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Old 13-11-2008, 13:57   #31
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This is a quote from some friends of ours who spent a couple of years in Venezuela and knew the people who were involved, very well!!!
"It is not safe in Venezuela anymore, and the leadership is encouraging this kind of activity especially on Americans. What can we say? It was time to leave and we left two months ago".
And I have heard similar reports from other cruisers who have spent time there
Denny and Diane
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Old 14-11-2008, 06:15   #32
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Sorry, but your friends knew the people who were involved in what - the CIA backed coup attempt against Chavez in 2002? Or perhaps the 2002 oil worker strike that almost brought Venezuela's economy to its knees? Rather than relying upon 3rd party opinions from unkown sources, perhaps we should consider some facts to see if they support his opinion that the Venezuelan 'leadership is supporting this kind of activity, especially on Americans.'

1.If the government is encouraging violence and presumably murder, especially on Americans, don't you find it rather bizarre that in the present case the Guardia not only helped the widow to a safe harbour, but have already made an arrest?

2. Even more bizarre, the Chavez government has just entered into an agreement with Bernie Ecclestoneto to build a new circuit on Isla de Margarita and host an annual Formula 1 race - does your friend suspect that he has done this so about 100,000 foreign nationals can enter Venezuela each year as fresh targets for the violence he is encouraging?

3. Is your friend able to expain the huge investment made in Venezuela in the last two years by Hewlett-Packard (an American company) in order to expand their operations there; or the billion plus dollar assembly plant built there by Toyota 3 years ago? Perhaps they lack his intelligence on the true situation in Venezuela; alternatively, perhaps they have a callous disregard for their investors and for the the lives and safety of their employees.

4. Indeed, if Chavez is a murderous thug, didn't your friend find it astonishing that he did not have the coup leaders executed, but rather had them either exiled or incarcerated?

5. Finally, despite your friend's intelligence, the number of tourists and yachters visiting Venezuela annually continues to rise. So too does the number of airlines and tour companies that now have direct flights to Margarita Island.

Are there areas in Venezuela where security should be a concern for cruisers? Yes, just as in every nation. Are there people who do not enjoy their stay in Venezuela? Yes, just as there are disappointed, even frightened visitors to Canada and the U.S.

Those visitors who witness violence in our cities, or who have the misfortune of actually being the victims of the same, will undoubtedly return home with horror stories about our nations. And while that may explain, it certainly does not justify sweeping and inaccurate generalizations about a country or its leadership.



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Old 14-11-2008, 09:06   #33
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Brad, I am sure Ecclestone would race around Tiananmen Square or Baghdad if there was some money in it…… ….. but I do agree that sweeping statements about countries not friendly with the USA does an injustice to the majority of decent people who live there.

You can only trust your own instincts to live your own life, rather than one based on the unfortunate experiences of others.
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Old 14-11-2008, 09:19   #34
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Southern Star

With respect to the Administrators' wish that we stay focused on sailing issues, I will refrain from addressing your biased assumptions; but I will state that I find the sarcastic nuance of your pro-chavez rhetoric offensive.

I ask that you respect the spirit of sharing what brings us together, the brotherhood of the sea; and leave your political bent at the door.

The best to you

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Old 14-11-2008, 11:47   #35
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Actually Jim, I have no particualr political bent and was attempting to respond to a post by someone who was trying to politicize this thread by making spurious comments about the leadership in Venezuela. My point was (and is) that we should forget about the anti-Chavez political rhetoric in assessing whether or not it is safe to go to Venezuela. At no point did I say that I support Chavez, his policies or his own rhetoric against that USA. I merely pointed out various facts that tend to undermine the suggestion that the leadership in Venezuela supports (particularly against Americans) the sort of activity that gave rise to this thread.

Let me assure you that I would have also criticized anyone from Venezuela who suggested that it is no longer safe or pleasant for foreigners (and especially Venezuelans) to travel to the United States under the Bush presidency as he supports violence against Venezuelans. Neither proposition is accurate or helpful.

I think Pelagic had it right: "sweeping statements about countries not friendly to the USA does an injustice to the majority of decent people who live there." If you find my comments about the situation in Venezuela offensive because you are opposed to Chavez, then so be it. Let me say that I found the comments about the leadership in Venezuela to be offensive.

I had the privilege of attending a conference held by the I.A.P. (International Association of Prosecutors) that coincidentally was held on Isla de Margarita in July of 2007. Let me say that I (and various other prosecutors in attendance from the USA, Europe and Asia) were pleasantly surprised by the projects that are being undertaken by the prosecution services in Venezuela and other South and Central American countries. The Fiscal-General de Venezuela (equilavent of the Attorney-General) was present, as were numerous prosecutors from the various states in the country. They impressed as being sincerely interested in advice from North American and European prosecutors on methods of dealing with corruption by police officials and others who hold public office (and indeed, have undertaken several recent prosecutions against allegedly corrupt officials). They have also established special prosecution services dealing specifically with offences against women.

Overall, I and most others left with the impression that they have made great strides towards the promotion of what we know as 'the rule of law'. Furthermore, in many respects they impressed as being abreast of us in recognition and promotion of equality of the sexes ( a significant number of high ranking political officials in South and Central America are women; a large number of prosecutors from Venezuela were women; indeed, both my lawyer and architect in Venezuela are women).

In the final analysis it does not surprise me, therefore, that the widowed wife of the poor sailor who was murdered in Venezuela was treated well by the police; it also does not surprise me that an arrest has already been made. While the police response to a petty theft (an outboard motor, for example) might disappoint there, it would also likely disappoint here (do any police forces actually dust for prints on thefts, or run of the mill burglaries any more?). But based upon my own limited experience, I would suggest that Venezuela is a country committed to detecting, solving and prosecuting violent crime, rather than promoting it against any group.

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Old 14-11-2008, 12:43   #36
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Thanks to those who tried to make positive contributions to this thread.
I was warned that it would "go south", and, it appears it has.
Because we don't seem to be able to "play nice" on some issues, this thread will be closed.
Gord May
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