by J.G. Martinez, The Organic Prepper:
Editor’s Note: This could happen anywhere that there are two distinctly defined groups. It doesn’t have to be migrants vs locals or one ethnic group vs. another. We’re seeing this replay across the United States, although not quite this violently. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments about other ways you could see this playing out where you live. – Daisy
Peruvians and Venezuelans are both South Americans, albeit with different conducts and ways of thinking things. However, our countries have a not-so-nice relationship. These two countries share a common history. This shared history may shed some light on why Peruvians fear Venezuelans and are opposed to them coming to Peru.
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It has been a rocky relationship between Peru and Venezuela for some time
Peru was always subject to the Spanish Crown’s special considerations as one of the most contributing factions to the Empire. Peru was the source of valuable mineral exploitation. They were not too convinced about leaving the sponsorship received by Spain. They had severe doubts about Simon Bolivar’s plan, and a sector of the population did not exactly well receive the ideals exposed by him. (Mainly because it involved the possibility of being killed in the war, I strongly suspect). And conceding a part of their country (as the Peruvians say) to build from scratch another country (Bolivia) only added to their growing dislike of Venezuela.
One of the most critical parts of the offshore Government of the Spanish Kingdom was Peru. Venezuela was not important back then. It was a colossal hacienda to produce mostly cattle, dairy, and armies. Peru received over half a million refugees, with all of the social consequences. It is easy to understand how much discomfort Peruvians must feel. Now, there are many people begging for food or money, and not all of them are really in need.
We Venezuelans experienced the same to a lesser degree back in the 80s and 90s with Bolivians and Peruvians. Caracas was a marvelous city during those years. The light socialists in power (we never really had a right-hand government since the middle 50s) allowed the uncontrolled migration that made our country incredibly dangerous in less than five years. Venezuela is still paying for the consequences of this major flaw as a society.
Venezuelans met with a rising wave of xenophobia from Peruvians
We Venezuelans used to receive anybody who wanted to live in our country without caring much about who they were. This willingness generated a society that would produce the soulless politicians who had no morale or love for the country nor a sense of the most personal transcendence in history.
The years since the mass displacement have been rough on my people. Many of the people I’ve talked to have said they would leave Peru as soon as possible. (They said this pre-pandemic, of course.) People told me they hadn’t collected enough information and got caught in a foreign country without papers. Many of us now realize how different this country is and how difficult it is to live beyond basics. We all need to provide for our families and want to obtain a good education on an international level. (Education is costly in Peru.) This type of education is something we need, as we don’t know if we will make it in Venezuela for too long. Part of “Plan B,” so to speak.
Some of us changed our minds long ago. The feeling is mutual. Many Peruvians are starting to change their minds about our permanency. And, the arrival of the virus has changed everything for everyone.
Consequences of the SHTF in Venezuela: racial tensions and violence
I never thought I would be exposed to these particular consequences of the mass displacement of Venezuelans. Racial tensions were practically unknown for most Venezuelans. Our country never had such problems. A light-skinned, blonde girl getting married to a brown-skinned man was never an issue. Blonde, blue-eyed guys falling madly in love with “mulatto” girls? Sure! Make sure to invite us to the party!
It’s hard to find closer-knit families. We are a mix of white with yellow hair, and our cousins are dark-skinned, with long black hair and green eyes. Our society, for the most part, believes in feelings rather than other visible traits. The racial problems came with the successive waves of European migrants: old school Italian or Portuguese fathers who forbid their daughters or sons to marry dark-colored people. Those old junks worked so hard and knew life too well to allow some “bon vivant” to take advantage of their families.
However, in a country where hard, honest work and study were a sure way to succeed, these family matters usually got fixed once both achieved their respective degrees and became professionals.
In Peru, these “family matters” are not accepted cannot be fixed
Venezuelan women are known to be extremely good-looking. Many problems have resulted in Peru because of this. Peruvians are generally protective of their kind. You can imagine the reaction toward a gorgeous young Venezuelan girl selling snacks and candies on a street corner. Many couples have not been approved, with the logical tensions, and marriages have broken up.
These racial tensions are nothing compared to the storm brewing on the horizon: an innocent young man was sadistically murdered in cold blood by a criminal who just happened to be Peruvian.
The media here has its own rules when it comes to these incidents. When something terrible happens, and a Venezuelan is the main suspect, the scandal is unbelievable. The story will bounce around for weeks or even months. When a Venezuelan girl selling pastries or coffee in the streets is kidnapped, raped, and violently murdered, the media decrees she was “surely” a prostitute. Even worse, many of these crimes are never solved.