September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Recently I decided that Venezuela is too dangerous to live my life and many people ask me why? Apparently the only things they hear about our country are the good news, but in Venezuela some outrageous things happen on a daily basis.

In Caracas (Just one city) its usual to read the news saying that 30 to 100+ people died of “violent death” during EACH weekend. Believe me, It’s very hard to live in a city where although it’s possible to make money (if you’re OK with the risks) you are threatened by several crime possibilities (such as being kidnapped, robbed at gunpoint, pick-pocketed (if you’re lucky) or get shot). Some “wealthy” people opt for a personal bodyguard that in Venezuela are very common and most times are motorcycles that follow your vehicle with huge guys with big guns. (sometimes they’re with you inside the car) that can be “armored”. Of course, that depends on your “attractiveness” to robbers, your economy and your paranoia.

Living in a City that has 18-26ºC every day/night, that will not rain much, in a 100 sq-mts apartment in a great neighborhood, having a car that allows me to be 15 min away from the office (at peak hours) and being close enough to restaurants/lounges/bars (and being able to afford all of this) is no match with being able to take your Blackberry phone on the underground (metro) or walking down a street at night without feeling worried about crime.

So it seems very obvious the change, but is it? You’re so used to hearing the same news and nothing ever happens (to you or your loved ones) that you start to believe that you’re immune to crime. Your friends are there, and believe me it’s also difficult to leave because of the “papers”. Thankfully I inherited the Spanish citizenship and my wife the Italian so we are both “legal” workers to the eyes of EU/UK headhunters, but some of my friend’s don’t have such a benefit. Their only hope is Canada & Australia’s migration laws.

Now, my experience although great for Latin American standards it’s not quite enough for EU/UK headhunters as I’m no longer a “cheap” worker and they can’t really be sure that my skills are what they’re looking for. Although this difficulty and given that I speak English fluently, I have decided to migrate to Europe and work my way up (again) in a Corporate Ladder, but trying not to de-capitalize at a high rate, I’ve moved to “soto del real”. This is a small town in the north outskirts of Madrid (very cold as it’s on the “mountains”). having no car (that I was used to having), not eating out, and without my wife (she awaits in Venezuela for my employment to happen) to look for a EU/UK marketing job (FMCG preferable).

Now, I’m staying at my grandfather’s house, It’s a HUGE house, all for me (this is a good news, because I will stay occupied painting, doing plumbing, storing and cleaning while I obtain my next job. The last couple of weeks I was “preparing my house”, and so was contracting an internet provider, a mobile phone, buying a washing machine and an Iron and of course buying some food inventory.

Now, I’m established at Soto, with my technology up-and-running and will be back on this marketing blog very soon. I just hope a marketing role comes-up fast so I can use all my energy to building great brands (that is what I’m good at) and earn enough money to save a little while having a safer life.

On a final note, and given that yesterday were celebrated congress elections in Venezuela, I must say it’s great news to hear that 52% of Venezuelan’s voted for 40% of the congress seats and now Chavez doesn’t feel like “majority” and hopefully he will lose 2012 presidential elections. But for those that think that Venezuelan’s will return as soon as Chavez is out, please read this next paragraph:

More than 50% of Venezuelan population has lived their “early life’s” (0 – 20 years) with Chavez,  this means that they don’t know better. Much of this population hasn’t travel abroad or isn’t interested on what happens abroad. And much of them think that Chavez’s way is the right way, so… the problem is not Chavez is Chavism, and this will endure longer than Chavez, With some luck it will take at least 5 years after Chavez to rebuild the country, I believe that it will take some 10-12 years. During this time most Venezuelan’s will have kids abroad and giving a healthy (and hopefully wealthy) lifestyle the chances are that they’ll never go back.


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