Survival Rules When Society Collapses: Lessons from Venezuela

Survival Rules When Society Collapses: Lessons from Venezuela, by Mike Monahan.

A visit with my brother in Venezuela was an eye-opener for me. …

When I arrived, I found the airport looked nice and like a modern-day airport. … They immediately took my luggage and I waited to be called back. When I returned, my luggage was dumped in a pile. I immediately noticed all the food items, the Vodka bottles, and the battery packs were all now seized. …

Before we got into the cab, my brother had me leave the suitcases and put all of my belongings in two garbage bags. … My brother explained that if you were seen with a suitcase, it might be eyed as having something valuable and make you a target. …

When we got to my brother’s house, it looked very scary. He lives in a small two bedroom house on a small lot on the corner of two major streets with his wife who was six months pregnant. All the windows in the house were covered in black plastic. I noticed all the lawns were dead. Weeds grew up through all the cracks in the streets and sidewalks. Trash was piled up on the street and almost every trash can and trash bag had been tipped over or torn open by people looking for any treasures they might hold. Street after street looked the same way. …

Lice and trash:

The trash bags here are also in low supply. People dump other people’s trash on the ground, so they can reuse the bags. There are no shampoos, no new clothes, no razors, no toothpaste, no baking soda, no lice sprays, no personal items, no condoms, no tampons, no maxi pads available in any store. Lice and crab infestations are everywhere. In the public toilets, you can see dead ones and some still alive on the toilet seat from the previous person using it. …

There were whole families I saw shaved from head to toe, and not because they are getting cancer treatment. It’s because it’s the only way to get rid of the lice and crabs. Hygiene here means having no hair. The good news is that there are no fleas, which used to be the problem before the collapse. The reason is there are no dogs, cats, or small animals left. They’ve all been eaten. …

No law and order:

Two days before I left to come back to the states, some of the gang members on the corner in front of my brother’s house saw a cat in the window of a single elderly lady across the street. … At about midnight, my brother and his wife woke me up because there was a gang of about fifty people outside their house. As we lifted the shades to see outside in the dark, the moon was bright enough to watch those fifty or more people descend on the elderly woman’s house. In less than five minutes, every window had been broken, every door had been kicked in and the house entirely ransacked. We watched a person in front of the house cut the still living cat in half and share it with another hooded person who ran off with it.

Five minutes after the break-in, another twenty people from the neighborhood entered the house. The woman screaming is all you could hear. About ten minutes after it all started, everyone in the house exited in a hurry and ran away as flames could be seen in the windows. The nude elderly woman who owned the house stumbled out of the front door and fell to the ground just two feet away from the house. My brother’s wife, my brother and I ran out to try and help the elderly woman. But when we got there, we could see it was hopeless. She was bleeding from every orifice. Blood was running down her pubic area, chest, legs, nose, mouth, and even out of her ears. She struggled to breathe for about two minutes before the breathing stopped. My brother’s wife held her hand until it was clear she was gone and then my brother pulled her away as she cried.

The house burned to the ground within an hour. Not a single fire truck came. An armored police truck with a 20MM machine gun on the top showed up for less than five minutes about nine that morning. They spent less than five minutes looking at the smoldering ruins, threw the body in the back of the truck and left.

hat-tip David Archibald