I don't expect Venezuela will be attacking us anytime soon. Yes, I saw army guys toting machine guns here and there but jeez, the place is dangerous. Everyone in Caracas should carry one.
The cover story in today's Miami Herald has the GOP "howling" because President Obama says this 2.5d world country does not pose a serious threat to the United States.
It doesn't. Have the yahoos quoted in the article (Romney and Rubio) ever been there? For the last two weeks I've been roaming around that country. I got the impression that the army and everyone else does not want to invade the U.S. They'd rather immigrate. And besides, it's hard for anyone to leave the county because there is so much garbage blocking the way.
Jokes aside, there is a great deal of fear and poverty in Venezuela. As soon as you leave the airport (with a secured driver, some taxis kidnap you) you are surrounded by ghetto shacks (they call them "ranchos") built by impoverished people. All who can afford it put walls around their houses. These are topped by spikes, broken glass, and razor wire. The candles on the cake are the poles holding up electric fencing meant to "light up" anyone who tries to go over.
With bars covering the windows, houses and condos look like jails. Looking through the steel rods at condo guards while my wife's relative's warned, "Don't go out", left me feeling imprisoned.
If you do go out you might get run over. Traffic is nuts. You let "secured" cabbies take you places but their driving skills scare you. Thousands of motorcycles make it worse as they zoom between cars beeping their horns like angry hornets.
Try to avoid going out at night in Caracas. That's when most kidnappings take place. They call them "express kidnappings" as the horrendous ordeals now take place quickly. We met one victim and heard of others.
Despite all this, most of the people there love their country and have no intention to leave.
President Hugo Chavez, vilified by the U.S. press, keeps getting re-elected. We met many people who love the guy and swear he's making things better.
I hope he, or someone else, does.
The machine-gun carrying guys in green fatigues need to figure out how to combat the evil within and make their own people secure. Their smiles seemed to say they have no interest in invading anyone.
A few days ago I spotted this fallen mango that got spiked on its way down...