And Then the Barricades Came Tumbling Down

My security guard friend informed me yesterday that the guarimbas, the barricades, were down.

Exactly one month after the protests began, I don’t think I fully reacted to his words. I didn’t shout, clap, or anything. I just stood there. Then, I stood up on a planter ledge to peer into the street and–sure enough–the trash, the plants, the barbed wire, the broken pottery, all of it…was gone.

“The mayor came with the garbage men and cleared everything out,” he explained to me in Spanish.

All I could do was nod. It was extremely windy. So much so that I wish I hadn’t gone downstairs in a spaghetti-strapped dress to get my fresh air of the day.

I had donned a red dress. The color of government supporters. It’s my favorite piece of clothing, and I have never worn it outside my building’s walls because my favorite color is too political here in Venezuela.

The streets were back to normal. Clean even. No trash blew in the strong wind. No signs of protest flapped in the current. No nothing.

I stood there not quite savoring the wind, but savoring the sight of unobstructed streets again.

Yet I do wonder what the wind will blow next to Valencia because I do not think the protests are over.

The chanting outside my apartment today told me that much.


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