Omana Transcript


Part of The Story of Marianella Omana (with Venus Cabrera)

My name is Marianella Omana. I grew up in Venezuela, that's in the north of South America and it has been in the news lately because of the current political and social problems there. After finishing my career as an attorney in Venezuela, I went to Boston to study English and I also finished a Master’s Degree in management with two specializations, one in diversity and another one in organizational development. But I always dreamed of going back to my country so I did it. I went back in 1999 and got married and lived there until April 2005. I needed to flee the country actually. I was teaching political economics and organizational development in the business school in the Catholic University in my area.

With the new government that installed in December 1999 with Chavez by that time, we started to see the changes to where communism,  to where socialist, and it was different. And they already started to classify people as followers of the government or opponents. We stayed with the opponent's side because we didn't want limited opportunities just for being part of a government or political side. We believe that everyone has equal opportunities to succeed.  I started being critical over my classes and in the end of 2004 and the first month of 2005, I started to receive threats and even some of my students that were linked to the government approached me and said well Professor I like you but I need to warn you that you shouldn't keep talking against the government. And some things happened against my safety and also my husband’s safety.  We started to receive not only those warnings, but also calls and some people waited for us outside of our offices and also say uh somethings.  Even in one opportunity we were arrested because we were just walking or talking against the government.

Our safety was in risk there and I have two very painful episodes. One was a little bit disgusting that when I finished my classes and went to open my car, my car was all spread with stools.  And the other was like a  week before I just said no, we can't. Someone was pursuing me and hit my car and he stopped next to my car and started saying like if they were going to cut my throat. It was very disturbing because suddenly some cars get around mine and started to do those things and showing me red identifications that identify those people with the government. So I got scared of course and some more calls, so within a week, I was flying. It forced me to leave my country. It was a difficult decision because I was leaving all of my family there, I was the one leaving the country, but we're grateful, we're here. I remember when I moved to the United States everyone was like betting for you to fail, and I never heard those voices. I always saw that I'm capable of doing things, and you don't fail unless you don't try. We have this opportunity, and we need to think that nothing in life is for granted. Everyday we need to see things around us and even though we are used to those things, we need to be thankful.  We have security, we have freedom here, we can go to a supermarket and find food, we can drive our cars, we have a house; we have too many things here that we take for granted and we need to really be thankful.


Omana Transcript

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