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Old 17-03-2009, 08:48   #31
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according to the US Department of State...

Venezuela

..."Violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. The country’s overall per capita murder rate is cited as one of the highest in the world."

Another interesting statistic reported on the site linked above is that ever since the establishment of the Venezuelan National Counter-Kidnapping Commission in 2006, there has been a 78% increase in the number of reported kidnappings.
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Old 17-03-2009, 09:20   #32
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osirissail,
I wasn't trying to challenge anything, but it seems you are. Just putting in note of perspective in to safety ashore. And in general for these kinds of discussions.

It seems that since a lot of cruising locations are labeled as "paradise" that people are aghast at any kind of violence (rightfully so, but lets keep it in perspective). Violence happens the world over. Anyplace is dangerous if your not alert to the situation around you, including a street. This outlook comes from cruising the Caribbean for 22 years! The only time in my life I have been mugged was in Palm Beach, Florida. And that was because I was being stupid.

Telling people their comments are are wrong or irrelevant does NOTHING to further any discussion. And I find it rather rude. Next time try to take it for what it is or discard it. That's up to you.
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Old 17-03-2009, 11:10   #33
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Seacap,

You're quickly offended... these forums are for discussions so better be prepared to meet others not agreeing with you! If you want ohh and ahhh and yes dear, you better just talk with loved ones! I hope this doesn't offend you further...

I actually think your remark was irrelevant for this thread. US tourists: there are many thousands of times more of them than cruisers and most are not in the South Caribbean. The statistic you mentioned has no relation to the issue discussed (the thread's subject) and thus can be qualified irrelevant. It would have been relevant if the statictic was for US tourists in Venezuela or another nation that's part of this discussion.

Edit: Seacap, I hope you will continue posting on this forum, don't mistake this post as that your input isn't valued, because it is! I get offended here often (I post a lot....) but I put that back into witty replies, never resorting to personal comments (these are also not allowed) unless it's funny enough that the person addressed himself laughs too!

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Old 17-03-2009, 13:26   #34
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Nick, I wasn't offended. I just don't think an attack on someones comments fosters open debate. Weather it is relevent or not. If someone doesn't think its relevent then they don't have to consider it. This had nothing to do with someone agreeing with me....happens all the time

As soon as somebody steps off their boat, they are an american tourist. Unless you happen to be from some other country. But I'm sure they get run over too. I'm sure that statistics from the Caribbean were included as it was for 3rd world countries. Which there are many in the S. Caribbean.
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Old 17-03-2009, 14:10   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglooff
... Actually cruisers have an email now (The notice is in every Port Capitain office in Venezuela ) where you can "denounce" corruption or poor/inadequate service ...
ALAN:
Would you happen to know the email addy to report corruption etc.?
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Old 17-03-2009, 14:57   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Venezuela

..."Violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. The country’s overall per capita murder rate is cited as one of the highest in the world."

Another interesting statistic reported on the site linked above is that ever since the establishment of the Venezuelan National Counter-Kidnapping Commission in 2006, there has been a 78% increase in the number of reported kidnappings.

The above statement is COMPLETLY accurate!

Each time I drive to my boat I pass an enormous Barrio called Petare in the East of Caracas. I try to leave early Friday and return late Sunday or Monday night. Depending whether it is two, three or four days; the number of murders will mean that either 30,40 or 50 less people will be alive when I pass on my return journey.

Equally along the Western border, bordering Columbia is one of the most endemic Kidnapping areas of the world.

Nearly all of the former and some of the latter are inter criminal clan/ gang events. Augmented by the sadly; normally very profitable business of ransoming wealthy land and business owners.

In those areas crime IS endemic. Once one deducts these numbers from the statistics... and I believe we should in our case as we are referring to
the likely conditions which could face crusiers.... then the remainder would put Venezuela within the middle group(risk) of countries for serious crimes. There is no way that cruisers will visit these areas. Certainly not the former and if they visit the latter to visit Merida, do not meet the business criteria of the gangs involved.

There are other areas such as Puerto Ordaz, close to the Brazilian border, which are becoming kidnap areas, but we really are talking about multi millionaires and very few CF members meet those standards.

I am conscious of the responsibility inherent in defending Venezuela and the possible consequences of even one further incident of a cruiser who has read this thread and makes the decision to visit. However logic would further presume that this would not be only reason the decision was made.

I can only state that I have be sailing these areas for the past four years from East Venezuela; Mochima to Morrocoy and most places in between.The islands around Puerta de la Cruz and the offshore islands without incident. In addition I do not know personally of any individual attacked. Some I have met with incidents to relate, which happened to their friends and acquaintences, both regarding (mainly) petty crime and some very serious events indeed. However I can count the latter on the fingers of one hand.

This doesn't mean there are not more, of both types, however I hear of more dinghies stolen in Trinidad rather than Venezuela, however I contend that it is the very nature of our cruising life which brings these to us. For example, I met a cruiser in Caranero, who had stopped in many places since leaving Margarita, where a major event (robbery)took place last May. A nice man, but a bit of a "gossipy old woman" This event was a conversation he had with everyone and me on three occassions. He moved to the ABC islands and I am quite confident he had the same converstion with everyone there. Late last year a cat arrived at Caranero and the owners sought me out on his recommendation (The quality of my whiskey rather than me I believe ). They ask me what I thought about the state of Venezuela and after my answer, similar to that posted above, they began to relate the same events of last years...Which ofcourse all happened.

The point is that we keep noting the same events, all of which should be condemmed to the highest level. however this couple had been in the area for some three years (sailing for six months then returning home) was returning to Venezuela after an incident free earlier trip, quite frightened as to the escalating vilolence that everyone was talking about. It is the fact that nearly every cruiser was hearing and talking about it, rather than an explosion in the crime statistics.

The reason I know about the dinghies in Trinidad is that every cruiser I meet who has passed by Trinidad on to where I meet them, tell me about it.

This isn't about my views about Venezuela. It is about how Venezuela is considered by those who visit and those outside having their 2 cents worth, which they have every right to do. It is however, about my own experiences and other crusiers I know and meet, without a personal incident to relate, but are now hyper-conditioned by the grapevine. If this perception driven viewpoint is happening here, then inevitably it is happening elsewhere (For as previous poster have stated, few places within these geographical areas can stand the test of comparison to European or Northern American locations) and as such, could diminishes our cruising location possibilities.

Again I reitorate a point I made in an earlier post. Where actual knowledge/experience, both good and bad can be disseminated whereby sufficent information about safe overnight, long stay locations etc. can be discussed, a balanced view can be constructed and then greater opportunities will exist for all of us and our world of possible cruising destinations enlarged.

Best Regards

Alan
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Old 18-03-2009, 13:37   #37
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Sadly, this thread has devolved into an unbalanced rant about Venezuela in which contributions made by anyone who has connections with the country are not only disregarded, but trashed as biased, or irrelevant. After SV Jedi wrote that:
"I agree that in Trini most violence is NOT targeted at tourists, that's different than in Venezuela," I asked for some statistical support for such an outlandish claim. Apart from being directed to various sites with which I am already familiar (and which make no such claims), SV Jedi then attempted to sarcastically downplay my imput "because (I) am currently in Isla Margarita (sic) and feel the need to defend its prisitine reputation." Completely untrue. I would ask for support for such an inflammatory and ridiculous claim about any place.

Angloof has lived and sailed out of Venezuela for 10 years, also owns a place on Trinidad and visits the ABC's. One would think that this would entitle him to express an opinion on the safety of certain destinations in the SE Caribbean, but when he took issue with another sweeping claim about the dangers in Venezuela (made this time by OSIRISAIL), his comments and observations were also brushed aside as "if you are not out there travelling continuously from island country to island country as I have been for the last 7 years, your experience is static and only about your residential experiences." I wonder if SV Jedi and Osirisail would also believe that residents of the United States, England, France, Germany, Holland, Australia, Canada etc. would similarly be disentitled from expressing opinions concerning safety in their own countries?

One must wonder how many others would have asked questions about these unsupported generalizations, or perhaps even reported positive and contrary views about Venezuela if so much effort had not been made to trivialize anyone questioning such comments on the subject. I agree with one thing: each sailor must make his/her own decisions concerning safety and ports of call. Sadly, because of these almost hysterical efforts at stifling contrary opinions, this thread will provide no balance, and hence very little insight into the actual situation in Venezuela.

Brad
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Old 18-03-2009, 15:04   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
ALAN:
Would you happen to know the email addy to report corruption etc.?
Dear Gord,

I have been busy these last few weeks with business and have only been at the boat from lunchtime Saturday and leaving Sunday evening, which has meant that the Port capitan office at Caranero is closed; and as they kindly gave me an open Zarpa I have had no need to return. I needed to renew my boat permission status in january for six months and it was at that occassion that I noted the (denouncement) note pasted on the window. I shall try and visit during their working hours.

I believe these new initiatives were implement by the new Tourist minister, who is a sailer and I believe edits and updates Chris Doyles cruising guide to Venezuela and Bonaire.

Anyway bear with me and I shall get the information and update the thread.

Best Regards

Alan

PS Perhaps Brad in Margarita and other cruisers in Pde la c and elsewhere in venezuela can check their local Port capitain office and confirm that either it is not solely a Caranero initiative(which I doubt) and whether it is being openly supported at other PC offices.
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Old 18-03-2009, 16:06   #39
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Trini is a fine place to leave the boat. Friendly people etc. I rode buses into town etc all the time. You have to be risk savvy anywhere though. I would not go into the big city at night, unless to a special event with a group.
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Old 18-03-2009, 16:36   #40
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Brad,

Let me say again: I think Venezuela is a beautiful country with very nice people (most of them anyway, like anywhere). I spent enough time there to know that. I also spent enough time in the hangouts in Porlamar to know that every cruiser visiting there gets to hear what's happening there, see that Juan has a rifle behind the door etc. So, if a cruiser in Isla Margarita says it's cozy and safe, I reply with sarcasm.

If you or anyone else believes that for a cruiser, Venezuela is as safe as the ABC's or Trini and Colombia, that's fine with me. But if you start saying that to cruisers who haven't been there yet, it's different because I know the surrounding nations are safer. I also know that there are places that are probably about the same (thinking of St Lucia and St Vincent) but those places weer not under discussion (South Caribbean is the topic).

There's also good places in Venezuela: Roques and Aves come to my mind and we never had or heard of trouble in the Testigo's either but some incidents occurred there later.

Sorry that I'm not joining your song...
ciao!
Nick.
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Old 19-03-2009, 04:21   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglooff View Post
... Anyway bear with me and I shall get the information and update the thread.
Best Regards
Alan
PS Perhaps Brad in Margarita and other cruisers in Pde la c and elsewhere in venezuela can check their local Port capitain office and confirm that either it is not solely a Caranero initiative(which I doubt) and whether it is being openly supported at other PC offices.
Thanks Alan.
While I’m interested in and value informed opinions, I CHERISH useful & accurate information.
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Old 19-03-2009, 06:19   #42
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Nick, at no point did I say that Venezuela was as safe as the ABC's - although in my opinion there are certainly areas that are as safe or safer than Trinidad and Columbia. And I'm not asking anyone to 'join my song' - if you read my contributions to this thread you will see that I was not extolling the virtues of Venezuela, or any part of it. I just didn't (and don't) accept your comment that in Venezuela, unlike Trinidad, most of the violence is directed at tourists. In fact, in Venezuela as elsewhere, I am certain that it would be only a very small proportion.

Comments like that, which I would hope you would agree are not based upon statistics or analysis, are very inflammatory. I should say, however, that your latest posting puts things in better balance: I would agree that for cruisers, most areas in Venezuela are less safe and secure than the ABC's (albeit much less expensive and, in many areas, mcuh less toursity); I would agree the level of violence/theft now being experienced in certain parts of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and certain parts of St. Lucia are likely equivalent to the situation in certain parts of Venezuela; I would agree that there are areas in Venezuela that should be avoided by most cruisers (including Robledal on my own island, Margarita); as to your preference for Columbia and Trinidad, let me say that in my experience, the relative lack of boat traffic in the former makes comparison difficult (and there are certainly still a great number of kidnappings/attacks on foreigners in Columbia as a whole); as regards the latter, let us just say that the security outside of the marinas in Trinidad is worsening and also leaves much to be desired.

Cheers!

Brad
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Old 19-03-2009, 06:32   #43
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Angloof and Gord, unfortunately I returned to Canada last Tuesday (and I say unfortunately in so many respects as it is still bloody cold up here), so I won't be able to check with my Port Captain's office in the near future. That being said, I tend to agree that it doesn't sound like a local initiative (I've yet to find any with that kind of initiative).

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Old 19-03-2009, 11:59   #44
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Dear Gord,

Further to my earlier post; The specific email address is.....

inea_denuncias@cantv.net (Note: inea_denuncias at cantv.net)

INEA is the Instituto Nacional de Los Espacios Acuaticos ( website www.inea.gov.ve)

To help in ensuring ongoing compliance of this initiative I have added, the names, address, emails and telephone/fax numbers of the senior executives of the likely branches of departments, with immediate/likely impact on cruisers to and/or in Venezuelan waters, to copy emails to...

Details of senior executives....

Fredy ANGULO
Presidente
Instituto Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos (INEA)
Avenida Orinoco, Urb. Las Mercedes, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: (58 212) 909-1432 / 33 / Fax: (58 212) 909-1529
E-mail:
inea1@inea.gov.ve



José L. GARCÉS
Vicepresidente
Instituto Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos (INEA)
Avenida Lecuna Torre Este, Piso 38, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: (58 212) 909-2856 / Fax: (58 212) 509-2885
E-mail:



César GRANADOS
Gerente de Puertos
Instituto Nacional de los Espacios Acuáticos (INEA)
Avenida Orinoco, Edif. INEA, piso 3 Urb. Las Mercedes, Caracas, Venezuela
Tel: (58 212) 909-1544 / Fax: (58 212) 909-1540
E-mail:
ineapuertos@hotmail.com

Best Regards

Alan

PS All future cruisers to Venezuela owe me a beer .
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Old 19-03-2009, 12:01   #45
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Thanks for the valuable information.

Thanks also, to everyone for keeping this, potentially emotional discussion, (more or less) rational & non-confrontational.

I aggree that All future cruisers to Venezuela owe Alan a beer !!!

Gord


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