I came to the United States as a fifteen year old girl happy to have the opportunity to go to college and study film and I was able to do that, thanks to parents that could work and make a comfortable life for our family.
With a few exceptions, most people in my family were against Chavez, the most liberal president that Venezuela had seen in a long time. Even though I never hated Chavez, I saw things become increasingly difficult for my parents, so it seemed unfair to support a regime that was negatively affecting the people that I loved.
I was a sophomore in a liberal arts university in Pittsburgh when I changed my political views on facebook to “it all depends;” I did it after I saw a leftist documentary about Venezuela called “The Revolution Will Not be Televised.” I was terribly upset about the one-sided representation of the people from the opposition, but I was also curious. I started to understand why some of my very liberal classmates were enthusiastic about a socialist government that they knew very little about.
When Chavez nationalized thousands of undocumented immigrants in 2004, I thought about how comparable actions in the United States would theoretically affect my life. Similarly, there were many situations that affected me directly and allowed me to see that fairness, more than being an ideal, it’s a necessary scenario for all to have the opportunity to be successful.
I am now a proud owner of two passports to opposite sides of chaos and I wonder where I’m supposed to stand. It seems like politics tend to be infested with corruption and I get uninspired when I realize that trying to achieve equality in a corrupt state is like trying to grow a plant without oxygen.
At times like these, my only peace of mind comes from remembering that we are all atoms and cells and that one day we started seeing each other as individual “persons” instead of knowing that we are all one “people.” We all voted for Chavez and we all voted for Trump because our vote only represents our collective consciousness.
I’m writing this for myself and for the people that know what it’s like to run away from violence. I am writing this for all of us with others to thank because we don’t have to be hungry. I want us to think about the societies that we are hoping to have in our adopted nations and the kinds of governments that we left at home. We need to understand the values that we are fighting for today and reflect on how our beliefs would and could affect us if we lived on a different side of a border.
Because things can change quickly and it might just happen that one day, we will find ourselves as a minority hoping that the majority will look after us in the same way that we are looking out for them now.