Flight or fight? For youngsters in Venezuela, it is the main question

Flight or fight? For youngsters in Venezuela, it is the main question

Daily protests against the regime that is headed by Nicolas Maduro are in their third month with thousands of people taking to the streets every day in Caracas, Maracaibo, San Cristobal, Valencia and many other cities.

Wearing t-shirts and red-blue-and-yellow hats, or encased by the tricolor Venezuelan flag, youngsters as well as retirees and women demonstrate by the hundreds with signs that read “Don’t shoot!” and shouting Si se puede”Si se puede!”, “Our weapon is the constitution!” and “Who are we? Venezuela! What do we really want? Freedom!”

At least 79 persons – including security forces and passers-by who died during the regular exercise of democratic participation which was initiated in April. The dead include the 17-year-old protester killed in mid-June and the 25-year-old victim killed on July 4 in Tariba.

Once referred to as la generation dormida or “the asleep generation” – Venezuelans born during the era of prosperity, democracy and prosperity are now very active. As their living conditions change from precarious to unbearable, the Venezuelans are forced to make a difficult decision: do they remain or leave?

Venezuela is attracting international criticism for its crackdown on protesters. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

The bitter end of Chavismo’s life

Since 2013, at the very least, at the point that Maduro was elected in 2013, the country has become an experiment in bad public policy.

In the wake of the demise of ” 21st-century Socialism” the 15-year-old political system of social, political and economic development that was created in the name of Hugo Chavez, the current administration has shown itself to be a failure when it comes to managing economics, but skilled at polarizing societies, increasing violence and stifling the hopes of the people it governs.

Many thousands have left Venezuela in search of an opportunity to live a better life. Venezuela does not release information on emigration, but estimates suggest that somewhere between 700,000 to two million Venezuelans have left in the last year. This leaves the majority of the country’s 31 million residents in this country, whether by decision or due to necessity.

Now, they fight against the fate of their nation by marching daily in spite of knowing that this administration is trying to suppress opposition through the recourse to force.

Young professionals have to go to work each day (if they are still employed) to feed the table and prepare for following the ” pacted transition” that is widely regarded as the best option to come to get out of the current mess.

Youth aspirations Venezuelan young people

The idea of emigration came to my mind in 2016 as I conducted research on my students. I conducted interviews with 360 of them from 9 departments of the university, from medical to engineering and who will be graduating of UCV. Central University of Venezuela (UCV) during the academic year 2017-2018.

The survey, which was distributed on social media as well as via professors, asked the young Venezuelans about their health and well-being as well as their plans for post-college and whether they planned to move abroad.

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