“Long live Chavez, Chavez lives”
Montevideo, Uruguay, the 5th of march 2013.
You usually remember where you where and what you did when you got the news about the death of someone famous. I was in the taxi, leaving the house of my uruguayan aunt in the neighborhood La Union and going to me and my sister’s new apartment in barrio Goes, in Montevideo.
Yesterday (9th of march) when I took the taxi home in the middle of the night the taxista asks me if I know the neighbourhood where I’m going and I notice he pronounce the “allá” (“there”) with th y-sound and not the uruguayan “sh” (asha) –
“Your not from Uruguay right?” – and it feels good not to the be the foreigner for once
“No, I’m from Venezuela”
He asks me where I’m from and I explain my history with Uruguay. I mention that the turbulence in Montevideo bothers me and that the city has become more violent and insecure since I lived here last time in 2009.
“It’s nothing compared to Venezuela” – of course not. But it’s disturbing to see that Uruguay, that has been one of the more secure countries in Latin America, also is changing.
He left Venezuela because of Chavez.
“And now he’s dead”
“Yes, but he’ve left many angry people behind, he robed from the middle class, land and possessions, to give to the poor, taken with violence and has cooperated with gangsters and drug-affairs, there’s much conflicts to come”
I tell him to stop at Palacio legislativo, from there I can find my street – since he doesn’t yet now the area so well. I wanted to hear more about his experience but I have to let him continue his shift. When I walk home I realize I thought of asking him the same question that I’m tired of answering “and why did you come to Uruguay?” I guess he would give me the same answer as I have – by coincidence. Por casualidad.
Nobody choose Uruguay, but then you start loving it. Parts of it. Hopefully he will to, Venezuela will probably not be safe to return to for a while to come…