Hate? Nope.

Peter’s exactly right.

I have been a foreign correspondent in Venezuela for 3 years and have almost certainly had better access to President Chavez and his high-level deputies than the access I would have had to equivalent functionaries in the U.S. as a Washington correspondent. I have had a few experiences where rookie National Guardsmen started to give me an extra once-over because I was a gringo, but very quickly the superiors just wave me through. I had some unpleasant racial profiling experiences with some cops one night while walking with a more gringo-looking writer who was in town to write up sights for Lonely Planet — we got hassled twice in three blocks — but that’s the exception. Normally I haven’t had any problems related to my citizenships (U.S. and Canada, though I travel with a U.S. passport).

However, to answer the question in his title line – is Venezuela safe for U.S. citizens – the answer is a definitive no. It’s not safe for anyone! But so long as you’re not being kidnapped or killed, it’s fine. Have a good trip!

2 thoughts on “Hate? Nope.

  1. Aristo

    I have to agree with your statement.

    I like your blog, BTW. Keep up the good work!

  2. firepigette

    Short but well to the point Setty.

    I am a Gringa who lived in Venezuela more than 30 years.Even though I became as Venezuelan as you can get except for my looks, even towards the end( I left in 2002) I was told not to cross the llanos alone.My criollo friends would say,” Hay Dios mio, don’t go alone.Alone, never.It is way too dangerous for a Gringa to go there alone.”

    I was lucky.Nothing bad ever happened to me, however my daughter’s friends were being murdered one by one on the streets.My friends were being kidnapped.My coworkers were victims of carjacking and, other friends were killed while coming out of banks or at ATM machines.Others just died of stress and broken hearts.

    There were few who died of old age.

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