Trip Advisor: Caracas

The fashionable district of Las Mercedes...

The fashionable district of Las Mercedes…

Sounds like a luvly place for a vacation, huh?

The start of the season for two premier teams in this baseball-loving nation was thrown into doubt after thieves stripped vast amounts of copper wire from the lights in this city’s main stadium. Basic items are often so hard to find that when a truck driver slumped dead at the wheel after a highway accident last week, motorcycle-riding looters swarmed in to grab the cargo: tons of red meat.

Prices are soaring, the country is plagued by electrical blackouts, some neighborhoods go days without water, and protests tangle the already stifling traffic. To top it all off, the cheap beer that helps people let off steam at many a weekend party has suddenly become scarce, too.

24 thoughts on “Trip Advisor: Caracas

  1. The majority, if not all, of the bike riders who climbed upon the dying driver to loot the cargo were kids when the motherfucker who launched this madness came to power promising a bright future to all the kids. It is so easy for demagogues to make grandiose promises, but so difficult to deliver even in the little things.

    • CarlosElio your comment is exactly what was supposed to be mine…

      BTW loved the “motherfucker”

    • now, objectively speaking, why would you become so irritated by the fact that someone shows interest in visiting Venezuela?

    • oh, I guess for some reason your story ticked ME off… ‘borderline insane’? really? wouldn’t it have been much less assholeish to simply suggest she be careful, and put her in contact with people in Caracas who could help her move around the city?

    • I’ve always wondered what I’d say if one of my Venezuelan friends invited me to visit. Part of me (as you guys can tell) is really interested in Venezuela, and I think it’d be very interesting to see it from closer, but it just seems like to much. And I’m not complaining that Caracas is not Zurich or Ottawa, I grew up in Colombia with everything that entails, from being mugged two blocks away from my house to waking up to the sound of a bomb, turning around and falling asleep again, but the situation in Venezuela just seems more than I could take. Of course, we are much better at dealing with this in the places we are from than in new places, but still. One example, it would never ever occur to me that I could be driving in Bogotá and that a motorizado could just point a gun at me at a traffic light.

      I’ll go with you to stand in line for a chicken, I’ll make a day out of it, but it just seems (to me, as an outsider) like the stress and fear overpowers anything fun.

      • El Cachaco,

        I am with you….I can stand in lines, and I can take shortages and outages, but don’t give me the kind of crime Venezuela has today.

        Having opened my car door and finding a gun stuck in my ribs, happened to me in the 80’s , when I parked in front of an ice cream store in a good neighborhood.What could happen now? Now my biggest fear is the airport because once I got there I would stay put -so why go?

      • El Cachaco: not sure which Colombia you are talking about; the Colombia I grew up in did not only have muggings and bombs, but also drive-by murder and a thriving kidnapping industry.
        Interesting how the tables have turned; Venezuelans used to think of Colombia as a place with out of control violence.

    • I always advice people when they tell me of their intentions to visit Venezuela, most of them they just seems attracted to the idea of visiting someplace exotic, my recommendations is to never be alone, asked them to go with their friends. I think people are just being nice and wants to make some conversation, but I sincerely doubt that any of them would seriously pay a long trip to a place they don’t know anything about it.

      Besides you would be perceived as a jerk when you start badmouthing the very place that gave you birth.

  2. Oh my. This quote caught my attention:

    “…..who voted for Mr. Maduro but now bitterly regrets doing so.

    “This is the worst government I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Flores said. “The best government we’ve ever had here was with Chávez.””

    Sorry guys, but in my opinion the New York Times did a terrible disservice to Venezuela. What they’ve essentially emphasized here is, Chavez – good, Maduro – bad. Chavez had good intentions, Maduro is a bumbler. Look at that article again. Listen to the video again. The Times makes little effort in correlating the economic disaster of TODAY with Chavez’s economic policies of nearly 14 years. It’s advocacy journalism on the part of the Times. The running theme throughout that piece runs as follows: Chavez meant well. Chavez tried to help the poor. His intentions were honorable. It was what was to be feared most with the early death of Chavez in March of this year, the deification of a political scoundrel. The New York Times just did their part in burying reality. It was a horrible piece…….

    • Absolutely agree, the NYT analysis was weak. But their pieces tend to be a little “soft”. The Reuters articles on the other hand were right on target. Probably to do with the intended audience. In the first case tries to appeal to a broad audience and sets a less discordant tone, in the second it’s all business.

    • “Sorry guys, but in my opinion the New York Times did a terrible disservice to Venezuela. What they’ve essentially emphasized here is, Chavez – good, Maduro – bad.”

      Um nope. Your problem is with the interviewees, not with the Times…

      • No. Sorry. I must disagree here as well. The New York Time’s writers chose to emphasize the disconnect between Chavez’s economic policies and Maduro’s. Read that article again. Read Ortiz’s comments. They, the Times, clearly made no efforts to draw a connection between 14 years of abysmal economic policies and the short time Maduro’s been in power. The clear implication here is that were Hugo still alive, he would surely know what to do. It’s utter nonsense. Again, it’s a horrible piece of journalism…

  3. Most infuriating quote (on many levels):

    Mr. Ortiz still defines himself as a Chavista — a loyal Chávez supporter — but he questioned Mr. Maduro’s ability to solve the nation’s problems. “Chávez was the only one who was qualified, the only one who could keep things here under control.”

    Ignoring for a moment the fallacy that Chavez was qualified for anything except BS speeches, how can somebody define himself as supporter of a political ideology that is only feasable under the fantastical assumption that one person can live forever to oversee it. I think my mind was just blown.

    • The opposition – including some people here – came to the conclusion that Chávez was too popular to be attacked directly. And no one but people like the few, people like Manuel Caballero (and me :-) ever talked about the disgusting and pathetic PERSONALITY CULT, which we should have tackled directly. And when Chávez was dying people said: no, we can’t talk about that now. And after he died they said the same thing. Now it is very late. We have the most disgusting personality cult among millions. Even by discussing about that when the beast was around we would have been able to mitigate its effect.

      Now only some process like the Entnazifizierung, which took DECADES of very thorough work, would be enough.

  4. If you want proof of just how insane things are, change your browser settings for Canada or the USA (el imperio) and try and book a room for this weekend at the Marriott Playa Grande (a third rate hotel)….best price USD $ 609 per night for minimum 2 nights. It is currently cheaper to go to Monte Carlo for the weekend. Viva la Bonita Roja Rojita Revolution…….Arturo and Yoyo & company…..go fug yourselves!!!!

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