And again I had to submit to the smirking smiles with which those who have not the faintest idea of what an oil curse really means try courteously to hide they think it has to do with us being third class citizens.
And again I had to hear the barrage of arrogant and wise solutions offered by those who have never lived an oil curse.
And again I felt the so Venezuelan conflict of knowing oneself so chévere (great) and by the day being able to show less and less evidence of that. Heck even our hydro-electrical dam Guri, recently a source of national pride has with the electricity crisis turned into another symbol of ineptitude. What are we left with? Our beautiful women and the Ibis Escarlata?
And the worst part was that all of the solutions offered, outside and inside Venezuela, all sound like all recipes for the cooking by a distant great aunt whose food we never liked but of which we became fed up of as children.
“You need to diversify the economy; more agriculture; more manufacturing industries; you have to increase tax collections form the non-natural resource sector, even if that makes it more difficult to develop the non-natural resource sector; you must reduce income volatility by setting up funds; you need to invest in education”. Yes, yes and yes!
Bankrupted iron steel and aluminum industries; industrial zones that seem like desert towns in the wild west; tremendous education programs that have our professors teaching in the best universities abroad; investment funds with no funds?... well no, no and no! We have to find something new to do about it.
And having written so much on the subject and even promoting a global alliance of oil-cursed citizens I feel I would be satisfied if only those who always manage and sow the oil in our name, because they are such great sowers and we’re not, would only give, each one of us Venezuelans, a little receipt.
Mrs. Juana Rivera. Shack # 17, Path The Miracle; Village The Hope, Municipality The Fortune, State of Barinas, Venezuela
Dear Mrs. Rivera: In the name of our glorious Venezuelan nation allow me to inform you that last year, as administrators, we received in your name, in income from that your non-renewable oil, the amount of 178.98 US dollars per month, free and clear of all costs.
In relation to the same we also include here five receipts exactly the same and which correspond to your five children. The receipt of your husband is kept in our archives, as we have not been able to locate him.
Respectfully and expressing again the gratefulness in the name of our glorious nation your generopus contribution we remain,
Your oiligarch, petrocrat or oil thug in turn.