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Old 12-06-2009, 11:22   #46
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Shotgun toting guards in Venezuela marina?

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Originally Posted by Mustang Sally View Post
Angleoff was a lovely guy who took us for dinner however he has a slanted view. An investment specialist who works with wealthy venezuelans he wants to support the growth of venezuela. He does not have extensive cruising experience and in fact docks his boat at a marina that has one armed guard on during the day and two with shot guns at night. After cruising the entire east coast USA, canada, the caribbean and venezuela I have never seen or heard of a marina with armed guards, that should alone tell you something.
Which marina is that with shotgun toting guards in Venezuela ? !

I always get nervous with such things. Once in Mexico, a Mexican Naval Guard fingered his trigger as I approached just to demonstrate his authority. Its interesting what happens when humans are granted rank.
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Old 12-06-2009, 11:31   #47
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I apologize, but what is the abbreviation?

In My Humble Opinion.
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Old 12-06-2009, 13:39   #48
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I had intended to stay away from the remnants of this thread and, while I recognize it is likely a complete waste of time, I wanted to correct a couple of new factual inaccuracies 'reported' by the crew of Mustang Sally:

1. There are many more than 300 boats that cruise Venezuelan waters each year; indeed, there are multiples of that from Venezuela alone. Just check out the marinas.

2. The local fishermen do not all take in their motors at night - indeed, none do from my beach (which, by the way, I agree is probably the safest and nicest on Isla Margarita - and thanks for the unintended advertisement in the midst of your attack!). However, motors are also left on in Juan Griego (also on Isla Margarita) as well as numerous other locations in Venezuela's offshore islands.

Stay in trouble spots like Porlamar, Pampatar (the commercial harbour adjoining Porlamar), Roblidal, or harbours/bays on, or near the mainland and you shouldn't be surprised to see them take in their motors at night (in fact, for those who unwisely chose not to check out the relative safety of a location before anchoring, it's a pretty good warning, n'est-ce pas?). Regardless, just as all harbours are not unsafe, the fishermen in all harbours do not take in their motors.

I should also point out that dinghy/outboard theft is virtually epidemic throughout the Caribbean and that a prudent sailor will always lock their outboard/inflatable when ashore and hoist them at night. Indeed, the latter is the recommended solution on Noonsite for the problem of dinghy theft in Porlamar - I know, 'Oh , the horror!. '

As to suggestions that I was equating the overall crime rate in the US with the rates in Venezuela, I am prepared to assume that most people on this site can read and comprehend what I actually said without clarification. And I refuse to dignify the critical comments concerning my ability as a prosecutor, particularly when they come from someone who is apparently incapable of even that basic level of comprehension.

Brad
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Old 12-06-2009, 16:19   #49
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Shotgun toting guards is normal in South and Central America; we've also seen them in the Dominican Republic. Not just in marina's, even the McDonalds has them.

About the number of boats: the local Venezuelan boats don't cruise the Caribbean. They have a hard time to get the visa they need for entering so they stay in Venezuelan waters. Many never leave the marina, like everywhere else.

Porlamar: This is the port/bay where one must anchor to check in. In 2005 when we were there, it was the only bay allowed for visiting (foreign) yachts. You can't just choose another anchorage.

Also, this is the only place we've been where the thieves have hydraulic cutters so no matter how thick your cable or chain you use to lock your dinghy, they have the right tools.

Also, this is the only place where cruisers develop scary alarm/protection systems to secure dinghies and boats. It is also the only place where a cruiser modifies shot shells for use in flare guns and advertise these on the VHF net incl. stories how they helped deter thieves or boarders the past night (different story every day).

Also, it is the only place we've ever been where the owner of the local cruiser watering hole is/was in jail because he killed too many people but is/was allowed to visit his bar now and then to tend to his parrots.

And still we liked the place so there must be something wrong with us ;-)

ciao!
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Old 12-06-2009, 19:49   #50
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... And I refuse to dignify the critical comments concerning my ability as a prosecutor, particularly when they come from someone who is apparently incapable of even that basic level of comprehension.

Brad
Brad,

I don't think anyone questioned your 'ability' as a prosecutor. I think they were questioning the reality of it.
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Old 12-06-2009, 19:53   #51
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Gun toting guard in the marinas

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Shotgun toting guards is normal in South and Central America; we've also seen them in the Dominican Republic. Not just in marina's, even the McDonalds has them.

About the number of boats: the local Venezuelan boats don't cruise the Caribbean. They have a hard time to get the visa they need for entering so they stay in Venezuelan waters. Many never leave the marina, like everywhere else.

Porlamar: This is the port/bay where one must anchor to check in. In 2005 when we were there, it was the only bay allowed for visiting (foreign) yachts. You can't just choose another anchorage.

Also, this is the only place we've been where the thieves have hydraulic cutters so no matter how thick your cable or chain you use to lock your dinghy, they have the right tools.

Also, this is the only place where cruisers develop scary alarm/protection systems to secure dinghies and boats. It is also the only place where a cruiser modifies shot shells for use in flare guns and advertise these on the VHF net incl. stories how they helped deter thieves or boarders the past night (different story every day).

Also, it is the only place we've ever been where the owner of the local cruiser watering hole is/was in jail because he killed too many people but is/was allowed to visit his bar now and then to tend to his parrots.

And still we liked the place so there must be something wrong with us ;-)

ciao!
Nick.
Nick,

Thanks for that feedback. I've personally traveled throughout a good portion of the world with the exception of Central & South America. I've heard multiple stories, of course, but your comment confirmed what I suspected. What a shame. Its a shame for people who wish to visit/cruise the areas, but its also a shame for the local residents who have to endure the threats of violence every day around them.
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Old 15-06-2009, 00:39   #52
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It might be a pretty place to visit, but is it worth the trouble or potential trouble?

Im sure you dont venture down dark alleys at home that have a bad reputation, so why go to a place that has the same reputation?

Its a big world, go find friendly spot and relax.
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Old 14-01-2010, 22:35   #53
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What is the average income in these coastal communities?
We show up in our fabulously expensive boats [many of which are fabulously expensive by MY standards, let alone the locals] into communities whose collective total wealth is surpassed by the price of one of our boats, and we are surprised that somebody takes some of our stuff? Yes, it is distressing to be stolen from, and I am sure it would be even more distressing to be attacked. I have hiked and traveled in much of the Middle East and some of SE Asia. I do think a smile is worth a pistol any day, overall. If truly armed people show up, the chances of any regular sailor having the firepower and the will to kill are pretty small. Better to smile and hope, as we do here in the Homeland.
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:07   #54
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Mustang Sally, while you may tire of cruisers who refer to thefts of items such as your boat hook (or even outboards, inflatables, liferafts etc.) as petty theft, I tire of people who make inflammatory and inaccurate statements such as "EVERYONE gets boarded, its a matter of were you pistol whipped, shot, tied up and robbed or whatever else."

As SV Makai points out, the increase in violent crime/attacks in certain areas in Venezuela IS a matter of serious concern. However, he is able to put things in a rational perspective: despite sailing in and out of Venezuela for over a year, he has not been a victim of a violent attack; he is not painting the entire country with the same brush; even if the situation does not improve where these recent attacks occurred (the now notorious area outside Puerto La Cruz including Isla Barracha), he is not proposing giving the offshore islands a miss. From my personal experience (as well as that of many others), he is NOT the exception that proves the rule, but rather one of the vast majority who have had wonderful experiences cruising the offshore caribbean islands of Venezuela.

I also note that, in spite of the recent attacks that have shaken his confidence in the Puerto La Cruz area, he still believes that it is only now turning into an area that is as dangerous as the Windward Islands (as you know, the still popular cruising grounds between Martinique and Grenada), or the District of Columbia. To that I might add that since January of this year, there have also been violent attacks on cruisers in St. Vincent, St. Lucia, the ABC's, Puerto Rico and Antigua, with murders in the latter two.

I am sorry that while in Venezuela you apparently saw someone in an inflatable run down by another boat (although I can only imagine the outrage you would express if it had been done by a member of the equivalent of the local Sheriff's office, as occurred in a notorious case from California that is currently before the courts).

I am sorry that while in Venezuela you allegedly saw a shoot-out on the dock in front of you (although I must say that I have been witness to shoot-outs at parking lots at the Detroit Olympiad and in Niagara Falls, New York in the 1970's; it hasn't kept me from returning to the USA).

I am also sorry that there were allegedly four cruisers murdered in Venezuela in the summer of 2008 (although I must say that I have not read about that anywhere else). Are you suggesting that all of this happened on Margarita Island (the only location you mention). Can you provide some details of this mass (or serial) killing of cruisers on the island? Frankly, I believe that you are 'mistaken'. And if it wasn't on Margarita Island, please specify where as there IS a difference (Venezuela is, afterall, a rather large country and one with, by far, the largest coastline bordering the Caribbean Sea). Frankly, I would be hugely surprised if that were true for the entire country during the summer of 2008, but I am prepared to stand corrected.

What I am prepared to accept at face value is your allegation that your boathook was stolen while under anchor in Porlamar, the largest and most violent city on Isla Margarita. For what it is worth, I can indicate that the outboard for my inflatable was stolen from my boat one night when I was onboard two summers ago - at a sleepy little marina in Bath, Ontario, Canada. It was locked to a transom bracket on my cat and I awoke the next morning to find that the cable had been cut.

I have also had a previous boat broken into and not only stripped, but deliberately damaged when on the hard in Port Credit, Ontario. Indeed, I have also been involved in the prosecution of numerous cases where boats have not only been boarded and subjected to theft, but also boarded when occupied at marinas in other small towns in southern Ontario. I believe that you were originally from Canada - do you believe that I should, as a result, be saying that from my experience, everyone in Canada will eventually be boarded? The longer you stay here, the greater the risk?

Everyone is entitled to express an opinion, and yours is duly noted. I suggest, however, that inflammatory rhetoric does little to promote a measured response or judgment by anyone. It is obvious that you were terrified by your experience in Venezuela and moreover, that you have little or no patience with other cruisers who view theft from even their own boats as relatively petty matters. From an international perspective, I suspect that they are right, although I acknowledge that it does nothing to minimize the sense of violation that you obviously feel.

The world is a dangerous place and sadly, it seems that it is becoming more dangerous by the day. All of us and not just cruisers must make decisions concerning issues of safety and the degree to which we are prepared to accept risk, versus the gain of visiting new landfalls and experiencing new cultures. Sadly, at this point I suspect that SV Makai is correct: unless or until the Guardia clean things up quickly, it is probably best at present to avoid the area of Puerto La Cruz and neigbouring islands. Like SV Makai, however, I do not believe that this in any way justifies an indiscriminate and inaccurate attack on all cruising grounds in Venezuela.

Brad
Yes your right in all cases . I live in Margarita and as an Australian I find it safe. I have my yacht in concord. You do need some security measures but thats all over the world. I sailed from Margarita in 2007 to australia and we had issues in panama in tahiti in suva even in australia people steal motors. So its how you secure things
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:12   #55
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

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As with Brad, your statement, "but it does not mean we should all huddle scared locked in gated communities" goes against the grain of the purpose of the boards which is enjoyment.

If a person is afraid, its not up to you to lecture her that she shouldn't "huddle" in gated communities." Thats a deliberate slam on people who merely think differently than you. So your choice is better than others? Your choice to visit or tour or vacation where others are afraid makes you the judge of how scared a person should be in this violent world?

Let the woman alone. If she was afraid, so be it. Its not your business to lecture.
Its time someone invented a security system to deter boarders easy to install electric rail or safty lines. Ect
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:00   #56
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

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The world is a dangerous place and sadly, it seems that it is becoming more dangerous by the day.
Not that I wish too comment on Venezuela , but while certain places get worse and others get better, I couldn't let that comment above go. I see no evidence to suggest the " world" has gone to the dogs in recent years, on the contrary , in many places its much better.

dave
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:43   #57
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

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Not that I wish too comment on Venezuela , but while certain places get worse and others get better, I couldn't let that comment above go. I see no evidence to suggest the " world" has gone to the dogs in recent years, on the contrary , in many places its much better.

dave

Yes, that's correct while the news reports are certainly more numerous the world is much safer today than it ever has been!
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:56   #58
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

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Yes, that's correct while the news reports are certainly more numerous the world is much safer today than it ever has been!
Except in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Turkey, UK, Denmark, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Somalia, Israel, Jordan, Philippines, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, India, Pakistan etc.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:22   #59
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

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Except in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Turkey, UK, Denmark, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Somalia, Israel, Jordan, Philippines, Venezuela, Mexico, Australia, India, Pakistan etc.


Seriously Nick France Belgium , holland Germany , turkey, UK ,demark ( happiest people in the world )
And yet u leave out the US

Really most of that list is nonsense
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:27   #60
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Re: Armed Boardings in Venezuela

An electric fence around your boat in Venezuela wont do you any good. The last people were gunned down BEFORE the bad people came aboard.

Margarita is very dagerous. No matter what the previous poster said.
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