June 18, 2019

I'm a Democrat. But I Agree with Trump About Maduro

“I called my grandmother recently to check up on her. She lives in Caracas, Venezuela, and I was anxious to see how she was holding up. It was a Friday, the eve of another protest called for by interim President Juan Guaidó. Was it the sixth protest? Or the seventh? In the five months of heightened tension and crisis in Venezuela, I’ve lost count.

My grandma, Dora Lopez, was in good spirits. She was in the middle of cooking pasta con caraotas, a working class dish made up of black beans and spaghetti often looked down upon by upper-class palates, but at my grandma’s, this dish is sacred. Since our nana Felipa passed away seven years ago it’s tradition to eat Felipa’s favorite meal every Friday to honor her. At first glance, it looked like life was continuing as usual.

My grandma steered the conversation to the ongoing political strife in Venezuela. Without much prompting, grandma said, in Spanish, “Well yes, here we are, waiting for the Marines.” That’s when I knew things weren’t going as usual. My grandma was putting her last hopes in the Marines — American heroes — the only ones who could save Venezuela from itself. Under what looked like good spirits, my grandma was desperate, feeling the same desperation that so many in Venezuela live with every day.”

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