September 1, 2016
Dear Future President,
I have had more family members die in the last two years than most people experience in a lifetime. All lived in Venezuela, a South American country that is in complete economic and political disaster. Poverty, violence, and political instability drives people to desperation. Desperation was the motive that influenced two adolescents to shoot my 17 year old cousin in the back three times. Why? Because they needed the groceries my cousin carried to survive. The last thirteen hours of my cousin’s life were spent waiting for the groceries that he was killed for. Venezuelans are struggling, fleeing, and even dying because of the situation causing the high inflation rates, crime rates, and lack of subsidized goods. This problem affects 30.41 million Venezuelans in Venezuela, the uncounted number of Venezuelans that have taken refuge elsewhere and the 248,000 Venezuelans in our country. Why should you care? You may not have complete control over what is presented in the media, but you do have the responsibility to inform your constituents about the atrocities in our global community.
My entire family lives in Venezuela and they are struggling to keep themselves fed, healthy, and alive. My grandparents are assigned a day inconsistently throughout the month where they have to wait in line at the supermarket for hours at a time. According to CBSNews, the average Venezuelan shopper spends 35 hours waiting to buy subsidized goods each month. Not only do they not know what food they will find, they don’t know how long they have to make it last. The last time my grandma went to the supermarket the only thing she could find were two boxes of pancake mix, a bottle of ketchup, expired orange juice, and a small bottle of creamer. That is what she and my grandpa had to live off of for a week.
The media in our country is such a powerful resource that it has changed and influenced the opinions of hundreds of thousands of American citizens. So why can I never bring this situation up without someone looking clueless? Venezuela censors an abundance of information by blocking thousands of websites, blogs, and personal statements relating to the tragedy. Testified by Global Voices, 63% of the websites and blogs that are blocked and deleted are related to social issues and the black market of currency. By using our strong media outlets, you can create a dialogue for Venezuela and inform your people of the matter that Venezuela can’t say for themselves.
According to World Atlas, Venezuela has the largest crude oil reserve in the world and therefore should hypothetically be a wealthy country. However, bolivars, Venezuela’s currency, is losing value faster than any other. Venezuela also suffers from the highest inflation rates in the world. Statista.com, an online statistics portal says in 2016, Venezuela ranked first with an estimated inflation rate of about 481.52% compared to the previous year. This is more than double the percentage of the second ranked country, South Sudan. With poverty being rampant and the currency being worthless, the violence rates are sky-high. Simeon Tegel from USA Today tells us about a new study by Mexican think-tank, the Citizens Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice. The study showed that Venezuela’s capital was ranked the most murderous city on earth with the annual homicide rate of 120 per 100,000 residents.
Some people argue that what happens outside of this country is none of your concern. But what a lot of people don’t consider is that Venezuela is a neighboring country that has made consistent trades with us in the past along with several treaties that suggested the general convention of peace, amity, and commerce. According to cis.org, even President Obama reestablished relations with Venezuela in 2009. An article in the Huffington Post mentioned a U.S. official, “It’s not really the case that the United States is rooting for any outcome, other than that it’s not an outbreak of political violence. You’d have to be insane not to worry.” Using our media sources as an outlet won’t stop the U.S. government on focusing on our own issues, merely just letting the public worry about these issues as well.
Mr. or Mrs. President, your constituents have chosen you to best represent this country, and more specifically, the citizens of the United States. It is in your best interest that you inform your people and keep them comprehensive of the calamities and adversities of our universal society. Media obsessed americans only take in what they're fed. So let’s give them something to chew on, shall we?
New Technology, 11th grade