January 26, 2021

Without water dries the patience of the Caraqueños

Without water dries the patience of the Caraqueños

The rows before the water sources are the same for Chavistas and not Chavistas. In the popular areas of Caracas the tired faces become irritated gestures when people start looking for guilty to the situation that has kept Venezuela between blackouts for days.

Neighbors of the popular zones of the hills of the capital look for water before pipes, sources or abandoned deposits without distinction of political affiliation to patiently fill drums of water (tobos), carafes or botellones to take something of liquid to house to wash.

"In my case we are in resistance because if we were a country that had agriculture nothing else we were not passing this," said Orlando Iturbe a 47-year-old merchant, before tubes that sprout water in an abandoned work in the center of the capital.

Repeats the theory of the attacks of the opposition and the United States to the electricity grid maintained by the Government of Nicolás Maduro to explain why since March 7 the country is going through several days of blackouts in cities such as Caracas, at that you have to take the water by pumping, they have made the faucets dry.

"It is the unconventional war, which is the new modern war, if we were a country that had nothing more sowed (…) but as we have all the riches then what happens? That the United States want the complete cake" , Explain.

Behind him, Pascual Escalona waits with disbelief until Iturbe begins to criticize the opposition and then can not contain himself anymore.

"What opposition? The one that has power here is the Government!", He replies angrily, giving way to a discussion in which they end up mutually rebuking each other.

Escalona is a retiree of Graphic Arts who, like Iturbe, lives in La Pastora. He is tired, he says, stating that he only had 18,000 bolivars of pension (about 5 dollars) with which he can not buy even a carton of eggs.

"Here we were happy, we took cañas, we fucked (fun), we threw pods and now we are going hungry, look: without light without a phone without a shit," he says.

"Now, brother? To look for water as well as some assholes, this is a humiliation, they have humiliated us!", He adds.

He said that last night at home with two little girls he had to inhale tear gas.

Iturbe, who is now looking at him irritably, replies: "Well, did not you block the streets with barricades?"

And Escalona responds: "Well we have to stop, we have to protest!".

Not far from there dozens of vehicles lie on the banks of Avenida Baralt, the famous "Cota Mil" that circles the slopes of Mount Avila, while hundreds of people are searching hard for water in the streams and pipes.

Alexander a 45-year-old peddler says that in the last five days he has climbed up and down from one of the streams with 50 tobos of water for washing, drinking and cooking.

"What are we going to do? It's boiled and taken, we're not going to die, compadre, the destitute people take dirty water and nothing happens to them," he says.

He says he normally works as a peddler at the exit of the subway, but the subway is without electricity for days so he can not work there and has to look for his life.

"Pussy, brother, I do not know how much longer these people endure because the truth is that the pod is rude (…) One more month, I did not see yesterday protests everywhere," he says.

Virgilio Rodríguez is a 62-year-old merchant from a nearby neighborhood. He begins by saying that he is apolitical but, just after the conversation has been going on for a few seconds, the indignation betrays his equidistance.

"I do not know, I do not meddle in politics, now here we have to give a change, because that's not the way," he says.

"The need is happening to the people, they have not passed needs and they have everything in their house, do you see (former vice president) Elias Jaua queuing to look for water or to buy food?" He adds.

Nearby, with his feet in the stream, a man washes his daughter with soap. When the journalist identifies himself and asks why he is there, the man says he does not want to talk.

"I do not know if you are from the CIA," he adds.

José Luis Paniagua


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