Hi I´m Winston from Venezuela. I am an 18 year old living in one of the most dangerous and frightening countries in the world. We´re currently going through a period of time that is worse than the Independence War. Ask me Anything!

Winston Salcedo
Jun 25, 2017

People starving to death, poverty and inflation percentages that rise as we speak, and a ruthless goverment desperate to fulfill their ambitions of power and wealth, are some of the highlights that the venezuelans live through every day.

There have been protests going on in all regions of the country for more than 60 days, resulting in the devastating amount of more than 70 deaths of people peacefully protesting against the regime.

We are desperately loooking for a change, and this one has to come through the effort and sacrifice of the people thriving through this period of economic, political, social and humanitarian crisis. We do not deserve this.

So please, if you want to become a part of the solution, even from the outside, feel free to Ask your questions down below. From this point forward, let this page, and my personal profile, become an open window to all the problems and current crisis that my country is facing today. Thanks!

What is the Vibe of this AMA? What is AMA Vibe?

This AMA has finished, no more comments and questions can be posted and votes submitted to those. Check other similar AMAs here or host your own AMA!

Conversation (73)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

Will you please admit that socialism/communism and big government DO NOT WORK....THEY NEVER HAVE.......THEY NEVER WILL.....it only leads to starvation and death. Tell these people, bc naive liberals in America want to turn our country into Venezuela. you should support TRUMP

Jun 26, 3:32PM EDT0

Do you participate in activism or protest in your country?

Jun 24, 10:43PM EDT0

Yes, I sometimes participate in protests, I would like to participate even more but my mom is really afraid that something would happen to me. And it is true, the GNB and the PNB are mercenaries most of the times. Thank you for your question!

Jun 25, 11:33AM EDT0

Do you or anyone close to you suffer from PTSD due to living in crisis?

Jun 24, 12:18PM EDT0

I actually haven´ t met someone suffering from this, but either way it wouldn´ t surprise me if there were. What I know is that regularly, venezuelans live with stress and sometimes hard headaches reaching the point of migraines, because of everything that is going on. Thank you for your question!

Jun 24, 11:02PM EDT0

What are some common stereotypes about your country?

Jun 24, 12:35AM EDT0

The stereotypes of venezuelans are really simple to describe:

1. First you have the people that live in a Pseud-Wonderland. These people characterize for having a stress-free life where everything that they do, is sponsored and paid for their parents -obviously in the case of teenagers-. They tend to go to the clubs, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, wasting ridiculous amounts of money on drinks for them and their girls/boys.

In the case of adults, they just tend to travel every single time they can to the beach with their families, whether here or outside the country -mainly outside the country- posting pictures of their "fabulous" life and ignoring the fact that people are fighting for something that might improve their lifestyles.

2. Then you have the hard-working venezuelan, which is most of the times frustated because their salaries and wages are not enough in order to mantain their family, and to provide them with food and primary needs.

This venezuelans range from 18 to more than 54 years old. These people are affected by the situation, but not as affected as the third group. Apart from the hard-working people, here you also have the sector of the society that is fighting constantly in the streets wanting to see something different being done. 

3. Here is the bottom of Venezuela´ s stereotypes. These people characterize for not either not having jobs, working on organized crime, or being resellers of primary need products, like food, and household products. The mentioned sector is also literally starving to death, getting killed, getting kidnapped, getting mugged, mugging people, etc. In general doing everyhting that they can in order to provide for their families -which are really numerous most of the times-. 

I know this stereotypes may sound derogatoring, but this is the reality that we are living, people fighting on the streets againts this regime, some people that live their lifes as if nothing was even happening, people contemplating at what is happening and not doing anything, etc.

But what gets me the most, is how people still think that Maduro is a good president. Some of the low-end sectors are still sympathizers to his party, and yet they are living in a house made out of whatever they find. The people need to change their way of thinking if they want to see a true change in the society. Thank you for your question!

Jun 24, 10:59PM EDT0

What is daily life like for you in a country in conflict?

Jun 23, 11:34PM EDT1

The daily life is really difficult to describe in full detail. But overall, it is safe to say that life in Venezuela right now is really stressfull. For a multitude of reasons, some people on the streets are always on the defensive. Mainly the economic crisis has made people not only worried about the future, but also angry and uncomfortable. This are some highlights of what venezuelans live every single day. Thank you for you question!

Jun 24, 10:32PM EDT0

Do you have an outlet to express your disapproval about policy?

Jun 23, 7:35PM EDT0

Yes we have, mainly social media. What happens is that the Government has appropiated of most of the National Tv Channels. Some of the government affiliates bought most of the shares into those, making them have an inclination towards them.

With that, they´ ve made the news showed in them less realistic, having a twisted purpose to excuse the government´ s action applied to the protests. The worse part is that the low-end sectors of the society believe this kinds of news, resulting in an even bigger affiliation towards the government´ s proccedures. But the majority of the population have realized the atrocities that have been made by this administration.

They are briefed of everything that is going on through social media, like Instagram and Twitter -mainly Instagram-. Eventhough we don´ t have efficient TV channels that inform us of this situation, venezuelans actually feel like they do not even need them, because we can watch more precise and effective information on social media in a quicker and objective way. Thank you for your question!

Jun 24, 6:35PM EDT0

Is social media an effective way for young Venezuelans to unite against tyranny?

Jun 22, 6:41PM EDT0

Yes! Indeed the social media has played a big factor in terms of planning and showing the atrocities done by the law enforcement organism when supressing the different protest. It has had multiple purposes in our  country, people express their unhappiness and sometimes hatred at this administration through the different social medias like Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp.

I invite you to take a look at some venezuelan IG accounts, like @Hcapriles (Opposition Politician), @Ipaniza (He´ s a photographer who posts good pictures about the protests), @Esdevenezolanos (venezuelan varieties account) the accounts of Julio Borges (Opposition Politician),  Lilian Tintori (The wife of an Incarcelated politician), and others. Thank you for your question!

Jun 23, 6:35PM EDT0

What are the biggest economic challenges facing Venezuela?

Jun 22, 12:19PM EDT0

Some of the biggest economic challenges are the Inflation, the cost of life, the elevated prices of the US$ (which changes and modifies the prices everytime its value goes up in the market). Right now, Venezuela´ s main bank (Banco Central de Venezuela) hasn´ t posted the numbers for the inflation rates for more than 4 years, but it has been calculated by economic experts to be at more than 2500%, having the highest inflation rates in the world. 

The elevated cost of life, joined by the inflation rates, have turned Venezuela´ s future into a critical situation. Wages are not enough to pay for the basic needs like food, rent, and different bills, if you take a look at another answer that I made below, you can see a really good graphic about how the dollar prices have fluctuated throughout the years.

US$ are a big factor in this country, it´ s like the price of the dollar exchanges into VBS.F dictate how the country´ s economy behaves. Every time that the dollar prices go up, the prices also increase with them. Venezuela is facing an economy characterized by inflation and a constant stalemate that makes the cost of life really difficult here for the average worker. Thank you for your question!

Jun 23, 6:30PM EDT0

What do you think people would be surprised to learn about Venezuela?

Jun 22, 10:29AM EDT0

Very Good Question! 

I think that every single person in the world not only needs to know about our situation, but also to know about us, yes, the people from this beautiful country. I think most venezuelans are some of the happiest, charming and most gratifying citizens in the world. We are hard-working people thriving for a better tomorrow, and we are not meant to hurt no one. Thank you for your question!

Jun 23, 6:15PM EDT0

How does the cost of living in Venezuela compare to the rest of the world?

Jun 22, 8:48AM EDT0

Very good question! This is where one of the main problems eradicate with the society, and to show that I´ m going to do it with a really simple and understandable graphic:

Extra-Official Market price for 1 dollar (US$) in Bolivares (Bs.F):

  • 15/06/2013: 1US$ = Bs.F 33
  • 15/06/2014: 1US$ = Bs.F 72
  • 15/06/2015: 1US$ = Bs.F 481
  • 15/06/2016: 1US$ = Bs.F 1055
  • 15/06/2017: 1US$ = Bs.F 8014

Venezuela´ s Minimun Wage per month, May

  • 2013: Bs.F 2.457,02 (74,45US$)
  • 2014: Bs.F 4.251,40 (59,04US$)
  • 2015: Bs.F 6.746,98 (14,02US$)
  • 2016: Bs.F 15.051,19 (14,26US$)
  • 2017: Bs.F 65.021,00 (8,02US$)

As you can see with this graphic, the prices for a single dollar have risen throughout the years, making life in Venezuela a lot more expensive. And the worst thing is that Venezuela´ s Main Bank (Banco Central de Venezuela) has yet to release the offcial information for the inflation rates in the country, because they know its so high that they would literally be ashamed by the international community, which has calculated that Venezuela has an Inflation of more than 2700%. Thank you for your question!

Jun 22, 8:17PM EDT0

What is your opinion on the job performance of your current President?

Jun 22, 4:00AM EDT0

Speaking in an objective way, it is safe to say that Mduo´s government hasn´ t been the best for the people. If you take a look and compare Chavez´ s and Maduro´ s administrations, you can see that obviously both of them are the worst ones we´ ve ever had, but Chavez´ s one was better. 

Only by checking facts, you can see that Maduro has got it all wrong in terms of gorvening. His despotic way of procceding with the social problems we´ re facing right now, has gotten him nothing but disdain and hatred from the majority of the population. In this year Maduro and his law enforcements have killed more than 70 young protestors, all of them ranging from 17 to 30. Thank you for your question!

Jun 23, 6:00PM EDT0

Is there any political leader in Venezuela that you admire?

Jun 21, 1:47PM EDT0

Well, the situation with politicians right now is a special topic. If you ask me I don´ t actually admire anybody right now, for the simple reason that most of the times they´ re very shady. In some cases you can watch them on the streets marching, but there are other times where the work that they do is not enough for the people, and some of them are actually getting angry at them.  Thank you for your question!

Jun 21, 9:46PM EDT0

How can the citizens of Venezuela organize on a grassroots level?

Jun 21, 1:04AM EDT0

The citizens organize their protest through many different ways, from whatsapp groups to Instagram posts on popular accounts that serve the protestors purpose. But in order to take this into the next level, I think we´ ll need to travel to Caracas, because everything goes down there, at The Capital. We need to make a harder impact if our purpose is to change this. I have always agreed with Machiavelli to think that "The end justifies the means"  and I most certainly believe that we need to apply it in this moment. Thank you for your question!

Jun 23, 6:07PM EDT0

What is your view on isolationism vs globalization and multiculturalism?

Jun 20, 10:12PM EDT0

Personally, I think that all of the modern countries have to be opened to globalization and multiculturalism. The majority of the comunist Nations (like Venezuela, which is going to be stablished as a Comunist State with the new Constituent Assembly that is coming), are at a huge disadvantage, and are not commercially competitive. In the past, Venezuela was a really good commercial country, but for the last like 30 years, Venezuela has been really Isolated, which has proved to be counter-productive with our economy and society. Thank you for your question!

Jun 22, 7:12PM EDT0

How has Venezuela's history shaped the spirit of your country today?

Jun 20, 10:03PM EDT0

The venezuelan history has not only shaped the spirit of the society, it has also allowed a major change regarding the political situation. If you take a look at our history, we´ ve had more than 3 dictatorships in the country since we stablished as a Republic back in the XIX Century.

This behaviors from the different governors have created a trend in venezuelan politics, in which the government has been mostly run by people that have had links with the military, and not many citizens, leading to some bad politics applied at the administrations.

History has also changed the society. It is safe to say that right now, most of the people in this country have violent tendencies, in which everybody gets mugged, shot or killed in the streets in order to be robbed by someone that needs what the others have in order to get some money.

In the past, as many of our grandparents told us, you didn´ t saw this situations, because everybody was able to afford what they wanted, but now with such elevated prices, and inflation rates of ridiculous standards, you can frequently see people doing this types of actions. Thank you for your question

Jun 22, 8:02PM EDT0

How do you raise awareness of the issues facing Venezuelans?

Jun 20, 8:40PM EDT0

I think the best way to raise awarness of the issues that we are facing, is to make them viral. Social Media is really strong, and I think that the jounarlists at other countries should take a closer look at what´ s actually happening here.

It´ s not enough just to talk about it, this situation has to be everywhere in order to be comprehended in a better way. I´ m talking about getting it into every single major media outlet out there, like it happened with Ukraine. Thank you for your question!

Jun 21, 9:43PM EDT0

How can the rest of the world support Venezuelans in crisis?

Jun 20, 4:21PM EDT0

If you would like to support venezuelans, one good way to help could be through some of the NGOs in your country. I´ve heard that some of them send medicines into other NGOs here in Venezuela. Another good way to help from the outside, is through the social medias like Newspapers, Television, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The purpose of this is to make it viral all over the world, the same way that happened when the ukranian protests started to happen.

You could also follow some good Instagram accounts so that you stay up to date with everything that´s going on here like the likes of: @Hcapriles (Opposition Politician), @Ipaniza (He´s a photographer who posts good pictures about the protests), @Esdevenezolanos (venezuelan varieties account) the accounts of Julio Borges (Opposition Politician),  Lilian Tintori (The wife of an Incarcelated politician), and others. Thank you for your question!

Jun 20, 6:02PM EDT0

What is the state of the refugee situation in Venezuela?

Jun 20, 4:05PM EDT0

The "refugee" situation is not that big, But, the people are constantly leaving the country while they still can. Most of them are not asking to have a refugee status, they are just leaving the country to obtain a sustainable job in another country, going through all of the proccess of inmigration and residency necessary for each country.

This has resulted in a major humanitarian crisis in the bordering countries like Colombia, which has been heavily affected by the amount of people that leave Venezuela in order to work there, making the jobs on those other countries polarized by inmigrants. 

Countries of Central-America like Panama, have protected some schools like Medicine and Laws to make them only available for panamanians. This crisis have teared up a lot of venezuelan families apart, having them going to everywhere they can in order to have a better tomorrow.

Jun 20, 6:17PM EDT0

How connected are young people in Venezuela, in terms of social media use?

Jun 20, 11:52AM EDT0

The people in social media are really well connected in terms of social media use. In fact, Everybody get their news and planification for the protest mostly from some accounts of Twitter and Instagram, which provide the news and events that are going on, the ones that the Newspapers and Television don´t show because of the auto-censorship that they have. If they talk about news that are directly against the goverment, they are threatned to be shut down, and Social Media helps with that because the goverment doesn´t have anything to do with it. 

Jun 20, 6:23PM EDT0

What kind of repercussions do you face if you oppose Venezuelan leaders?

Jun 20, 11:01AM EDT0

The repercussions vary quite a lot. For example, if you are in a pacific protest or march, you are facing the chance of getting supressed by the Guardia Nacional Bolivariana (GNB) of the Policia Nacional Bolivariana (PNB). This organizations that are supposed to defend the people of this country, have been recognized for being the perpetrators of more than 70 deaths of young pacific protestors this year. 

Another one of them is that, some of the people that have an affiliation or colaborate in anyway with the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV -the political party of that domain 2 of the 3 main branches of goverment-) identify the people that are in the protests taking pictures of them. And because of those affiliations, people think that these sympathizers give that information to the people working at Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN -the inteligence service of the country-) to use it for their wicked purposes. Thank you for your question!

Jun 20, 6:36PM EDT0
About #PoliticsAMA

Welcome to #PoliticsAMA, an AMA Event channel that is all about politics. Our goal is to engage politicians, candidates, and people who are passionate about their political causes.

The #PoliticsAMA channel is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.