Why I Left Venezuela. This Is My Story | Part II

My First Vote and Late Regrets

 

 

After the tragedy of the frustrated military coup, the political, economic, social, and moral situation of the country deteriorated over the months. The President, Carlos Andres Perez, was brought to trial, Why? For corruption.  For eight months we had a provisional president and I expected the government to call elections.  I expected the elections with great joy.  For some, it was normal. For me, It would be my first vote to elect the Head of the Republic.

The new President, Rafael Caldera, won with rightfully with 30% ahead of the total votes. He had three strong opponents. During the political campaign, he and his advisors managed to bring together seventeen political parties of different ideologies to turn into a one representative tendency: "Convergencia" or best known as "El Chiripero". This would be his second presidential term after 20 years.

People were a little exhausted, but they had hope and remembered his first term fondly, apparently it was very good. His political career was impeccable. He had held positions in the Congress and in the Senate. He was also a lawyer, psychologist, and writer. He was even the principal architect in the elaboration of the 1961 Constitution and founder of my nation's democracy forty years earlier.

With this biography, I didn't have too much to think about. I was determined. I  have always thought that political positions should be held by academics and experts. I actively participated in the election campaign.  I accompanied my mother to every corner of my home state to make sure everyone knew about his proposal.

When election day came, my vote was public in front of the voting station members. I was proud to be part of the democratic electoral process and knew that he would win. I witnessed the count of the votes of several tables or stations. The votes were counted manually. The victory was crushing. Rafael Caldera was President of Venezuela for the second time... Nevertheless, I never thought that over the years I would regret such a decision.

Two years after the elections and to the surprise of many, the military leader of the failed coup, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias was released with a presidential pardon. Yes, the man who for the next 19 years would dedicate his life to destroying my country, was never counted for the crimes committed two years earlier and was walking freely. The people killed, the bloodshed on the streets, the destruction, and desolation resulting from a brutal event of the past went unpunished and forgotten.