(By: Olga Conde Martín)

Michelle Vázquez Ricciardi, is studying at the UEM the second year of the grade of International Relations, she was borned in Caracas, Venezuela, in the 13th of February in 1992. Daughter of an ex naval officer exited Venezuela when she was 10 years old because of the political situation and the fact that her father was black-listed due to his opinionated opinion against the government. After leaving the country she lived in Miramar, Florida USA for 8 years and moved to Spain in July 2010 where she now resides due to her father’s change of assignment inside his company. 



-Olga:  What is your opinion about the government and the political situation that Venezuela has been experiencing for more than 10 years?

-Michelle: My opinion, is that Venezuela is experiencing a very hard political situation due to the fact that it has a very corrupt government. The Government that has been in place for more than ten years has caused that Venezuela is seen in the International Community as kind of a “joke” Government, because when the president stands up in front of the UN General Assembly and starts talking about how the devil has been there and “it still smells like sulfur” when referring to another head of state, it gives not only the government or in these case the president and bad name but it also gives the country as a whole a horrible reputation.


 -Olga: Is your political tendency in favor or against the current government?

– Michelle: I’m against the current government as well as my whole family


-Olga: Do you believe that the increase of corruption and violence that the country is experiencing could change in a near future?

-Michelle: Honestly, it saddens me to say that I believe that it could change but for the worse. The country is in such a horrible state that the citizens are getting used to the violence and the corruption saying things like “well it was only a watch” when it gets stolen. It breaks my heart to know that this situation is only going to get worse; when your government is as corrupt as the one Venezuela has you can only expect bad things to happen to the country.


-Olga:  What is your personal opinion on the nationalization of companies done by Chavez?

-Michelle: Personally, and this is a very touchy topic with me because I have personal experience with this process, I hate what he has done too many companies. A lot of people have worked really hard to get there companies to be as prosperous as they were and he just comes and takes them and gives them to people that don’t even know how to work most of the machines nor manage the company. His whole skim is take from the “rich” and give to the “poor” but what he does not understand is that does “rich” people as he calls them have works hard for what they have and he just takes that away. MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.


-Olga: Due to the fact that this year is election year in Venezuela, who do you believe is going to win and why?

-Michelle: Well I would hope that Henrique Capriles Radonski who won the primaries wins, but I think that Chavez will win once again. He has this way of making even “SUPERMAN” vote for him, and I believe that if he cheats again as he has done in previous years he will win.


-Olga: From your experience how do you think that the situation in Venezuela has led to the increase in immigration of Venezuelans to other countries?

-Michelle: From my experience and from the ones of my family members I can say that the political situation is the mayor source of immigration out of Venezuela. People are tired of leaving in danger and fear and if they have the opportunity they usually leave. During the early 2000 the first wave of immigrants started to leave the country to go to the USA or come to Europe but the big wave was during 2004-05 after the national strike were a lot of the elites realized that there was no way out of the hole the country was in.


-Olga: After being out of the country for so long and taking into account the political situation the country is in, have you ever wanted to go back?

-Michelle: Of course, above all the problems that the country is in and the horrible situation is facing is my country, were most of my family still lives and most important were my parents meet, got married and had me.. For me it will always be my home land. But saying that I would love to go back, and I have, but just to visit. Living in the USA and in Spain and being raised by my parents have taught me that the way most people leave in Venezuela with fear and no freedom what so ever of speech is no way to live. So I guess the answer is yes and no… Yes, I would love to go back to my country but only to visit not lo live at least not only the situation is taken care of.


-Olga: In relation with the previous statement has your perspective about Venezuela changed? This means now that you don’t leave there do you view the country different or in what way do you see it?

-Michelle: I think now I have a very different perspective because I mostly talk about the things my family tells me are happening or what I hear on the news. I’m not there so I don’t really experience it firsthand. but I know that what is happening inside the country is wrong because I’ve lived in places where things are done the right way and is not the way it’s done in Venezuela so it just frustrates me even more knowing that I can’t do anything to change it and that there’s people that still live in those conditions without any way out.


-Olga: Having lived in Venezuela and viewing the whole situation do you believe the countries situation has changed? Has it gotten better or worse?

-Michelle: I believe the situation has gotten worst with the years. There has been a huge increase in crime and corruption (If I’m not mistaken we are one of the most corrupt countries in the world) as well as a huge increase of immigration to other countries. I think only this shows that people are not happy with the country and want a way out…


-Olga: Thank you very much for your time.

-Michelle: My pleasure.


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