Why Venezuelans Immigrate to South Florida

Kimberley JPG
Painting – Art Revolution by Darwin Leon

Kimberly Reagan Sanchez

by

David Arthur Walters

A man never knows whom he might run into during a tropical downpour in Miami Beach. I fled into the doorway of one of the ubiquitous electronic stores the other day to avoid being drenched. And there I encountered a beautiful young Venezuelan woman, whom I have named Kimberly Reagan Sanchez to protect her innocence.

We squeezed into the back of the store’s shallow entrance way to chat during the ten-minute deluge. Kimberly had flown in from Caracas to visit her fiancé. He has a business in Miami and is the son of a wealthy South Florida family, she said. Her birthday was coming up, hence she was looking forward to spending it with her fiancé. I suggested that he might propose to her on that very day

In fact, by the time we parted, I would have married her myself despite the generation gap between us – which I would have closed, if she were to consent to my proposal, in a New York second. Of course that was not to be, nor should it have been, at least not on my income. As for her income, she said she had been laid off, and was presently a “consultant.”

“You’re an independent contractor?”

“Yes.”

“I am an independent, myself,” I said, laughing. “Hey, have you re-invented yourself yet?”

“Yes, I have re-invented myself,” she said with a laugh.

“So, do you have a product to hustle?”

“Hustle?”

“Sell.”

“Yes, health products.”

“Multi-level marketing?”

“Yes.”

Perhaps my income, or rather the lack of it, would not stand in the way of a marriage proposal, after all, I thought. Fortunes can be made on pyramid schemes, at least by the top one-percent, and this gal might have what it takes.

“Yeah, we have lots of consultants reinventing themselves in the United States,” I said.

“What do you do?”

“I’m an independent journalist. In a word, I’m unemployed.”

“Ha-ha.” Kimberly was amused, and her English was excellent.

“Maybe I should move to Venezuela. Maybe the socialists would hire me to report on that president of yours.”

“You would be very welcome in my country,” she graciously affirmed. “But Chavez, I don’t like him.”

“Why not? The socialists might guarantee everybody a job if they can’t find one elsewhere. If our consulting businesses don’t work out, at least we could survive.”

“Socialism is not the problem,” she said firmly. “We don’t mind socialism. The problem is Chavez. Chavez and his friends are taking everything. That is not socialism.”

“Are you saying he is corrupt, taking all the stuff and doling it out to his gang?”

“I think so. And his best friend is Castro. We are afraid of Castro’s methods.”

“But Chavez is loved by the poor people.”

“He promises to give them things so they like him, but they don’t see what he is doing, grabbing all the power, and they will be disappointed.”

“So the poor people are stupid?”

“Yes, but they are good people.”

“Say, do you know about the Opus Dei?”

“No, what is that?” Kimberly asked”

“They are a secret lay organization of right-wingers, an official, autonomous church within the Church. The temporary government that took over from Chavez after the coup and proceeded to disband the parliament and suspend civil rights, they were almost all Opus Dei members, according to some reports. They are tied into the CIA.”

“That’s strange, I’ve never heard of them,” she said.

By that time the rain had ended. We said good bye. As I regretfully watched Kimberly Reagan Sanchez walk away from me, I thought: What a sweet and intelligent young lady she is, but somewhat politically innocent. I will probably never see her again. I hope her boyfriend proposes to her on her birthday. I certainly would.

David Arthur Walters
Miami 2005

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