of our mind just came back to the top of our priority list, and rightfully so.
        So, shortly put, it is because of this tumultuous upbringing that a considerable portion of our demographic is so idle-minded to the chaos around us, and can’t even find a decent way to express their discomfort to the never-ending list of complaints (most of them seemingly banal and “first world pain-ish”). And the same way we have these nitwits, we have the “no creo en nadie” sort of fellow, for exactly the same reason. In the most creole fashion, se pasaron de vivos. To them it was all about vini, vidi, vinci and the Benjamins, and accordingly the acted. The fact that they do have suck ups left and right is merely a reflection of how little things change from one side of the political spectrum to the other. Boliburgueses, a term we tend to apply specifically for the nouveau riche in red, and up-and-coming crooked yuppies.
        Un abrazo, Luifer!

  3. I think that they are just a bunch of morons, that happen to be upper middle class kids. That is all. They do not represent anybody but themselves.

    Remember that the majority of people in this world do not care about politics at all! These kids just want to live their lives in peace an in ccs that is not easy to do. You have written about this fact here before. The majority simply does not care.

    • Those kids are upper class, not middle class. I know middle class kids. they’re not middle class. They are definitely upper class, because I also know upper class kids.

  4. That city is a twisted, wretched universe all of its own. Should Caracas disappear, with all its elites and poor, with its factions from AD, Copei, PSUV, with its plastic surgeons, TV stations, political pundits, business managers et all, I can’t say the country would be fine, but I bet it sure would be better than now.

  5. Glad that you see it this way, bro.

    What pisses me off are people who should know better with excuses about how these poor birds in golden cages are not to blame, because they can not go outside because of crime, and they are young and… Fuck it. These kids had access to the best education available in the country, they are living times where it’s near impossible not to be aware somehow of politics, these are not the Caldera times, and They have had access to the Internet since ever!. You can be inside your house, but with this tool you can still know many things, read and educate yourself. There are no excuses for this lack of awareness. It is not irreversible, and I hope they reflect on why this video caused such bitter reactions. It must be hard for the parents of these kids, once they realize the kind of zombies they raised.

    What is sad to me, is that a lot of the reaction is only stupid nationalism, and shows a different lack of self awareness, an instinctive defense of the group, and, as instinctive, non thinking. Don’t say anything, don’t criticize, Este es el mejor país del mundo, ándate a la mierda si no te gusta, acá todo está bien. So, no matter if your reasons to leave are that you want party at 3 AM or because you don’t wanna become a sellout to the govt in order to have a decent income doing what you love, or because half of your family has been decimated by crime. It does not matter, shut up and dance in the Land of Grace. This attitude is not only among Chavistas, but also in a large part of the oppo sector.

    As a friend of mine said: Sifrinazi says: Heil Hipster!

    • It’s true. It’s also true that in its irreverence, its sense of fun and its critical bite, a lot of the chalequeo they’ve been getting ends up reconciling you with Venezuela. The video is as dismal as some of the pushback has been uplifting. I mean…

      That’s just classic…

      • The problem is, I’ve always thought about el chalequeo about serious issues as a means to negotiate with our failures, a ploy to essentialize our debates and dodge the bullets of fruitful mutual engagement. As an alternative to further violence is OK, but it is not necessarily constructive.

        Of course, I will anyway laugh at some of these jokes (especially some of the many memes I’ve seen in Twitter since I woke up this side of the Pacific). Others are not funny at all, especially those that reflect, in a very subtle way, the violence, contempt and utter lack of empathy that, more than ever, seems to characterize our social ethos.

  6. A sad outcome of this will be that any future attempt to discuss the “brain drain” Venezuela is having will be conditioned by this video. More than a million Venezuelans have left the country, some of them are the best and brightest we have and that we’ll need to rebuild and restore our economy, but now Chavistas and other sceptics will point to this video and say: “Only the rich kids are leaving, the real Venezuelans are staying and working hard”. Dissapointment.

    Probably, those kids had good intentions but looks like they did more harm than good.

    • Yes, the absurd amounts of self righteousness and stupid nationalism are nauseating. And not only among the Chavistas.

  7. One thing I can see here, also, is the role of Great Social Equalizer of Venezuelan (Public) Universities.

    Living here in Chile, I have realized the role of Universities as spaces where people mix independently of their social class. At least that was my experience, maybe in bigger schools there is less mixing. But I feel that keeping the Universities open is a great factor of social stability in our society. Once you realize that the Tuky, the Sifrino and the Campesino all have to study hard or they won’t pass, of course, some have advantages, others are hungry all the time, but y’all are together, once you realizes there are more similarities than differences, it’s harder to swallow any classist bullshit, whether it is about monos or about burguesitos. We are all people, and you are equal to me in rights, even if you are richer/poorer. In Chile, this mix seems not to happen, and that is one of the reasons why class differences are so marked here. Well, that, and the fact that the middle class is not pelando bola, but the working class is.

  8. Just some thoughts:
    1) Treat it for what it is. This was done by a bunch elite upper middle class, private university students to pass a class. This is not a discovery channel “documentary”.

    2) They are a bunch of elitist, that may not be, but surely appear to be assholes and they complain, and appear not to want to solve anything, about the most superficial problems affecting Venezuelans.

    Having said that,I think there are bigger topics that this video deals with it, although it fails miserably in doing so. There is a massive Brain drain happening and a lot of people are leaving. A lot of these people leave, not because they feel better living in Weston than in Antimano, but for some of the same things the video mentions. Partying at 3 AM is not a right, but walking on the street at 4 PM and being afraid of being robbed is very common Venezuelan feeling. Clogged pipes and inundated streets happen everywhere in the world, but the lack of effective local government and the disdain that most Venezuelans have for it is something everyone has though of. They live a very small bubble, its true, but a lot of Venezuelans do. Their bubble is really really small for sure, inspired by the fear of overprotecting parents, but is it different than the bubble of somebody that decides not to leave their house after midnight anymore after being robbed/kidnapped last week? or the bubble that a lot of caraquenos put on themselves of not visiting some parts of the city for the paranoia? of being robbed.

    After reading the comments on twitter I think I disliked more the comments than the video. There is apparently, an idea of a moral superiority of those who decided to stay and “fight” in Venezuela. And there is the reflex response of those who left of “you have no idea of what it takes to leave or how hard it is”. The comments of twitter I think, more than reflecting a hate for this video, reflect a widening division among those who stay and those who choose to leave and makes me wonder if the Venezuelan society has reach a point where it is not possible anymore to talk about a topic without mentally downgrading those who chose different than you.

    About the polly pocket nazi, as dumb as she can be, somebody very familiar publish a very similar though about a month ago, and a lot of people were laughing about it: http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/21-04-2011/caracas-saboteara-sus-vias-de-acceso-para-permanecer-vacia/

      • OK we can all agree this was a stupid video. How old are the protagonists? I’m guessing college age 18-22. Anybody criticizing them undertook something similar to this at their age? I’m not being an apologist, but i am saying give them a little slack

          • Who said these were elites? They’re doofuses alright, but why should they be representative of anything? N=3 is not a good sample.

    • Absolutely the smartest thing said on this board so far.

      Hate to brake it to you Francisco but Yelling at those of us who’d much rather live in Weston (Ft. Lauderdale to be more precise) than in Venezuela to fuck off isn’t really winning any friends.

      I Love Venezuela more than words can express, and to think that I wouldn’t go back if conditions were better is preposterous. But to return to a country that has been on figurative tenterhooks for the better part of a decade and expect for me or anyone in my ineffectual generation to actually manage to change something without sacrificing themselves entirely is kinda (read: totally) ludicrous.

      No-one wants to pay that price for their country, especially when what they’re fighting against is their own country. And although I know it’s useless to say it at this point this is by no means an endorsement of the sheer stupidity and childlike ignorance of what are unfortunately my peers I don’t think it’s unreasonable for someone to want to leave VE.

      I would have gladly lay my life down to protect the USA, and Venezuela before it, from any threat to it, but to lay down my life to protect it from itself is akin to asking me to sacrifice everything on what in essence boils down to a coin-flip

      • In Canada you can try and hit on girls (or dudes) without being affraid of waking up dead with no nails, no manhood, and with plenty other signs of torture.

        • I don’t understand what this guy is saying. On the other hand, the kids have the perfect right to say what they feel, but their audience (an audience they expected to have, or otherwise would have refused to be filmed) is likewise entitled to say what they think of their opinion.

          People always should be aware of what they’re saying in an era where there’s frequently a camera pointing at you. That count for both sides, as some of the opinions against the video/the kids are appallingly stupid and off the mark.

          Personally, I think the video unintentionally exposes a bunch of very shallow, stupid, somewhat irresponsible, maybe spoiled kids (I don’t know if they’re rich, but they sure ain’t poor), but what they say, even in their irritating and depressing way of saying it, is as valid as anything each of us could say about what leaving (and living in) our country means.

  9. That was a fascinating post. I have always been repulsed by a certain type you describe; though they exist here (and throughout the “west”), they don’t exist side by side with massive poverty, so somehow it seems less outrageous, though it should not be. Part of the repulsion may stem from being too close to it at times. Those people instinctually recognize us (extranjeros) as their friends when we arrive in venezuela. Not without reason.

    My sense is that chavismo is strangling the middle classes, and this segment of society is just doing fine, with a few inconsequential adjustments. They still glide through airports in their pastel colours and behave like everything they have they deserve. And they are more than ready to do any deal with the devil. What I also see though, is the “new” elite emulating that behaviour and those values (or lack thereof), and taking it to the heights of hypocrisy.

    • Indeed, Canucklehead, the Boligarch kids become just like these guys…the others will talk derisively about how the parvenus act, but after a while, it will be more of the same…and it has been like that since time immemorial.

        • the twitter phenomena is the same, but the core issue is quite different.

          Rosinés photographed herself holding a bunch of dollars in a country where having dollars is forbidden and where her father is constantly screaming against the United States. Rosinés name was also used by her father in a public speech to justify having changed the country’s symbol and next used as an excuse to fine a popular journal.

          Here we have a bunch of kids that express their feelings on a reality they are living. They are not doing anything illegal, they are not insulting anybody, they are not responsible for anything.

          • Bruni; like your blog re this topic. It’s easy to criticize from far away, in the comfort of a stable political, economical and social environment. My family is visiting CCS in a near future and I am afraid for their security (“more than 100 express kidnapping the last weekend”) and we -in our wombs- are hard on those kids. Maybe in a near future we have to be more congenial and understanding on their basic problem and not in the way they express them “sifrinos”.

          • Bruni, they are not doing anything illegal. The point is not whether it is good or bad to emigrate. They are NOT babies, for goodness sake…these are young men and women, well over 18 years old.
            They show a level of immaturity that is pretty striking for their age, they are not 12.
            This does not come with “es culpa de Chávez que ha puesto todo esto tan inseguro”. We had this kind of kids before Chávez. It’s the level of
            lack of empathy for the rest of society…and this is very typical of a lot of Latin families who “have made it”…por eso es que estamos como estamos y siempre lo estuvimos.

            And yes, they are insulting, they are insulting the poor who do not have the facilities these young men and women (not kids, children) have.
            They aren’t responsible for anything? Then nobody is responsible for anything.
            When violence occurs, when people decide to riot, then don’t get surprise.
            Give them cake, right?

            You have been lately talking about “too much PC” and stuff like that. It seems you are turning more conservative by the day.

            Empathy. Think about it.

            Apparently you didn’t spend much time learning about “the others” in Venezuela. They are the great majority. You have the right not to care, but then don’t be surprise when Chávez happens.

            • And we should think about our own capacity for awareness. Haven’t you thought about the social background of those having one and the other position towards this video?

              1) among those who criticize the video you see all backgrounds
              2) among those who defend the video you will see only ONE pretty similar social background…and guess which one it is.

              And it has been like that with a lot of topics here…pero no se dan cuenta.

            • Yeah Bruni, conservative = lack of empathy. Have you learned nothing from one hundred years of pamphlets?

            • And if she can’t see how offensive this video can be for millions of Venezuelans then
              she hasn’t understood the country where she was born, so: yes, I talk about lack of empathy.

  10. It’s hilarious to hear you guys complaining about the absolute lack of self-awareness demonstrated by the kids in the video. It’s like watching a fan of the Star Wars movies complaining about the poor characterization and lousy plotting in the Twilight movies.

    First off, are you “self-aware” that the only reason why your own reasons for wanting to get rid of Chavez sound more reasonable, deep, clever, etc than these kid’s reasons is because THOSE ARE YOUR REASONS, and everything that is attached to YOUR emotions will invariably sound more important than something that isn’t? Oh, so you want “democracy” back and want a government that “represents everyone instead of just a small fraction of the population” and a government that “actually solves the problems instead of just giving money away”. And why would you want those things? So your can live happier lives? So that you don’t have to worry about crime when you leave your house at night? So you can be prosperous and have a big-screen TV, a huge car, vacations every year, and all that cool stuff? Sure, but that’s totally different from the kids who only complain about not being able to party hard anymore. You want YOUR happiness. They want their happiness which is a totally different thing and not important at all.

    And by the way, how many times have I heard people here claim that most of the problems in Venezuela (from crime to clientelismo to caudillismo) are the result of poor education and “if we only could provide them with good education, all those problems will end.” Well, these kids had the best education money can buy. Does that seem to have done a lot of good to them? Sure, they seem considerably less violent, but that’s mostly because they are too stupid to learn how to use a gun.

    You want self-awareness, then begin by accepting reality: human beings are little more than hairless monkeys, and 95% of them will remain hairless monkeys through their whole lives no matter what you do. Giving them an education won’t solve the problem. It’d only help them use bigger words while they do and say the stupid things they’ll invariably do and say.

    • That was a very nice straw man. Delightful, indeed. Now, tell us when you are ready to engage in real debate, not in a debate with the caricatures living in your head.

      • Instantly disqualifying the other will not get you anywhere. On the other hand, we should not asume that for the mere fact of having rich parents these kids are well educated. I have taught rich lids like these privately, and the level in a lot of them is appaling, just in a different way than you would find in a barrio kid, but equally lacking in an even mediocre understanding of the universe,world, continent, country, society, city, in which they live.

        I think many middle, upper-middle, and upper class parents have come to embrace wretched values, and thus they send their kids to school which provide them what they seek: a safe environment, ok, but the assurance that they will mingle with (mostly) white, rich kids like them, that leave the real country walled out of the bubble. They want their kids to make friends with future Masters of the World, and couldn’t care less about education.

        • Ironically, these days, only education will allow you to get there. Internet is changing everything, and this is a small sample. At the same time that our country is going through difficult changes, so is the world, in a different way.

          However, I could not compare these kids with the barrio kids. It is one thing to have very little opportunities and resources and end up ignorant. It is a completely different thing to have had the opportunities and means and end up ignorant. The end results might look similar, but one is much less acceptable to me than the other. Exceptional people can arise from an extreme environment, but I’d like a society where you don’t have to be exceptional to thrive and be happy, just competent.

    • Many times you will find that your opponents arguments are just adjectives. That indicates you are winning. You probably know who said something about speaking up and speaking often for what you say cannot be unheard, no matter if they are not ready to accept your position.

  11. It’s like “Havok”, but without the saving grace of Anne Hathaway’s breasts. #triplefacepalm (when the fail is so strong, you need a buddy to lend a hand.)

    There are many valid reasons for wanting to emigrate, even for children of privilege who are largely insulated from them. A gilded cage is still a cage, after all. And the desire to be able to “go out at 3 in the morning” stops sounding ridiculous once you leave Venezuela and spend some time in a place where that’s actually possible. Over here, my native-born friends get nervous when driving through neighborhoods that are nicer than the one I used to live in in Maracaibo.

    But it’s as if these kids shot this as a job application for El Chiguire Bipolar. If someone came out and claimed the PSUV produced it as a trapo rojo, I would totally believe it. Or rather, would WANT to believe it. Civic engagement: You’re doing it wrong.

  12. I suppose this is a good moment to inform my friends and colleagues on this blog, that after living in Venezuela for over six years, I have also recently said my “despedidos”… por ahora…

    I still have my permanent home in Venezuela and intend to keep it, realizing that even that is at the mercy of the upcoming events. However, I was offered a job to manage a project in Helsinki, Finland, and found that the prospect of doing something important, while making money and living in a modern country where everything works was too attractive to pass up. I feel sad to be so far away from my home (the first real home of my adult life) and my friends whom I consider my family in Venezuela. I already miss so many things: My “marron grande” in the mornings, smiling and greeting strangers on the street, hugging and kissing in greeting, instead of the more formal (cerrados y frios) ways of the Finns, and too many more to count.

    In the end, I had to accept that I was bored in Venezuela, because I couldn’t do anything useful. I had had plans to invest and work in small scale property development, but the economic and political climate made it pointless and foolhardy to pursue those plans. Meanwhile, the quality of life continued to get worse and the risks greater. Had I had a family and children, I would have left sooner. A single man can accept risks that he dare not subject his family to.

    As for the political scene, I feel as though I am leaving the theater just before the final act of the play. On the other hand, I may be very glad I did so. Time will tell. I will still follow, intensely, the news from Venezuela, and will continue to participate in this blog. However, I also know, that I will not have the same perspective and my opinions and commentary will not contain the same sense of immediacy and presence that they would were I to be living in Venezuela.

    I wish all of you are still in Venezuela the best and I know that there are many good men and women still “en la lucha”. I wouldn’t worry about those idiot kids who are leaving. Perhaps if they have to actually work for a living in the real world they might learn something. If not, they are lost and ultimately irrelevant. I have confidence that the Venezuela that eventually emerges from the coming crisis will be “humbler but wiser” and an even better and stronger country and culture.

    Suerte mis amigos!

    • Good luck Roy,and maybe someday you can return.Venezuela gets under your skin and I am sure you will not forget her. Good luck !

    • Roy said “I had had plans to invest and work in small scale property development, but the economic and political climate made it pointless and foolhardy to pursue those plans.”
      I can only say even though we lost several businesses and tried to start some new ones, I hope we will be able start again. There could be so many good jobs and opportunities in
      Venezuela in a different environment.
      Keep in touch. Your thoughts and opinions are always interesting and original.
      A la orden, Senor.

    • Best of luck Roy! Looking forward to reading your comments about life in Finland.

  13. On the other hand, the whole chavistoide way of saying “malditos sifrinos hijos de papi y mami” is far more interesting than the video itself.

  14. The fact and the problem is, ALL Venezuelans live inside a f****ing bubble. An environment so far from anything normalcy and making sense. It surely is a different bubble depending on wealth and where you live. With shared characteristics, though. It’s a more comfortable bubble for these upper class young people. And a hellish one for less wealthy young people.

    The clueless upper-class kids will at least see the world, where you work, do business, pay taxes, party, perform voluntary work and learn some civic spirit, have a feeling of equality with blue collar or cleaning workers, walk the streets without fearing that some murderous psycho will choose you to rob or kidnap and then kill. So… maybe they can learn to be sensible people in a foreign land.

    The expectations of the less-well-off are just as fantastic and probably about as pernicious or worse.There’s no going to a normal place outside Venezuela and no concept what it might be for most Venezuelans who instead expect oil to finance the whole shebang, the government to promise to solve their every problem with no input from them, money or oversight, and any significant amount of personal wealth to have been stolen somehow. I am really sad for them, not for the rich kids.

    You just bumped into a video made by a clueless group of barely out of adolescence kids (the most clueless of them all) that is easy to poke fun at because their bubble looks comfy. They are silly and alienated. But theirs is only a small (and probably self-correcting, they might see the world and solve their problem) part of the general and lethal cluelessness that Venezuela suffers.

    • At least the “airheads” have some project all their own, air-headed and all. Going away and live like people, maybe get an education and stop being airheads, work and do some business. That they will pull off, if they will, with their very own resources. Maybe, they will pay taxes and enjoy services in the “Socialism” (what frigging Socialism? the wealth is privately generated then taxed, almost all of it!) that rules in other latitudes.

      That’s far more “enlightened” than what many Venezuelans have in mind. Far more at any rate than the kind of BS expectations that are nowadays “popular” and typical of “el pueblo” like almost free gasoline, bus and metro fare or dollars… the huge OLD mound of crap that Venezuelans have seen re-baptized as Socialismo, but I have known all my life as petrorrentismo and pedigueñeria institucionalizada.

      In one sense, you can almost hope that the politically motivated and educated ones that are above the other two groups will engage in a bit of constructive deception. Listen and agree with the crap of the top and bottom rent-seekers, but seek to change it under their very feet. “Okay, I will listen to your free gas “aspirations” for a while, but will surely adjust the price of it first chance”

  15. I kind of fail to hold anything against them despite the fact that they’re so clueless and living in a bubble for the simple reason that it’s very easy to ‘check out’ of life when you live in any of the more problematic areas of Latin America. The lack of civic engagement and concern about anything pertaining to national matters is really a defense mechanism more than anything else because if they were to pay attention to all the problems in Venezuela and actually rack their brains they would probably become as cynical as the rest of us. I view it more as an interesting ethnographic experiment, basically capturing a slice of Venezuelan life even if it is white, rich and limited. I just don’t get any satisfaction from excoriating them.

  16. It’s incredible how people have created such a shitstorm about this. You can’t expect a bunch of kids to take seriously the interviews they did, it was just a project between friends and didn’t have the objective of reflecting anything in a serious fashion. I personally know most of those kids and have talked to them about everything, politics, society, cinema, music, etc., and they’re much more educated and conscious than any other group of youths I have met. They were just caught in a bad moment of jodedera and pocaseriedad. Yes, without a doubt these kids have more privileges than most, but with the exception of Raquel and maybe Johan they are not part of the “rancid-elitist-babyeating upper-crust”, these are the same kids that would rather spend a couple of days in Todasana eating crackers with diablitos and drinking cheap beer than in a weekend shopping spree in Miami. Maybe they didn’t express how they should have or didn’t give the perfect examples but their points are totally valid (Adela: Lack of opportunities. Johan: Insecurity. Raquel: shit infrastructure). Anyone who mocks that girl for complaining about the rains and bad sewerage has obviously never been trapped in a freeway when Caracas collapses and turns into a parking lot or seen a bunch of ranchos fall on top other ranchos.

    If anything this video had taken out the resentful chavista inside most venezuelans.

      • I see the video, and the see the “Caracas: el unico riesgo es que te puedan matar” videos. Is there any difference betweent them, besides seeing the Venezuelan reality from two different points of view? To me, it just reflects the same reality

        • I find that baffling: the Unico Riesgo videos vibrate with wit, mischievous satire and intelligence. Of course they reflect the same reality – that was exactly my point – it’s just that Unico Riesgo brings a level of self-awareness CCDD could only dream of.

          • Yes, it failed, but I do not think the authors had that intention. People is trashing this video because these kids do not feel safe in their bubble anymore and want to check out. Can you really blame them? See “Unico Riesgo” and then CCDD back to back and I in, my opinion you cannot. I read this* in 2007 and it makes me wonder why is everybody hating on them?.

            I read Caracas Chronicle’s tweet about that this video is not about emigration, but a lack of awareness of the benefits that these kids have enjoyed and it might be true, but it is obvious that most people saw it the other way. There is an incredible storm in twitter in which the main points seems to be if you leave, you are an idiot and we do not want you back, and to me that is much worse than this video


          • You’re comparing apples and oranges. The Unico Riesgo videos are scripted and acted the CCDD are candid interviews, which one is more authentic?

    • Finally someone with a bit of sense! Really this whole affair has brought out the worst in Venezuelans. Calling these young kids morons, that they’re just sifrinos etc… so I guess being a sifrino is a bad thing… ok…. Having a privileged background must be terrible then.. tut tut tut…. Sounds kinda familiar…. Something along the lines of “Ser rico es malo”! I wonder where I’ve heard that one before? Hmmmmm
      It sort of looks like most Venezuelans although they won’t admit it share something in common with you know who.
      I can totally relate to these kids, having been one myself. Or am I to think that everyone who watched the videos were NERDS in their late teens and very early 20’s. When I was that age all I cared about was being young, my social life, getting through university, having fun, being out an about, coming home late at 3 or even 4 am (sometimes even later) after either a night out partying or at an all nighters study group before exams.
      I certainly was not a Nerd, however I was far from being a MORON. I was just young. Is that wrong? Every age has its phase and I feel that all those who are criticizing these youngsters have forgotten of their youth. And to those who are criticizing their mandibuleo, their background, shame on you! If you honestly believe that being from the East is bad, then you truly deserve the government you have.

      On another note…. I thought that the editors of this blog were expats from their country. Have they returned? Did they not say their Goodbyes once?

      ” I find it impossible to suppress the thought that maybe, when all is said and done, the one good thing chavismo will leave in its trail is precisely that this bit of the elite really is saying its “goodbyes”, that a class that will always feel much more at home in Weston than in Antímano is fucking right off and going to live in Weston”

      • You really have reading problems, man. The point is not whether they belong to any social class or whether they migrated. As people repeatedly pointed out, a lot of us migrated long ago.
        It is complete lack of awareness for the rest of the world.
        You don’t need to be a genius. I repeat: you do NOT NEED to be a genius. You do not need to be a nerd. These guys don’t even use a posh Spanish accent. They cannot even talk. But that’s not the point. The point is they care a fig about people who are in the shit.

        One thing is to be young and have a lot of fun and do “silly things” and another be a total wanker.

        • Dear Mr Kepler,

          I may have reading problems as you stated above. Perhaps you could help me out with the comment below. As I seem to be having issues with it. I am undestanding it very differently to what you responded to me.. hmmm… help please.
          Kepler says:
          May 8, 2012 at 9:02 am
          And we should think about our own capacity for awareness. Haven’t you thought about the social background of those having one and the other position towards this video?

          1) among those who criticize the video you see all backgrounds
          2) among those who defend the video you will see only ONE pretty similar social background…and guess which one it is.

          And it has been like that with a lot of topics here…pero no se dan cuenta.

  17. I don’t get the drama. In a country filled with utterly amoral, viva la pepa kind of people, are you really expecting that the offsprings of, erm, utterly amoral, viva la pepa kind of people are going to be any diiferent?

    I don’t get it.

    Que se vayan demasiado, being away from the bubble strengthens the spirit and makes people grow up and mature.

  18. The video is superficial- no doubt, however the below bespeaks of something much worse, and quite true:

    ” la tenebrosa facilidad con que en este país alguien es capaz de injuriar y de amenazar a otro por un motivo tan fútil como éste ”

    The ugly responses people had to these kids was most shocking!

    • Indeed, Firepigette, the ugly responses people had to these kids says more about them than about the rather banal, doo-dah banter and offhand views of these very conventional, upper middle class kids. They’re not saying anything particularly brilliant, or incisive, and I don’t get the feeling that the purpose of this video, which appears to be just another film class project, was to portray them as such.

      So where’s the big fuss already?

      I suspect that much of the reaction comes from a very typical holier-than-thou, class-guilt mentality that’s all too common among Venezuela’s privileged class. Anyone who’d talk about the “waves of self-loathing that washed over [him]” as he watched the video is probably right on the money — and saying a great deal more about himself than the producers of this ho-hum videro. More worrisome by far are the sentiments expressed by those who yearn for a “country that’s been self-cleansed of the detritus shown on that compelling, compelling video.” Detritus, you say?. This is scary stuff. Next we’ll hear calls for ethnic cleansing of those within the privileged classes who “just don’t get it.” Instigated, more likely than not, by the guilt-ridden members of the privileged class attempting to do penance for the gross sins of their forefathers, and eager to prove to all comers that they do get it, with a vengeance.

      • “…detritus?” How cruel. Eric, at your suggestion I just wasted almost 30 minutes of my life watching the video of what appear to airhead teenaged kids being airhead teenage kids, reading a post trashing the airhead teenage kids (plus comments) that, con todo respeto, is unworthy of Quico who I hope lives happily and prosperously in Canada, and writing this comment. No te lo perdono, Eric. :-) When my oldest son and daughter were that age they were airheads too, but now that one is 30 and the other 26 they’re well-informed, hard-working, dedicated professionals in their respective fields. Emerging Venezuelan leaders like Capriles Radonsky are men and women who are quite a few years older, more experienced and mature than these kids. The comparison is unfair, and flawed – as anyone who has raised children through their teen years to self-sustaining adulthood knows.

        • Thumbs up. Kids will be kids. Hopefully they will get something out of all this and become better persons. Can we please go back to talk about more meaningful things?

          • Teenagers and young adults can be weird but they can still be engaged, aware and contribute to society. It is not necessarily a second infancy. Even more of a problem is that many don’t transition to adulthood, though they may eventually occupy adult positions. They will be the ones who bring the nanny along on their family vacations to do the adult work with their own kids.

            • Like Gringo said: give the kids a couple of years. Hoperfully, they’ll get there. However, kids like these are the norm, and kids that are socially or politically engaged are the exception. I was probably not much better than them when I was their age, although and not exactly the poster boy for sifrinismo. Kids in theirs twenties are mostly concerns about hooking up, having fun and showing off. That’s true not only for the upper class, but also for the middle and lower class. And that’s no only in Venezuela, but in other countries too.

      • Eric,

        Exactly, and the atmosphere in Venezuela has ballooned so out of proportion that many people try to affirm themselves by showing how much they despise others who ” don’t quite get it right”. This is potentially a very dangerous situation and a distraction from standing up to those who really do commit outrageous deeds.

  19. The thing that disgust me the most was realizing that I have actually thought like those kids in some moment of my life, yelling: “I hope there were no people in this fucking city” and things like that. However, I am not upper class, and I think my family has made its own way from low-middle to upper-middle. So I know how is not having access to privileges then I cannot feel the “indolencia” that these kids have. I live abroad and I don’t have intentions to go back, cool. But, we definitely disagree in the reasons that I have for going away.

  20. Coño, que bolas, en serio. Este es un post quejándose de los niños ricos, sifrinos y pa´ñapa blancos de caracas, pero quién lo escribe es el poster child de la “oligarquía” (ya que andamos de chavistas en este post) venezolana de los años 90. Es más, el autor orgullosamente es descendiente de no sé que prócer de la independencia y de algún Hardy, que a mi no me suena a apellido de zambo de Socopó.

    Lo que quiero decir, es que este es un blog que por definición es de sifrinitos,porque si no hablás inglés te jodiste. Por lo tanto, porque joder a estos chamos que por lo menos tuvieron la valentía de decir lo que pensaban???? Aunque sus razones parezcan superficiales, ellos simplemente están describiendo su realidad. Obviamente hay otras realidades, como los chamos que viven en un barrio por ejemplo. Pero parece que en Venezuela si uno no nació pobre, no es del pueblo y por ende no tiene derecho a expresarse. Que lástima que el discurso chavista haya calado tanto en nosotros mismos.

    • Claro, yo no les objeto la plata, ni los privilegios, pq tienes razón, el rabo’e’paja mio le da tres vueltas a la cuadra. Yo les objeto la total ausencia de conciencia crítica sobre su condición, que ni es lo mismo, ni es igual…

      • That’s one of the problems over there, on the one hand you have these kids, being bashed pretty much everywhere for being so superficial and “out of touch” with reality. And in the other the “pueblo” that are pretty much convinced thanks to so many years of revolution that whatever they don’t have is because the parents of those rich kids took it from them. And it seems neither side cares little for the other.

    • No me jodas, EJ.

      Te vas a enfrascar en ad hominems a estas alturas del partido? Si tu capacidad de lectura y raciocinio te lleva a decir que un blog en inglés con artículos de macroeconomía, política, sociedad y activismo es lo mismo que “me iría demasiado”, pues dejan mucho que desear tales capcidades. El peo no es la plata o falta de ella, sino la falta de coherencia y perspectiva.

      Y ojalá más oligarcas tuvieran la mitad de seso y calor humano que tiene Quico, coño.

  21. The video is worth a *roll-eye* and nothing else. Anyone who has attended a private school or university in Caracas have had contact with such shallow kids. They are not worth our time. I would rather talk about the reasons why engineers, professors, physicians and other professionals are leaving the country in flocks. That’d worst a post, not this silly viral video.

    Yes, you talk about young guys and gals fighting the good fight against petrocaudillism, but those are mostly persons that can afford it. If you are concerned about making ends meet or raising a family with the meager income of a professional, things are not as rosy as this video implies.

    And about crime, collapsing public utilities, inflation and scarcity, please don’t get me started…

    • Actually, I used the video to show my sifrina niece – who has been visiting for few months – how shallow and ridicule one can be when things are done without thinking and I told her “you are better than this, so be careful”.
      She agreed and got inmediatly self concious about using the “o sea”. I hope she drops it.

      • Not every 20-something reads the news or books about political science or philosophy. Most of us were probably dumb kids trying to have fun and with a poor notion about how the world works. At least that was my case. I can relate to this article (http://www.panfletonegro.com/v/2012/05/04/caracas-ciudad-de-despedidas-chatas/):

        “Durante el paro del 2002 yo tenía veinte años y recuerdo quejarme hasta la muerte porque no estrenaban Las Dos Torres porque los cines estaban cerrados, quién sabe de cuántas más tonterías me habré quejado mientras hacía la cola para echar gasolina o salía a protestar contra el gobierno.
        Quizá la diferencia entre mi versión de esa época y de los nuevos veinteañeros es que yo tenía esperanza en que todo el problema fuera pasajero y ellos probablemente no y es lo triste. Esa es la edad perfecta para ser frívolo, para ser idealista, para creer en un mundo mejor y no para ser pisoteado una y otra vez por un Estado que te odia ni para vivir en un ghetto clase media ni de que te maten a un amigo o tengas que donar sangre para el familiar que balearon saliendo de su casa. Ojalá pudieran agarrar más calle, ojalá no tuviesen que escapar a la frivolidad.”

  22. What makes me despair really is not their disengagement and lack of understanding of the crumbling reality around them (you don’t ask that of normal teenagers, do you?) but how inarticulate most of them are, their constant and irritating use profanity and how dumb in general they seem to be. Are these the members of the Caracas elite educated in the best schools of the capital? Jesús, María y José!!!!

  23. Went to school with kids like these. Can’t really say I liked it much. But their reasons are as valid as yours or mine. If their concerns are being able to go out without culillo (or their parents) I think it’s more than a reasonable thing to want.

    I left the country 9 years ago, seems “demasiado” right now :)

  24. Come on! These are kids being kids! Why do you have to be “socially aware”, “politically active” and so forth 24/7? This is a video about them. It’s exclusively about them, it’s about THEIR Caracas, their life, their experience. That’s it. Is it stupid and egocentric and sifrino? Of course, but I don’t think that they were shooting for anything but that. You, and I mean everyone, are being terribly unfair with these kids. Were they commissioned to make a Venezuelan Schindler’s List? Or maybe a Caracas 1984? I think that criticizing these kids shows more about self guilt than anything else. Why do they have to be self aware? Why are we forcing them to be socially coherent? Who are we to force anyone to be what WE want them to be. It’s like banning all stupid cinema, or outlawing certain media, or novels by Corin Tellado. If these kids were attempting to do something profound and deep and socially meaninful, then sure, let’s give them a piece of our mind. But as far as I know this video is not being payed with taxpayer’s money, is not offensive, and is not trying to say things is not saying. So stop it. Give these kids the same chance we’ve all had at being kids, and stupid spoiled kids at that. Really.

  25. I don’t understand the bullying. I watched the video and it is quite well done. The kids are expressing themselves and saying exactly what they think. In some cases they are saying outloud what many people think, like that Caracas would be great without people (because it is a beautiful place, but overcrowded).

    The kids are expressing their reality and they are doing it with candor. I think it is fine like that. This is what they wanted to show us, how they feel. We don’t know anything else. Maybe some of them are political leaders at their University. Maybe others have engaged in local community projects. We just don’t know. The only thing that we know is a snapshot on a reality, and quite a good snapshot.

    Moreover, I didn’t see any of those kids attacking anyone, verbally abusing anyone or bragging about their situation. Quite the opposite, one specifically says, with a hint of criticism, that he grew up in the East of the East.

    So please, stop the bullying and the politically correctness. These kids HAVE the right to express themselves without being bullied.

    • The funniest things: 1) the “kids” are meant to be disconnected, and yet, all they do is to talk about the problems that THEY face, problems that affect THEIR life, i.e. insecurity, lack of opportunities / prospects, generalised anarchy / chaos, etc.; 2) 99% of early 20s people simply don’t give a toss about politics -that’s the reality and has been the reality for as long as I can remember; 3) of all people that could -with a degree of credibility- be incensed about this and rasgarse las vestiduras debido a la suprema e intolerable indignacion, we get FT -the mother of all sifrinos (and proudly so)- and his equally sifrino groupies.

      Quite unbelievable this neo-indignado fru fru movement.

      • I don’t like character assassination. To anyone. So far, there is absolutely no one who have tried disecting the video against their content. All they care about is that they are sifrinos… Yes, dude, they are sifrinos, they speak like bitches and weasels. Are they right to go? YES. Could I make a better job at doing a better delivery? YES. Is Venezuela a country in which you have to be carefull who you look and how you look it?

        In Canada you can engage in the most hateful speech, and no one will do anything violent to you. In Venezuela, this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT5iMp2HJAw&feature=related

        In Canada you can open up your small business with just a click, in Venezuela… this is what happens: http://www.caracaschronicles.com

        In Canada the people is closer to their government by having strong state rights, in Venezuela this is what happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWxSbCz2KQA

        I didn’t want to leave Venezuela. At some point my parents wanted to force me out of the country. It was the very people in the youth movement that convinced me this was gone to hell and it was way beyond Chavez. Ironically, the party that I find now more ideologically aligned to my philosophy (Proyecto Venezuela) is nothing but a cancer worse than PSUV in the Carabobo politics… After I made my parents vote for el pollo once again, and having them telling me never again, and seeing how the people of the movement flipped and flopped depending on the instructions from el viejo Salas, I decided it wasn’t worth a fight.

    • You are quite correct Bruni, they are not being cruel to anyone, nor are they presenting a post graduate treatise ; they are just sharing their life experiences, so why the bullying?

    • No, no y mil veces no. People with such attitude are not much better than Diosdado Cabello, the very same who said a few years ago “Al que no le gusta que se vaya!”. And I wouldn’t be surprise if some of the guys in this video pull a Carlos Baute , the guy who left the country a couple of years after singing “yo me quedo en Venezuela porque yo soy optimista.”

      Furthermore, why should be Venezuelans living abroad be treated as cowards and second class citizens. That’s so wrong in so many levels. Can you blame, for example, the people who left the country after the razzia in PDVSA? What about the engineers that couldn’t finf a job because of the Lista Tascon?

      No, no, no. Muy mal, viejo. Muy, pero muy mal…

      • Well, here I agree with Barreda. I criticized the video basically for the lack of awareness towards “the others” , something for which you don’t need to be a 30-year old political genius. These young men and women should have known it would backfire in no time.

        On the other side, I reject criticisms about them wanting to leave or not…and it’s not only because I also left but because 1) freedom of movement is a right and 2) it has been a very frequent thing to do for the last 100 000 years.

        There were lots of Irish emigrating and no one was talking down about them in Ireland. The same happened in Spain, in France, in Italy, etc. The only people who did not migrated willingly to Venezuela were the Africans and few Venezuelans are 100% Afro-American (and even the ones with the darkest skin have European and native American genes as well)

        Somehow Venezuelans since Chávez is in power see emigration more like a sin. It is not.

    • “Aqui no la vamos a hechar ni la culpa a la politica ni ninguno de esos temas por que sinceramente no nos interesa”

      hummm…. Maybe you should. Politics is the source of most of the problems in Venezuela and the solutions have to start at that source.

    • See, the mocking part was good, but I guess mocking is easy. When they tried be serious they didn’t do much better than the CCDD video. Everyone lives in their own bubble.

    • @1:40
      “Caracas seria sin gente… sin negros, sin gente pobre, sin chicheros, sin obreros que son unos niches de mi…”

      I couldn’t let this one go. That was not in the original video. That is a creation of your own mind whoever wrote/acted this part. Speaks volumes about you.

  26. I really cannot quite understand how this post made to this blog. I really cannot. Everything I have read about CCDD sounds something like “Yo no soy tan sifrino como ellos” or something like “Yo si tengo buenas razones para irme” or worst “los que se quedan son los que valen”. It is quite remarkable how a stupid video like this one made it so big, tells you a lot about the quick self defense mechanism of venezuelans to avoid being associated with the universally hated sifrino.

    Yes they are sifrinos, they are not happy and they want to leave. Do you have to ask for their head? really?

  27. I can proudly say that Im part of the generation that woke up politically. I graduated UNIMET in 2010 and I WORKED MY ASS OF since 2007 to get people to engage in political activities. I did it founding an organization about political debates and activities, one about social work and was elected twice to be in the student government CEUM.
    In my experience, people who get involved are very few and half of them do it to meet new people, not because they like it. Either way the majority of people don’t want to think about this things, they just want to have a normal life and the fact that they can’t find it in Venezuela makes them lose their identity with the country, and I don’t blame them…
    In my case I left Venezuela because I don’t have anything to give back right now. I have to think about myself before my country. If when I’m older I did well for myself, I’m better educated, and have significant experience, then I would love to go back and serve my country. But to stay and “repartir panfletos” for 10 years while listening to the ñángaras UCVista explain why they´re superior beings, pelando bola, and then say that I´ve payed my dues and deserve a curúl or an alcaldía…. No thanks. I would rather not be envolved
    Even though some of us leave, we don´t forget. And if the country gives us the opportunity I´m sure we´ll go back and do great things for it.

    • That is the feeling I share with you. But the last two days have kept me amazed, the real documentary should be the reaction to this video and not what these kids are thinking. Hopefully, most of the people who stays do not think that those who left for whatever reason are airhead sifrinos. But that is the feeling I am getting, and it just reinforces one of the things that made me left in the first place

  28. The video has opened up a realm for discussion about a range of very important topics in Venezuelan society, at least among ourselves (in the still limited space of our social media commentary), and possibly in countless conversations among relatives, friends, colleagues, etc. today and the next few days to come (the window won’t be open too long, I’m afraid). As Quico suggests, this is good in itself – it is precisely the kind of disposition towards critique and conversation that we need to get going in our public sphere. We’re better off with it than without it.

    That said, the video and its viral discussion say more about ourselves than we are willing to admit. Apparently, we have a quick n’ ready proclivity to essentialize and cast someone else as ‘the other’, and to dehumanize this other in the name of an unidentified common standard or need. Between “Caracas estaria mejor sin los caraquenos / yo soy del este del este” and the draconian Fuenteovejuna (all-against-one) that followed in the social media commentary against the ‘sifrinitos’ there is a very close connection, one that is defined by exclusion and implicit aggression. We need to further debate how and why this is connected to our history; how this is linked to our past and present political discourse; and how it relates to our conception of power, authority, law and order.

  29. I think the video hit a nerve. What others dont want to accept or say, I really dont see what the fuzz is about, it’s reality for the well to do kids, whether in the East of Caracas, in El Trigo in Valencia, Las Delicias in Maracay or whatever in Maracaibo or Maturin. (even Barinas)

    Why do people complain if Cadivi does not give money to all fields of study? After all, few of those kids getting Cadivi dollars are planning to come back. But some people make an issue of the policy by Cadivi. To me it is all anedoctical in the end.

    neither seems to be a very interesting subject, just a reality thanks to distortions and arbitrage in an oil rich country.

    • El Trigal, chamo…o sea, El Trigo nada que ver.
      Y ahora hay otros sitios mucho más “Norte” que El Trigal Norte, aunque están al Oeste.

    • i totally agree with bruno except to say they i believe these kids to be at most middle class kids that may live in “el este del este” but not as most people think upper high crust … amos del valle pues. those mostly yasefuerondemasiado…

    • Epa ni tan calvo ni con dos pelucas. Freedom of expression works both ways. Whereas you don’t have the right to assassination, you have the right to character assassination. You have the right to make a crappy video, and you also have the right to have your opinion and right it in an article or in twitter. People are not entitled to feel good about themselves. In other words, the freedom of expression of those who express their hatred for the video is as good as the freedom of expression of those who made the video. As long as there is no use of force, it’s all good.

      • forgot to say: “when you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say”

      • Vsalomon, there is a twist in what you say. Your comment is exactly like the end of the comment someone made in my blog. I thought about it and I saw the difference:

        The kids that appear in the video, the producers and the directors are all identified and identifiable. On the other hand, most of those that keep sending instant tweets making fun or insulting the kids are anonymous.

        Then, there is something “surnoise” in the fact that the kids have the courage of their ideas, the courage to tell them in front of the public with their own name and faces whereas those that attack them do it in an anonymous fashion, just because Internet allows it.

        So do not equalize the two situations. They would be equal if those that attack the kids would sign with their own names and their own photos. When they do it in an anonymous fashion, their freedom of expression becomes bullying.

  30. ok, for whatever it’s worth… even after reading most comments i still can’t understand why quico and some others are so indignant of this silly video of wanabee sifrinos that i couldn’t get myself to completely watch.
    first of all, these are not elite or high class kids… at all!! they do want to be portrayed as such, ergo all that mandibuleo and posturing is just part of it. real sifirinos mandibulean distinto. more subtlelike, they dress, look and act different… like it’s a given. and in any case these wanabees are superficially and inarticulately whining in typical teenage fashion about what bugs them. they live inside their navels…. soo? have you guys forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager, once you crawled out of yours? do they have freedom of expression, or not? just don’t give them that much relevance. but from what i read in twitter and here, oh baby it is too late baby just too late… the milk is already spilled.

  31. I think the best part of the video is its form, informal with a light touch, well edited, putting across their point of view extremely well. That we find their language poor, inarticulate, trapped within a confined space (both physical and metaphorical)? Well, that too is part of their reality…..
    But it is not true that they are all together unaware. The kid that questions his status as a caraqueño, declaring himself from del este, del este, does so not with pride, but critically, aware of his trap. Some how, the moments of awareness they displayed were lost in this extraordinary rush to judge (and pisotear this hapless bunch) as if to distinguish ourselves from them…. desperately trying to make us different, more articulate, more educated, with more insights.
    I am appalled that they felt it necessary to apologise via a comunicado, or that they felt necessary to withdraw their video to protect the participants ( even though it’s still available).
    But in the ways of this world and of this truly hapless revolution, one ne thing I”m sure: the phrase being from del este del este, is going to become as key a phrase, as rojo, rojito!

  32. This really great little video opens a window to a reality which whether big or small good or bad exists… in other word it is a photo of one of the puzzle pieces of a big complex puzzle. And, but a much sadder puzzle piece observed, is the sort of general resentment that is reflected in many of the negative comments to it.

    On the other hand this production produced by youngsters who at least produced something, only proves to us commentators that writing, and soon even blogging, is really out, and going viral in. Hell, these kids will probably draw more attention to their video than what I have managed to do with my articles for 15 years… so in fact I might have a real excuse to feel some resentment.

    So, Francisco Toro, stop complaining and start putting on the make-up.

    And while you “reflect on those kids – smart, engaged, conscious, hard-working and self-aware – the ones I met working on Henrique Capriles’ campaign”, echándole bolas para lograr un país mejor, you might also reflect on this.

    “Sobre un posible ajuste de los precios de la gasolina dijo: “Llegando al gobierno, no podemos, ni vamos a aumentar la gasolina. Hay que tomar varias decisiones antes de abrir ese debate. Cuando el venezolano tenga más dinero en la cartera, porque la economía está produciendo, no solamente con la venta del petróleo, ahí sí voy a decir: ‘Abramos el debate”.” Henrique Capriles, 18 de Abril 2012

  33. Having Venezuela as your homeland is sooo much like being the kid of an alcoholic mother. No matter how much it has screwed up your life by not putting her act together for centuries you HAVE TO love her, because you know what? Nobody likes the kid that talks crap about his mom.

  34. The first time I knew about this video (before this post and all the noise) I tried to watch it but lost interest pretty soon. After this post I watched completely trying to see what Quico expressed, and I couldn’t see it, at all.

    People complain about their accent or the way they talk, guess what everybody has an accent, e-ve-ry-bo-dy. Others fixate on the guy that wants to party until 3am and be safe, well who hasn’t partied until 3am? The girl mentions that she loves Caracas without the people, I agree, during Semana Santa Caracas becomes a wonderful place to live.

    What else? most of their friends are leaving, there’s traffic, noise, chaos, well isn’t it all true?
    Their just talking about the issues they know from their point of view and using their language, not unlike any of us. Do they live in a bubble? like one of the girls says: ‘we all live in different bubbles’. Yes, they’re very young, just out of puberty, soon they’ll grow up and mature.

    About the “the nature and injustice of the insane privileges they (we) enjoyed” that’s not even part of the theme of the video at all, but I would argue that their condition is not the injust one but that of the poor people that have to live in hardship and missery.

    What I see in the oversized reaction to the video is intolerance probably because of cultural clash. People got a glimpse of a group of people that talk and look different to what they’re used to and they can’t stand it, they have to criticize and mock. But what are they really criticizing? The content of what the kids are saying? or just the way they are saying it?

    • i agree with amieres 100%… it saddens me that chavez has managed to succeed in his intolerant polarization strategy so much that he has infiltrated all the people who bullied mercilessly these teenage elitist wanabees for griping about we all gripe about in our own language and gestures. and yes, she’s right, caracas IS delicious in semana santa.

      i’m expressing my opinion as one of those newly minted species: “the travelling grandmother”, who jumps from country to country, with our chest constricted by sadness when we kiss our loved ones goodbye, and also with fear when I even think of getting back alive from maiquetia to my too big empty nest in which my daughters were born and raised, and which nowadays none of them and grandchildren want or can come to visit.

      i’m on their same quandary… hamlet like: “to leave or not to leave??” that is the question, and i’m sure you realize that for us, the people of my generation, from whatever class we come from, it’s way way harder that the confessions of this teenage video. it’s not only traffic, people, alcantarillas, or partying into the wee hours. it’s at least 50 or more years of friendships, connections and ties of living under the avila’s silent gaze. i wonder if i could round up a few of us and hang the video in you tube… what name would it be under?? maybe we could open with all of us posing with a skull and recite hamlet… and be the next viral sensation. what would we project or bring out in the social networks? i wonder…
      i just remembered what the cubans called the ones that left: gusanos.

    • Putting people down can be an involuntary reaction…. sometimes, it is just envy.
      A long time ago, a guy Maslow, tried to talk about what we NEED, rather than what we WANT.
      Once we are rested, and have enough to eat, we tend to go on to other mischiefs.
      These kids are talking basic needs… they seem to want an orderly social environment.
      Now,…. maybe THAT[orderly environment] IS A CRIME. Why should a safe neighborhood be yours, when I’m living up there with the malandros?


  35. Someone left a wonderful comment in my blog that pretty much tells me I am wrong and that all that left the country don’t get it. If I can contact the author, I may write a post about it. Worth reading.

  36. Thanks Bruni,
    ‘Here we have a bunch of kids that express their feelings on a reality they are living.
    They are not doing anything illegal, they are not insulting anybody,
    they are not responsible for anything.”

    You nailed it.
    More power to this ‘bunch of kids’ –
    why should it be so ‘stupid’, ‘moronic’, etc…
    for an individual to express aloud their personal self worth?
    Is it wrong to comment on the minor annoyances that plague their lives?
    Frankly, this is all about colour –
    the kids happen to be the ‘white scum’, so let’s LEAN ON THEM.
    P.S. my seventieth b’day is but a distant memory,
    yet I feel much like these kids, who are fifty years younger.
    So go ahead, – call me stupid, insult me as well :-)
    I’ll be honoured.

  37. Years ago I used to have a Zuliana girlfriend and when she was living in Caracas people could still notice it in her accent and they would call her “La maracucha”. Now, accents are sometimes picked up and fused involuntarily with the way we talk. But I could only hear her real zuliano accent when she would talk to her mom on the phone. Then the change was impressive, just like flipping a switch, not only in a much heavier accent but even the vocabulary would change, almost like speaking another language.
    I realized that while living in Caracas she had to mask her original accent as much as possible in order to be taken seriously, but also when going back home she had to speak zuliano again or she would be somewhat rejected over there too. So she was bilingual. And it’s a very common phenomenon: we all communicate with different groups using different languages.
    I’m sure that when the kids in the video present their thesis in the university they don’t use the same tone or language. Their only crime was to have created a video made by them with their friends and for their own group as an audience, talking freely and relaxed how they talk among themselves. Their only crime was not realizing that it was going to have such a big audience that was going to mock them for how they talk.

  38. Members of a society which in almost 13 years has not been able to stop it all, should feel ashamed about criticizing these young kids. Come on… sea hombre y pídales perdón!

  39. After investing a good part of my life in Venezuela, I decided to return to Canada so that I can guarantee a future for my children, starting with an education that will help them understand what is happening in Venezuela and why. I hope and pray that there is an election in October and that Capriles is the winner. It will take a few years to reverse the damage that has been done to the social fabric of the country, let alone the economy; however, Venezuelans have learned a lot during the last 13 years and I am confident that the best and brightest of them will contribute to making the changes that need to be made.
    Regardless how you may ridicule the makers and players in this video, they have performed a major service by stimulating a discussion that should quickly go beyond their sifrinitoitis and focus on the problems that all Venezuelans have to worry about, regardless of their social class.
    In my opinion, the root of most of Venezuela’s problems today is our megalomaniac president who, as others in this thread have already pointed out, has created a poisonous environment of intolerance and hate while he and his cabal are forcing their political agenda down the throats of Venezuelans. While we wait to see what comes of his sickness and how it affects the election in October, I would be very interested in knowing how the Chavistas and opposition alike will deal with issues such as how that a–hole on Channel 8 should be punished, along with the station management, for using state resources to potentially put the lives of a group of naive adolescents at risk by putting their pictures on national TV and attacking them in the most ignorant manner.
    I look forward to seeing this incident evolve in a productive direction and, more than anything, to seeing the young people in Venezuela to mature and ultimately make a contrbiution to creating a new Venezuela that we all can be proud and happy to live in!
    In the meantime, I think we should give these kids a break. They have learned a lot in the last few days, as have many more like them!

  40. as i read the comments i just keep wondering which nerve of the cruelly criticizing parties these teenagers hit?

  41. Please God, let those idiots move somewhere else besides the States. We have enough idiots already.

  42. Saw the video and feel exactly like you Quico. A single line aknowledging that they constitute a priviledged minority, whose worries are small compared to those of common caraqueños, would have made a difference. Even if they live in their little bubble, they see barrios and misery all over the place. How can they talk about the struggles they experience in their everyday lives and not mention the obvious: compared to the misery they see through their windows, their struggles are relatively minor.

    • Cristina

      Nobody has a corner on suffering and nobody knows anyone elses ‘interior’ well enough to make a judgement.All people deserve respect and are equal in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of a ” higher reality “. To judge people for their social class is just not correct and it is never correct to judge the suffering of anybody for it is something unknown to us.This only leads to a kind of false political correctness where people who have more money feel they have to apologize for it constantly.

      There are plenty of people who are and have been poor in this world who don’t judge others who haven’t been poor.Are you saying they are wrong?

        • We can’t know fromm the video if the kids are self centered or not, although they probably are because most of the kids their age are that way, in any social class. But we shouldn’t mix the producers of the video with the kids that participated in it. The kids that were interviewed were asked to talk about their own limited experiences with the city and the emmigration phenomenon. I’m sure they’re aware of the struggles of others but they were not asked to talk about the struggles of others. That was the decision of the producers who chose the theme and the message. In that sense it’s valid to criticize that video as too narrow and irrelevant. That’s actually how I feel about it. It’s just another lame video and I wouldn’t pay much attention to it.

          What’s noteworthy about this video is the wave of attacks that the youngsters received for simply expressing their experiences which were nothing outrageous or even out of the ordinary. Is it their fault that they live an easier life than others? Should they apologize for it every time they express an opinion? Should they apologize for it at all? Should they all become activists and help the life of others?

          • Maybe you’re right about them just being interviewees. Still, they could have mentioned their priviledged position because it is a big part of their reality given that they live in a city of very big contrasts.

        • Self centered is the way most people are Christina…especially when they are young….that is no excsue to treat people badly

  43. Christina,

    Misery is not just created through money or a lack of it.Misery has many sources . It is common among all people (poor and rich) to find young people who notice their own misery more than the misery of others.When we age and through the self discipline of caring for our young, we begin to learn to be less ego centric.

    These are just a group of youngins sharing their own experiences.If you think kids in barrios will say something far more profound methinks you have not lived in a barrio.

    But still the bottom line is : better not to judge the suffering of others.

    • I know misery is multidimensional, however I’m certainly refering to the misery steming from lack of money. In Caracas it’s huge and visible.
      By the way, I don’t know what kids from barrios would say. My comments are about what the kids in this video say.

  44. I survived. I was born, sheltered under a hot corrugated tin roof,
    I emerged into a cruelly unjust social environment. My Mom expired,
    my Dad never sought me out, and I am of indeterminate colour.
    They, who took me under their wing, fought relentlessly against the
    prejudices of an inhuman political system.
    As a child, learning to handle a small knife, I eked out a small pittance.
    Sometimes, a pair of branded shoes, a cellphone or a purse from the
    politically amoral persons. I have to live day to day.
    Now, as a twenty something politically aware individual,
    Initiative is very important to me. Political activism is in my blood.
    I see no need to leave this piece of earth that I call mine.
    The sun warms me, the cola quenches my thirst, and the bread bun fills me.

  45. ……and not so long ago these kids relatives were donkey-riding uneducated interbred peasants unable to survive off the land in Portugal, Spain or Italy.

    So they came to Venezuela and made money through acts that knew no rules or limits. And when there was a bit of money under the bed the cousin was sent across the Atlantic for the much anticipated wedding. Whiter than white, or so they thought.

    Well they had their litters and thought we need to educate them even though we ourselves cannot read or write. Money spoke and speaks in Venezuela when it comes to the degree adventure. Off they went to private universities and degrees were assured. Lawyers, doctors and so on created from genetically challenged bolivar rich ruthless parents. And an air of respectability was assured.

    The other route was to ally yourself with the corrupt political scene and grants were guaranteed for the children of influential families. Studies in USA, Spain and so on the natural path for a chosen few.

    Intellectual ability was no prerequisite, I mean how could a barrio dark coloured kid have a brain ? OK so a token one here and there managed to get on the first rung but only a few.

    I always thought Venezuela educated the wrong youngsters. Now I know that to be the case.

    • Pedro,
      Tu actitud es tan racista como la peor…one thing is to criticise them for the lack of awareness and another your whole tirade of hatred that is as full of bias as the worst.
      What do you think you are? The superior genetic thing for apparently being more mixed than they are? Geez…ni idea tienes. Realmente: te pasaste de racista, la misma vaina pero del otro supuesto lado.

        • Verga…con gente como tú.
          Soy un venezolano típico: sangre europea, indígena, africana. Crees
          que eso da una mejor posición moral? Que el tener una generación más cercana a la pobreza se es superior?
          Crees realmente que estás por encima a esos chicos? Qué pendejo!
          Con tus aseveraciones definitivamente muestras que no es así.
          Pareces al chavista ese llamado Duque que se hace pasar por “descendiente de cimarrones siempre víctimas”, cuando es la misma vaina que esos chicos pero con
          otro partido político.
          Interbred? Probablemente eso se refiere más a ti

  46. Kepler Kepler, calm down and please, less of the verga !
    You’re getting too personal and indeed blind to the fact that it’s not all about you.
    Might I suggest you take a step back and look at the issue as it relates to the country and not how the world revolves around you.
    I say that with the best intention to hopefully help develop your analytical skills.

    • I think the person who needs to develop analytical skills here is you. And by the way: you also need to learn a little bit more about Venezuelan history and about basic genetics. You are a racist, you deem yourself superior to these guys and use racist hints for that, you are probably as much “inbred” as they or anyone else is but simply full of hatred…and you deem yourself as a victim because you completely ignore Venezuela’s history

    • Lol at analytical skills from a guy throwing around ad hominems like they were candy.

      Btw, do you have any data to support the “interbreeding” claim? Or are you some kind of quack?

  47. My last words on the subject in no specific order………………….tangent, off, kettle, pot, prick.

  48. On the other hand, it is YOU, the adults, the old men and women of Venezuela, whose fault it is these kids are like this.

    When they wanted to go to a party with their “barrioso” friend, their parents told them that they were definetly not allowed to hang out with those “monos” (yes, these mother fuckers call barrio people monkeys). When they wanted to explore some area or another of life, they were told to shut the fuck up and study, so that they could go to university abroad, you know, because of “la situación aquí.” When they started listening to rap music and reguetón, their parents were horrified, and told them all about how culture is about the European dream of purity, that listening to Wagner was what they better get started on doing. When they started wearing more barrioso clothes, they were made to feel like animals, like scum that would be better got rid of.

    This video isn’t about clueless kids, it’s about racist parents.

    It’s about you.

    • Hi carlito,
      the rant’s a bit far-fetched. But hey! it’s what turns you on. nespa?
      maybe the rants all about you, reliving the memories of when you were battered by your parents?

      • I’m sure each reader will find, like you, their own way to circumvent this responsibility.

        Te has pillados a esos monos niches ultimamente?

    • Carl, There is no logical correlation between racism and wanting your child to develop well.If I recommend Wagner over Regueton,it is because I want them to develop refined feelings and a greater understanding of serious music.It’s about higher standards and deeper understanding, not color of skin.

      enjoy, you need it :)…relax, listen, and let go of the hatred

      • “Yeah, must be that these 23 year olds are intentionally blind to their realities. I’m sure their parents gave them every chance to immerse themselves in the actual reality they live in.”


  49. Finally I could see “the video”, all of its 17 boring minutes. I wasn’t particularly interested, mostly because Twitter hypes things, until I saw the backlash it created, which baffles me for several reasons. I’m particularly fond of their poor Spanish skill, but that bush’s been already beaten to death.

    People criticize these kids as if we were all Habermas scholars at 21. I repeat 21, there are not thirty somethings “quedados en la nota”. If you’re not allowed to be shallow, malintenso and emo at that age, then there’s no proper time. We are crucifying them for being self-centered, based on this single piece of evidence. We don’t know what they do in their free time, what are they studying, nothing. Yet we crucify them for not providing the reasons we feel they should give for leaving, or staying, in Caracas.

    So, yes, the guy from “el Este del Este”, which he says with some embarassment, wants to “fight for his right to party” (I had to, RIP MCA, you’ll be sorely missed). So what, one should be allowed to feel safe in his/her city at any give time. When we moved to Chile in 1993 I was very angry at my parents for such decision, I loved living in Venezuela, in spite of the ever increasing uncertainty. However, my 21 shallow and irresponsible-self was happy for the impending freedom of going out whenever I wanted, without worrying for my parents cardiovascular health.

    Nonetheles, what bothers me the most is how much the Chavista discourse and polarization has permeated everything. These kids are no good, because they are priviledged? If that’s the case, regardless of the outcome of O7 elections, Chávez has won. We have lost the capacity to engage with those whose views, backgrounds and opinions differ from ours.

    The sad reality is that Venezuela, a country with a rich and long tradition of receiving inmigrants, is now on the opposite side, expelling its citizens and particulary those with their most productive years ahead. It is also sad that those youngsters belonging to vulnerable groups are denied of the luxury of being shallow and irresponsible at 21.

    Well, my 2cts…

    PS: I feel like I should book a room in a retirement house ASAP, after using the word youth and kids so many times…

    • You have already articulated a line of thought which most of these individuals would be incapable of doing with ten years out of their bubble! Yes, we may have been shallow and partied a lot at that age, but were we that close to catatonic and clueless? Having said that, I suppose some pity is due- their parents are probably just the types who rationalized the aimless state of their kids by saying, over and over, “kids will be kids”….rather than engaging in parenting and mentoring. 40 pushups and a job might help some of those dudes.

      • Some parents were too busy marching, doing bailoterapias, banging pots and pans and watching Alo, Ciudadano to pay attention to their kids.

        • Yup, I’m telling you, if demasiado whatever guy is not interested in Schopenhauer or Ayn Rand, that’s fine, but put the guy on a rugby pitch or a soccer field every saturday or something, and start making him do his own laundry. Man, its my worst parental nightmare.

      • Hmm I guess you actually have met these guys in real life and engaged with them in discussions about any political, social and economic matter. Oh wait you haven’t, you have just seen a couple of minutes of edited footage that wasn’t done with much seriousness. People have many faces, you’re just seeing one of them, the less serious one.

          • (where would all the “kids be kids” comments be if the kids didn’t wisely edit out -maybe??- the coke and the weed and the pharmaceuticals. Still our little angels, just growing up? Hmmm. If they did THAT doc, dad would definitely take away the car).

    • Over 220.000 hits in a couple of days… it is perfectly clear that some here are just jealous… when I reach 1.000 views over some months I am thrilled.

  50. Oh dear, I cannot write properly anymore.

    Where it say “I’m particularly fon”, it should read “I’m NOT particularly fond”

  51. Francisco, long time to see…

    Well, all I want to add to this conversation is a quote of a Morrissey song: “Oh shelve your Western plans and understand that life is hard enough when you belong here”

  52. I’m just going to throw one quick comment here.

    We have been days criticizing, defending, justifying, analyzing these kids and of course, the reactions of the people, if they have the right to express or not, all sort of blah blah that has taken us nowhere.
    in any case, my first reaction to the video was the “geez, these stupid kids, are they just playing to be smart (the nazy polly pocket, for example?). I admit than I felt ashamed than these kids, who have had all the opportunities in the world, access to information, internet, private schools, food on their tables and a nice cozy bed to sleep on, are so shallow and absolutely unable to express their ideas with proper phrasing.

    Then I read comments and thought about it a little more, and I came to the conclusion than these kids are only the result of the overprotection and oversheltering that Venezuelan parents have been forced to raise them under, due to the outrageous insecurity levels of Caracas. They were raised in a bubble, from school to home to their friends’ homes, and that is all they’ve seen in their lives, so what else can we expect from them?

    I am the mother of two teenagers that grew up in Canada. They’ve been going to schools that are not fenced in, they have been taking public transit since grade 7, they have been working since they are 14, and yes, now that they are 17 & 18, they go partying until late at night, basically until they can take the last bus, and yet, as a mom, I still worry and stay up until they come back home.

    In any case, they are almost ready to get going with their lives. In few months, both of them will be living away and on their own in different cities as they go to university.

    I know that the situation would have been very different if they would have been raised in Venezuela. At their age, they wouldn’t have had the right level of “life” training nor the right tools they need to leave the nest.

    So don’t be so harsh on these kids. They just didn’t know better when they did this video.

    • I disagree, Carolina. I was younger than those young men in the eighties and we already had that problem with a lot of kids from the Este del Este.
      Actually, we go back to 1800 and we had grown ups who later became “heroes of Independence” and who, according to my near Humboldt, were just like that.
      I translated the following in bold from Humboldt’ diary (not the published Voyages)


      He has a lot of such references.
      What we can say though is that a lot of Venezuelan parents haven’t done their job…as Guido said, one of the most equalizing factors in Venezuela has been the public universities.

      • I would not dare to go back to the 1800’s, nor to the 1980’s because the issue would be absolutely out of context. Back then, girls would marry virgins at the age of 14, and in the 80’s, there was still a group of Susanitas who would only think about being houseviwes.

        I do agree with Guido’s comment, except that public universities and schooling have changed a lot too in the last 20 years. I, for instance, as many other sifrinas of my time, went to the UCV and for the first time I got exposed to different realities. It was the first great eyeopener of my life.
        That being said and regardless of being a very proud Ucevista, after so many problems, budget cuts, riots, strikes, I think that as a parent AND if I had the option, I would prefer to send my kid to a private university, just thinking that they might waste very valuable time in strikes, without even knowing that the government will cut the funds and they are one day left without university at all – USB anyone?

        I am talking about parents that want the best for their kids (so pretty much much every parent I know) doing their best in a very aggressive, unstable and dangerous environment.

        I don’t blame them for being overprotective and I think that I would be just as much if I would have stayed. It just takes to be a parent to understand that there is no biggest fear in the world than to lose a child.

        • Extra food for thought: if your 17 year old son tells you after finishing high school that he wants to become a policeman to fight crime in Caracas, what would you tell him?
          I mean, it’s a quite noble and a very needed career in our country, right?

          • Carolina,
            I am not expecting from those guys to be heroes.
            The whole fuss here (unlike in twitter or youtube) is about whether it is very thoughtful for them to have talked in such a thoughtless manner and have done that on top of that on a video – a child knows already at this stage what happens to videos sooner or later.

            It is not about emigrating or not. Many of us have emigrated already.
            It is about saying things that will hurt, make other people mad.
            It is not about you or me. It’s about trying not to create more resentment OUT THERE!
            You really don’t need to be a genius or 40 years old to get that level of maturity. You need to be over 12 and these guys are definitely much older than that. They need to mind their words. Was their video released by accident?

            Sorry, when I was about nine or ten I was going to the US as a tourist, like those kids, I was living in a nice house…and a couple of times I said something silly and thoughtless about the poor and my parents reprimanded me and explained me a thing or two.

            There is no reason why these guys (not children) should not be able to know those things at their age.

            • Amieres,
              Wrong word choice. They said things that were bound to make people angry.
              Listen…see, I actually went to Germany at their age, went to study … and I would also – sometimes- go to parties until very late. Venezuela was already dangerous, although the murder rate had not risen as much as now and for me it was definitely liberating to be able to walk like that. Sometimes it was not even a party: I would go trekking and come back to the city very late and walk from the station to my residence. Cool. I could tell my closest relatives about those things…in a more serious way…but how do you think someone who has to deal with a trip from Los Teques to his working place in Caracas or from Miguel Pena in Southern Valencia to Naguanagua on a carrito por puesto will think about this? How do you think that person will think when you are
              talking in a very disdainful way about something you are not contributing and are leaving? How specially as somehow you are likely to be going out not because you work more but because somehow your parents got closer to the petro-udder at one time or the other.

              The average Venezuela is praying every day he won’t be shot in the bus. He can’t get out. He doesn’t have a passport, much less a tourist visa. The average Venezuelan, in spite of the clogged streets, hasn’t even got a bloody car. The average Venezuelan would like to have enough money to buy at least a fraction of the books his children need for school.

              You don’t need to be Habermas or 40 years old to realise that.

            • Ok Kepler you also wrote this:
              “a child knows already at this stage what happens to videos sooner or later”

              Yeah, they get 1537 views 2 likes, 25 dislikes and a heated argument in the comment section insults and all. That’s it. Very few videos go viral and generate such an unfair response.
              It is the normal mindset of a youngster to be happy, carefree and relaxed and not be calculating the possible repercussions of what they say, specially among friends who basically think and talk just like them.

              In fact the opinions they expressed are no different from the opinions expressed by many. Most of the criticism is about the way they speak and how shallow they seem but not about what they say. It’s just a cultural rejection which is akin to prejudice.

              “Was their video released by accident?”
              It was posted on YouTube, after the storm started they quickly made it private but somebody had saved a copy and published it again.

        • Carolina, your comments are resonating with me for a number of reasons that I would rather not post publicly. I understand you live in Calgary, as I do, although my kids are still in Caracas. I would greatly appreciate it if you would be willing to talk with me privately. If so, perhaps we could connect through Quico. What do you think?

  53. Much has been said already so I’ll keep it short. Like Quico says, what these kids are lacking is self awareness; who they are and more importantly who they are in the context that they live in.

    You can bitch about your friends leaving the country all you want, you can bitch about CCS being a difficult city to live in, the problem here is when you decide to do it in the living room of a tin roof hut in the middle of the slums (which is essentially what happened when they decided to make it public on You Tube and then showed on VTV.) THAT is the problem.

    Some people have talked about free speech and their right to express their opinion, I think they are entitled to say what they wish but I don’t think it’s too farfetched to ask for a bit moderation when speaking in front of those who are (by far) less fortunate.

  54. Look, it’s obvious that only a few can leave the country, the majority depart either because they can afford it or because they can get a job abroad, only a few Venezuelans dare venture into unknown lands without the means to do so. So what’s so big of a deal if the video was seen by those that lack the resources to get out? Hell, I see tons of things on TV I wish I could do or buy but can’t afford. For that matter I wish I could live in an island in the Pacific, in lush tropical paradise, but I can’t. That’s life.

    What really pissed me off was the way the kids expressed themselves, their idiotic comments, their pathetic “Castellano” and misuse of words. It made me ask myself : did I talk like that when I was twenty four years old? As most commentators I also despised their superficial analysis of the situation even though I think the subject is much worth discussing. If this video would have interviewed brighter youngsters who can talk like educated citizens and not like aborigins, I’m sure it would have received more praise and less cryticism from even those like [all of] us in this blog who have migrated abroad.

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