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Venezuela could open up shortly?
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VolandoVengoVolandoVoy Offline
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Post: #101
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Sounds like Venezuela is well and truly fucked. I expect 2016 will include civil disorder and violence in the streets, possibly on a large scale.
Last time I was there in 2009, I was robbed at gunpoint and beaten for good measure.
Sad thing really, wonderful women and geography.
I would love to be able to invest in Venezuela right now, and buy up properties or invest in a dairy farm/milk & egg distributor. Property prices are low, and there are big shortages, and being able to take advantage of that would be extremely lucrative.
I rate the risk at nearly 100% though. I think as an American, any investment I make there would be stolen/confiscated. I can only think of one way around this - marry a Venezuelan girl whose father has real political power. Basically join the giant mafia family that bleeds Venezuela dry. That way they wouldn't take what's yours.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/204fc996-...z3zBnPYFn4

Quote:It could be too late to avoid catastrophe in Venezuela
by Ricardo Hausmann


As markets brace themselves for the negative effects of the decline in oil prices, Venezuela will probably be the first big domino to fall.
Domestically, the most likely scenario is an imminent economic collapse and a humanitarian crisis. Internationally, it will imply the largest and messiest emerging market sovereign default since the Argentine crisis of 2001. The situation is made worse by the inability of the political system, at present, to address the situation.

Why Venezuela? First, because while most other oil exporters used the boom to put some money aside, former president Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013, used it to quadruple the foreign debt. This allowed him to spend as if the average price of a barrel of oil was $197 in 2012, when in fact it was only $111. He also used it to maim the private sector through nationalisations and import controls. With the end of the boom, the country was put in a hopeless situation.

The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press.

In the free market, the bolivar has lost 92 per cent of its value in the past 24 months, with the dollar costing 150 times the official rate: the largest exchange rate differential ever registered. Shortages and long queues in the shops have made daily life very difficult. No wonder the government lost the elections for the National Assembly in December.

As bad as these numbers are, 2016 looks dramatically worse. Imports, which had already been compressed by 20 per cent in 2015 to $37bn, would have to fall by over 40 per cent, even if the country stopped servicing its debt.
Why? If oil prices remain at January’s average levels, exports in 2016 will be less than $18bn, while servicing the debt will cost over $10bn. This leaves less than $8bn of current income to pay for imports, a fraction of the $37bn imported in 2015. Net reserves are less than $10bn and the country, trading as the riskiest in the world, has no access to financial markets.
In the meantime, the government has not announced any plans to address the domestic imbalances or the balance of payments problem. It has no strategy to seek the financial assistance of the international community. It has not even increased petrol prices from their current level, where $1 buys over 10,000 litres.

By contrast, the opposition, which now controls the National Assembly, is fighting to have its authority recognised by the other powers. It is in no position to lead an economic adjustment. Even the best and most stable government could not avoid a lousy performance in such circumstances. But in the middle of a political crisis, things are bound to get very messy indeed.
The fallout for Venezuela’s neighbours and the global economy will be substantial. Colombia has already felt the impact of the decision taken in September by Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s successor as president, to close the border to avoid smuggling. Exporters to Venezuela are owed tens of billions of dollars of unpaid bills.

Under these conditions, a disorderly default, on a scale similar to the Argentine crisis, is almost inevitable. And it will not only be Venezuelans who get hurt.

Faced with this problem, neighbouring countries and the international community have remained surprisingly passive. They seem to have forgotten that the International Monetary Fund was created to avoid countries causing harm to others through their economic policies. Article IV of its founding charter, adopted in 1944, empowers the IMF to perform economic surveillance on member countries. The obligation to accept such monitoring is the corollary of the right of countries to be informed about what is happening elsewhere. But other countries cannot know what is happening in Venezuela now because the government has not let the IMF in since 2004, violating its obligations under Article IV.

To protect their economies from the coming mayhem, countries should start by exerting pressure to have IMF surveillance performed immediately, thus restoring their right (and that of Venezuelan civil society) to know what the current situation is.

It is probably too late to avoid a Venezuelan catastrophe altogether. But to reduce its length and intensity, the country needs to adopt a sound economic plan that can garner ample international financial support. This is unlikely to happen while Mr Maduro remains in power. But a transition will be facilitated by positive international signals of a willingness to support an alternative government that can formulate a credible path to recovery. This is no time to remain on the sidelines.

"Me llaman el desaparecido
Que cuando llega ya se ha ido
Volando vengo, volando voy
Deprisa deprisa a rumbo perdido"
02-04-2016 04:53 AM
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Post: #102
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
I have been sending PM messages about thoughts on game in Venezuela to some and I figured that they might also be helpful to others, so here some initial thoughts. Consider and discard freely.

Firstly, a note for the older guys (40+); I am in my 50´s and in my travels I have discovered that there are always a percentage of the females age 18-29 around the world that will simply not be interest in older men. It varies by culture and country. Of course game, looking younger (especially in terms of strong physique, flat stomach, head of hair, lack of grey) will be a large influence, but some cannot get by the mental block of your age. In Venezuela, my experience is that almost 20% of young Venezuelan women are not interested if you are older (the percentages are much higher in the US or Canada). That leaves 80% whom are interested. A number (10%) of the younger women want the older guy experience as they want a foreigner experience (15-20%). As I have aged, a larger percentage of my notches are in this category. It counts for about 30% now. Generally, Venezuelan women view men under 30 as boys and do not take them seriously. It does not mean that young Venezuelan guys do not get the girls, because they do (but their game skills are minimal). Your level of fluency in the language will be directly related to the hotness of the women with whom you spend time. This is not always the case, but I have found it to be generally true around the world, and it applies in Venezuela. Among the educated women in Venezuela, a large percentage speak some English (German, French, Italian), and a strong percentage (30-40%) are fluent in English. Among the more economically challenged there will be very few that speak anything other than Spanish

There is a level of sexual bias against black men and women. If you are a white male and interest in the beautiful black women in Venezuela, use it to your advantage. They are all pink on the inside. For black men, it is like being an older man; there is a certain percentage (10%) of the population that is not interested. There is also a large segment of the population that desires more fair skinned males. Culturally, Brazil is much better in terms of color. As a side not, my travels have showed me that generally when there are more than 2 shades of skin tone difference (use the Fitzpatrick scale) issues begin to arise.

The IOI´s given by younger Venezuelan women to older men are generally more subtle. It is not like the Philippines or Thailand, it is more similar to Argentina. Older guys should study body language to be more effective It is subtle for most of the younger women until a comfort level is built, then the will be more forward. With the older women it is less so. I am not a clubber, but do go, on occasion, with groups or on dates. My key is activity based (swimming, surfing, sand volleyball) and congruency within those activities. Also now with the increase in criminal activity more people are staying indoors and socialization is done within the family and familial connections, as in ages past.

Prostitution is legal in Venezuela as it is in Columbia. I have never used one, but there is always a first time for everything. There are generally 3 classes of them in Venezuela. The top class are 8, 9, 10´s and they are they are a multiple more expensive (3X) than the second class who are normally 6,7,8 (9)´s. These first two classes will not be found on the streets, rather they will be in (strip) clubs. Some of them are high end clubs with bottled service and the security is in suits and rooms are on the premise. The lowest class are 4,5,6,7´s but the health is more questionable.

It is important to note that in Venezuela there are many shortages. It is often difficult to find condoms to purchase. So bring them with you. Many of the girls will raw dog as culturally it is normal for 20-25 year olds to want babies. They are not necessarily trying to entrap you (although this can occur mentally); as the matriarchy, in terms of multi-generational female households, often raise the children. It is fairly normally. With that being said, keep in mind that having a Venezuelan LTR can entail being involved not only with the girl, but one or two additional generations of females (mother and grandmother). I guess mother-daughter game could be ripe in Venezuela especially for the guys whose age is between the two. I am not into Greek drama myself, but threesomes are a pleasant experience. In 2015 Venezuela had the highest teen pregnancy rate in Latin America.

I was recently talking with some of my Venezuelan surfer friends (guys in the 20´s) and they were telling me that they occasionally use BADU to get women. They tell me there is a difference between the BADU application for your cell phone and the BADU that is internet oriented on your computer. They report that BADU on their cell phone is significantly better.

The major mode for the 18-22 crowd is a dance club, for 20-28, it is parties that include beach parties, pavilion parties, organized events. For the 28-32 crowd, it is an occasional club, some parties, but more bars, especially your upscale bars that have a premium service and sometimes food. The 35 and over is also at the premium bars and more functions through social networking, organized parties (especially familial), and barbeques.

Other options are going to (AAA) baseball games (it is huge in Venezuelan) or whenever the Venezuelan soccer team is competing international and it is televised. Venezuelan´s also like the Spanish soccer teams Real Madrid or Barcelona (check on the FIFA websites for games), when they are playing go with friends to the local mall with a giant screen TV, or a sports bar. Outings/field trips are often part of language classes. Consider obtaining a member ship at a gym. When I am working out I normally minimize flirting, but if you are starting out in a new country, it may be helpful to make connections. If you are staying in Venezuela for an extended period, consider enjoying some weekends at a nice hotel or resort and meet people there. You are in a closed protected environment, that is relaxed, and if they are single they are more likely to be open. Or practice on the married ladies. There is something to be said about this category.

I made an impromptu trip to Caracas and I am in country now. I will provide some updated information after I depart.
(This post was last modified: 02-04-2016 08:11 PM by NASA Test Pilot.)
02-04-2016 07:58 PM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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Post: #103
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Do you mean Badoo instead of BADU?

Just trying to make sure we talking about the same app.

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02-04-2016 08:11 PM
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Post: #104
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
(02-04-2016 08:11 PM)Cattle Rustler Wrote:  Do you mean Badoo instead of BADU?

Just trying to make sure we talking about the same app.

I will need to confirm that tomorrow as I do not use it.
02-04-2016 08:14 PM
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Post: #105
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
(02-04-2016 08:14 PM)NASA Test Pilot Wrote:  
(02-04-2016 08:11 PM)Cattle Rustler Wrote:  Do you mean Badoo instead of BADU?

Just trying to make sure we talking about the same app.

I will need to confirm that tomorrow as I do not use it.

Thanks for the prod, Cattle Rustler. The point of my surfer friends is that Badoo for the cellular is better. They tell me that on the application there are more specific zone breakdowns by Maneiro (municipality) and sector (part of the town). So gaming and logistics can be a little more efficient. They did show me some examples and there is no shortage of flesh to press. There is also a BADU, but they tell me it is not as good.
02-05-2016 04:09 PM
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Post: #106
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Nasa Test Pilot.

You have written some of the best travel intel that I've read on this forum in a long time.

Venezuela sounds like my kind of trip and it's now on my radar.

Thanks a lot!
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02-05-2016 04:38 PM
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Post: #107
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Great Info NASA!....I plan to hit Caracas in July and was just wondering do you have a contact to get the crazy exchange rate or how do you go about exchanging your money?
02-05-2016 05:18 PM
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Post: #108
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
(02-05-2016 05:18 PM)Freddy_1 Wrote:  Great Info NASA!....I plan to hit Caracas in July and was just wondering do you have a contact to get the crazy exchange rate or how do you go about exchanging your money?

Thanks. I sent you a PM, but look at some of the previous posts on this thread and you will see some of the answers that you seek.
02-05-2016 08:47 PM
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Post: #109
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Just watched a video about 720% Hyperinflation in Venezuala.

source: ZeroHedge

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02-05-2016 10:34 PM
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RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
(02-05-2016 10:34 PM)rudebwoy Wrote:  Just watched a video about 720% Hyperinflation in Venezuala.

source: ZeroHedge

Talk about synchronicity. Today, I had lunch with a few friends, one of whom is a respected economist in Venezuela (Ph.D. type) and he is expecting over 700% inflation in 2016 or about 2% per day. He mentioned that some of his banking colleagues consider that 900-1000% as a possibility depending on what transpires with the government bond payments in October 2016. Right now they are working on a gold-swap agreement with Deutsche Bank; which is an interesting economic story in itself. Another of the group mentioned that Venezuela flew in thirty six, 747 cargo airplanes this week loaded with 100 BsF notes.
02-06-2016 02:09 PM
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Post: #111
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
So, Venezuela should be perfect in 2-4 years after the economy is destroyed.

- Cheap land and property
- Sexy women
- Lots of business opportunities

Sounds like pussy paradise.
02-07-2016 12:53 PM
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VolandoVengoVolandoVoy Offline
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Post: #112
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
More bad news out of Venezuela. I really don't see a transition happening without things getting even worse. "President" Maduro (the former bus driver) has no intention whatsoever of leaving gracefully or of giving up on failed policies, or even acknowledging reality in any meaningful way. But he has the support of the military and a dwindling but vocal group of ideological supporters.

I would really like to go back to Venezuela, but what the fuck.

It's like bad parts of Brazil but much much worse.

Give off the appearance of wealth and unless you have competent bodyguards, you might lose your life.

I don't want to live in fear/state of being hyper alert, or live like a backpacker and pretend to be poor.

NASA Test Pilot seems to have found a way around this by spending a lot of time on Margarita Island and on his boat, but even he, with all his military experience and brass balls, acknowledges that he must be on high alert frequently and take numerous precautions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/09/world/...brink.html

Quote:Venezuela, a Country Teetering on the Brink By NICHOLAS CASEY

Quote:PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela — In the capital, water is so expensive and scarce that residents wait for hours with bottles at the side of a mountain where it trickles out onto the highway.

In the countryside, sugar cane fields rot, and milk factories lay idle, even as people carry bags of money around to buy food on the black market in every city and town.

And here in this port that once fed a nation, everything looks bare. Where a dozen ships once waited to enter, only four could be seen from a hilltop fort built long ago to guard against raids from the sea.

No one would pillage Puerto Cabello today. There is nothing to take anymore.

And it is all about to get much worse.

Inflation is expected to hit 720 percent this year, the highest in the world, making Venezuela reminiscent of Zimbabwe at the start of its collapse. The price of oil, this country’s lifeblood, has collapsed to lows not seen in more than a decade.

For the last month, I have been writing about Venezuela every day, chronicling its people, politics, language, quirks and culture through the eyes of a correspondent who moved here just as this country was heading deeper into economic disarray.

It was a project where fleeting moments carried the story: shouting matches during the first session of Congress; soldiers at the tomb of President Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013; letters from expatriates who had left Venezuela because of crime and longed to return.

As I wrote about everyday interactions and exchanges, some themes became even more apparent. In Venezuela — a country where hospitals already lack syringes, supermarkets struggle to stock basic goods, and the government has declared an economic emergency while sitting upon the world’s largest reserves of oil — the strains just keep growing.

I visited a fish farmer who, after the fish feed ran out, resorted to grinding up beans and sugar cane, throwing them into a pond and crossing his fingers. (He got small fish.) I wrote about the bundles of cash needed to buy some coffee and water; a store that sold only broken toys; and the enduring loyalty of Mr. Chávez’s supporters.

With the photographer Meridith Kohut, I traveled across the country on what seemed, to many, the eve of a disaster. It showed in the faces of the people along the journey, 1,200 miles in all, starting at the coast, winding through the Andes and finally dropping down into Venezuela’s vast but dying agricultural plains.

Down the hillside in Puerto Cabello, a line formed in front of a grocery store, with hundreds of people looking for food. Many had arrived at 5:30 a.m., when rumor had it that a delivery truck had reached the store. At a quarter past 10, a policeman with a pistol monitored the door, letting in a dozen at a time.

The day before, there were beans, flour and milk for sale.

This morning, there was only cooking oil.

Ecio Corredor, who stood in line, said he lost his job in November. Ironically, he said, he used to drive the goods from the docks to the supermarkets.

“There are no more shipments now,” he said. He mumbled to Carlos Perozo, another driver, who said he had been out of work for a year because of a dead car battery. He could not find another, and could not afford one if he did.

“Be careful,” Mr. Perozo said. “Someone will come for yours.”

Palm trees lined an oil refinery. “We Are All Chávez,” was painted on the side of the facility.

In Morrocoy, the road ended at a pier. A boatman took us through a mangrove swamp that ended in a white sandy beach where Eduardo Vera and his wife, Carolina Morillo, had taken their baby boy for vacation.

The couple, once in the middle class, now survive on two salaries that have depreciated to the equivalent of $2.19 a day. They both have side jobs. “We can live, but not comfortably,” Ms. Morillo said. The vacation was a final splurge.

The two, in their 30s, wonder about having another child, though it seems impossible to them now.

“We can barely find diapers or milk for José Antonio,” Mr. Vera said of his son. But one can hope for better times, he said, adding, “We want to get to know Disneyland one day.”

From the coast, we started inland, a journey that began with the discovery of black gold. Not of oil, of which there is plenty in Venezuela, but of black beans. There are almost none in this country.

Few producers make them anymore for the fixed government price. Octavio Medina bought them for 50 times that price and still sold them for an additional markup on the street. He says dozens of people buy bags, priced at half a day’s work at minimum wage.

We began heading into the Andes. The highway narrowed and curved up the steep edges of rocky roadsides.

“Are you here to cover the news?” a soldier at a checkpoint asked.

“What news?” we asked.

“The kidnappings,” he said. Ransoms are a business across this country.

Mérida sits between two high sets of mountains, a picturesque Andean university town. A cable car, said to be the world’s highest, once offered sweeping views of the valley. It now lies broken.

Frank Tirado ate in a restaurant with a wide smile and an innocent way of talking that belied the fact that he had just passed through some of the most difficult months of his life. He showed us a scar on the side of his head from recent brain surgery.

Several months ago, he started having headaches and losing his vision. His neurologist told him he had a brain tumor. If he did not have an operation soon, he would be paralyzed.

But the waiting list at the public hospital was more than a month, too long to survive.

A private practice could treat Mr. Tirado immediately, but only if he could pay. Two aunts in Florida wired him the money, he said. Mr. Tirado clutched a Christian prayer book and marveled at his luck to have had family earning dollars abroad.

Before leaving town, we made a stop at the cathedral where Vladimir Gutiérrez sat on the steps begging for change. He pulled a loaf of bread from under his shirt. His collection, 50 bolívars, would not be enough for a new one.

He showed fresh wounds from a recent knife fight that he said began after a man grabbed his daughter. “But I got him, too,” Mr. Gutiérrez said.

He seemed unworried by what lay ahead. He had hit the bottom long ago.

The road from the Andes spilled into Los Llanos, Venezuela’s agricultural heartland. Rodolfo Palencia, a rancher, spent an afternoon on his hammock, singing us songs he wrote about his state of Barinas, the most fertile part of his country, according to the lyrics.

But the ballads describe another time. Mr. Palencia took us to a field of sugar cane that was 10 feet high, and dead. The nearby sugar mill, built by the government in the early 2000s, could not process the cane this year, he said.

Fields where beans grew were fallow; there had been shortages of fertilizer this year, too. As far as the eye could see, we were surrounded by tall weeds.

And the milk. There is none there either, especially not at La Batalla, an operation that once produced 126,000 liters between three factories annually a decade ago.

It was nationalized, and its factory in La Sabaneta is now an empty outpost. The only employee is a watchman who opened the gate. The gauges on the pumps were unreadable. The cooling system had rusted open. There were bats here.

“Total loss,” began Alirio Alvarado, looking up from an agricultural pond where he once farmed a fish called cachama. Two thousand ponds are in this area, and farmers say they are mostly empty now.

It was Mr. Alvarado who put his own sugar cane and beans into his pond. The fish grew only to half the normal size. Then he ran out of beans.

“You might have said I should have sold the beans so people could eat them, but I had no choice,” he said.

A few miles away, Mr. Palencia, the rancher, took us to the factory that was meant to supply feed to the fish farms.

This place was never abandoned, because it was never opened, farmers said.

Inside, thousands of dollars of unused equipment sat rusting. An operating manual was unopened in a Ziploc bag. Receipts lay scattered on the factory floor from a German company named Andritz Feed & Biofuel.

“What a waste,” Mr. Palencia said.

A few moments later, a watchman appeared, startled that we had entered. He asked the rancher what his business was there. Mr. Palencia did not answer, turning to me instead.

“If we were run properly, this country could be richer than Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Palencia said.

He could barely contain his anger, at a loss for whom to blame. Was it Mr. Chávez, dead since 2013? Was it the curse of oil dependence?

Or was it the watchman who had only now shown up?

“I should report you,” said the rancher, pointing a finger.

“Don’t accuse me,” said the watchman.

“You aren’t even watching over this equipment,” said the rancher. “Someone could steal it. You do nothing.”

“I’m barely paid; you don’t understand,” said the watchman.

But it was too late. Mr. Palencia had walked away.

"Me llaman el desaparecido
Que cuando llega ya se ha ido
Volando vengo, volando voy
Deprisa deprisa a rumbo perdido"
02-09-2016 05:25 AM
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Post: #113
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Venezuela has over 300 islands and cays that parallel the almost 4,000 km of coast line. I mentioned Margarita and Coche before but here are few more gems; Los Roques is spectacular and can be accessed by (small) plane or boat. The following can be accessed by boat (or para drop if you really want) Los Testigos, La Tortuga, Cubagua, Los Monjes, Las Aves, Los Hermanos, Los Frailes, La Orchilla and one of my favorite secret surf spots on the planet, La Blanquilla. You will not find huge crowds of people on these islands. In rank order for gaming women; Margarita is number one and a super distant second would be Coche, followed by Los Roques.

During my time in Caracas, a police officer was shot and killed in the Chacao maneiro for his gun. This is a good middle class area, if there is such a thing in Caracas. This is a reality. Venezuela in 2016 reminds me of three other places I have been; Nicaragua in 1992, Argentina 1999, Ecuador 2000. You could feel the center of gravity changing in all of these places at those times. Twelve to twenty four months later in each of these countries there was a significant opportunity for foreigners who were willing to dip their toe in the water. An addition 3-4 years after that, other people began to see the opportunities and moved in to take advantage. Venezuela is at such a point in 2016 where the center of gravity is shifting. I can see and feel it vividly like I have in the past. I am unsure of which way it will go, but many of the citizens are unusually hopeful. Keep your eyes open.

I will make a detailed post of Caracas before I go deeper in country. I was invited by this really cute surfer girl that I hooked up with at a beach party to go and surf on one of the Venezuelan rivers. I have never surfed a river. This should be an adventure as it will just be the two of us and we will be camping and living off of the land (but I am bringing a few supplies in case).
(This post was last modified: 02-10-2016 01:59 AM by NASA Test Pilot.)
02-09-2016 05:37 PM
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Post: #114
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
If Maduro does not step down, things can get really messy.

"What is important is to try to develop insights and wisdom rather than mere knowledge, respect someone's character rather than his learning, and nurture men of character rather than mere talents." - Inazo Nitobe

When i´m feeling blue, when i just need something to shock me up, i look at this thread and everything get better!

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02-09-2016 07:10 PM
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Post: #115
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
I am going to shotgun this post, so be prepared for stream of consciousness and it will be longer.

I have been sailing down the Caribbean Islands again and normally as I get down to Barbados and Trinidad I make a decision whether to sail west along the South American Coastline toward Panama, as there are hundreds of islands (some not any chart) or continue south along the Brazilian coastline or east to the Mediterranean. So I was chilling in port and I was writing to one of my Venezuelan LTRs and she wanted to connect. I thought great, I have not seen her for a while and I have been sharing some information about the country with others (you guys) so this would be an opportunity to get current.

I was only going to stay for four nights, two with her and two with a long-time friend. I ended up staying for nine nights because I was having so much fun…and this is in Caracas and I am not the young party animal that some of you guys probably are. I have not stayed more than 3 or 4 days in Caracas in over 10-15 years.

I flew into Caracas internationally and took a cab to my friend´s house. Before I got into the cab, I walked down to that national side outside. It was safe to walk and now they have an indoor connection as well. If you take the indoor connection you will have fewer opportunities to exchange money. There are a few other airlines that I can add to the list and they are Aerolineas Estelar, Avianca, Rutaca. I talked shop with a few of the Venezuelan Airline Captains and although there are numerous airlines, the available seat-miles are down 52%. In general that means about 50% of the planes are not flying due to maintenance (the government does not have the dollars to exchange to the airlines so they can do higher levels of maintenance (particularly C checks). Without going off into a lot of aviation speak, most of the maintenance for Venezuelan trunk aircraft are done in foreign countries. As a practical note for those who have not been to Venezuela before; it is normal to buy one way tickets on one or multiple airlines.

For example most cities are connected by Caracas as a central hub so you may need to fly into Caracas for one leg and then out of Caracas for your second leg (even if it is a different airline) as a direct route between the cities you want to travel is non-existent or the flight is full. A normal one way ticket between any two cities is around 5,000 BsF (yes $5 dollars one way), if you land and then go onto another city on the same airline, it will be a different airplane and another 5,000 Bolivars. Here is a specific example, Conviasa has one direct flight between Margarita Island and Barquisimeto, but with Laser you need to fly Margarita - Caracas – Barquisimeto (on 2 flights). Or Aeropostal will fly Margarita Island - Valencia but Ascerca will fly Margarita - Caracas – Valencia (2 flights). There is a lot of mixing in matching.

Returning to the arrival; I took a normal SUV taxi (non-yellow license plates) to the east end (Las Mercedes is the sector and Baruta is the municipality) of Caracas near the financial district (El Rosal is the sector in the Chacao municipalty) which is a little farther north. There is both a financial and a business district (Altimara, Los Palos Grandes sectors in Chacoa municipality in Caracas (the financial district is newer and 95% is banking)). The Taxi was 4,000 BsF. I was chatting with the taxi driver and he gave me some overview. A taxi to the west of Caracas was about 3,000-3,500, to the west, 3,500-4,000 to the center, 4,000-4,500 to the east and 5,000-6,000 farther east. These prices are 30-40 higher than in other parts of the country. So you will save money on these already cheap prices if you go to other cities. Also taxis charge about 20% more at night (hazard pay). The issue with increased taxi prices is one of tires and batteries as there are shortages and the government does not have the money to import them.

I had forgotten how pleasantly cool it is in the mornings and evenings with ocean wind continuously clashing against the mountains. It was great to see my friend again we picked up right where we left off. We hung out, went to the gym (this guy is jacked and he is in his late 40´s) and the number of beautiful women there was incredible, I was not expecting that. He told me that because of general (in) security, many of the young women are doing their activities and that is a main avenue of socialization. They go from the house, to work (or school), to activities, back to the house. I will mention other activities where I met a lot of beautiful women, but there were more beauties per square meter at the gym on this trip. I met his young 20 something girlfriend and we went out (I will provide a longer list of places at the end). Due to his position he often has 1-2 body guards but they were not around when we went out. I asked him why and he told me that the Las Mercedes area (good for night game) was much safer relative than the central or west parts of the city, sometime he would have one of them waiting outside in a car, in case. I spent most of my evenings in the Las Mercedes (and El Rosal). Having said that, my most fruitful time was in the far west side with my surfer friends, but your risk will be significantly higher; hearing gunshots is normal on the weekends on the far west side. In a strict value equation, with quality, time, cost, safety, Las Mercedes is where I recommend to others on their first trip.

While staying with my friend, I went to the major pool where the best competitors (collegiate and international) train. I do this everywhere I go in the world as I was an international level swimmer and I basically have a credit card in many pools around the world and I end up training with their teams. I am spending 4-6 hours per day with 20-25 female swimmers between the ages of 18-25. Of the other 20-25 males swimmers only 5-10% have any semblance of game. I got to know them, accepted in their circle and invited to socialize and party with them. The point to notice is the pattern that I replicate. I have portable skills (swimming and surfing in this case) that allow me to extend into social networks most places I go. I do these activities because they are my passion not to network; it is fortunately that it is a natural congruency. I ended up partying with the swimmers as well after my LTR departed.

When my LTR flew in we stayed in the financial district and I did not feel on edge at any time while I was there. I was pleasantly surprised; perhaps it is because there is a lot of hope and optimism now with the changes in the congress. The hotels are nice, but in general 5 stars means 4 stars or in some cases 3 stars. I would use minus one star for whatever they tell you. They probably have not been officially rated in many years. I was in a supposed 5 star in a very nice suite (I usually prefer apartments, but this was more spur of the moment trip). It was not 5 stars and the suite although nice, 2 levels with a large terrace (solarium and Jacuzzi), was in need of some maintenance. The service was fine, but not something at 5 stars would provide (there was never a concierge at the concierge table among other things).

In terms of price, whenever you travel to major cities around the world, the financial districts are generally more expensive. That is true in Caracas, but the prices were cheap. I paid 55,000 BsF per night in one hotel and 80,000 in another (staying in the nicest suites available). For those that have been to London, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Moscow, New York, Zurich, Hong Kong this is so ridiculously cheap that it stretches the mind. Welcome to the upside of monetary inflation when you are using a different currency. We took the subway and the buses as I wanted to adventure and see for myself. We did not have any problems and I enjoyed myself going local. This was only during daylight hours. There are many newer buses, but the metro is simply older. Of course there is greater risk than in a taxi, but I would consider them acceptable if you wanted to save money (20 BsF for busses). If you are unsure, take a taxi, but remember to ask the price before you get in.

As a first day event, you may want to consider a large outdoor venue that begins slightly west of the financial district and continues on for 2 km as a good place to watch people in Caracas, stroll around the shops and to practice your day game (and Spanish), especially if you want to warm up for the evening. It is called Boulevard Chacaito, which continues into Sabana Granda, and finishes with Plaza Venezuela. All three are connected as you walk and they are only technically demarcated by their respective subway stations. Along this large outdoor venue there are entrances to indoor mini-malls that are better for day gaming as the people generally feel more secure in doors. There used to be more street vendors, but the government has cracked down on them. I personally like interacting with the street vendors as it reminds me of Mexico in the 1970´s. Another place is locally called Plaza Altamira but officially known as Plaza Francia. It is the location of the obelisk landmark that was present by France to Venezuela.

The caliber of women along these venues was generally between 5-8 with an occasional 9. During the weekdays in the morning and afternoon there are more 5-6´s as a percentage and they are harder to engage. It seemed that between 3-6 PM there were more 7-8´s and women were more open to approach. The weekends (afternoon seem to be better as they have done more of their necessary errands in the morning) were the best in terms of having more attractive women and women more open to approach. I saw almost no foreigners other than two Chinese tourists and a few others on the airplane when I arrived. I know foreigners are in the city (embassies, etc.), but I never came across another Caucasian during my 10 days.

When you get to Caracas or your city, pick up a newspaper. If you ask, what is a newspaper, then I am a fossil. Throughout the country I recommend El Universal newspaper as it is published in most cities the electronic link is:
http://www.eluniversal.com/english/

They are opposition (to the current government) oriented, but I find them to be more objective. The more government oriented is Ultimas Noticias in Caracas. You will find a number of cheap things in their classified section.

Caracas is technically the Districto Capital which is composed of 5 municipalities or Manieros in Spanish). Libertador, the largest and most government oriented, Baruta, Chacao, El Hatillo (almost exclusively residential for commuters), Sucre (which has the largest barrio in all of Venezuela at the far-east corner with Petare sector being the poorest).

Here are a few apartment listing to give you a frame of reference. But this was only from one day (a Tuesday). Weekend papers have the most information. In Baruta municpality, sector unknown: 3 BR, 2 BA, unfurnished for 1,350,000 BsF per month. In Chacoa municipality, Altimara sector: 2 BR, 2 BA 130 square meters (sqm) furnished 1,000,000 BsF; 3BR, 2BR 139 sqm, furnished 1,500,000 BsF; 1BR, 1BA 75 sqm furnished 600,000 Bsf, Campo Alegre 2 BR, 2BA access to pool, gym, golf guest parking 2,700,000 BsF; El Rosal sector 2BR, 2BA, 155 sqm furnished 2,000,000 BsF.
For the budget conscious. Libertador municipality, San Martin sector (lower middle class): 2 BR, 1BA 14,000 BsF; 2BR, 1 BA 12,000 BsF; Sucre municipality, California Norte sector (middle class), 2BR 14,000 BsF.

The food was good, but you need to keep a few things in mind. I would not eat from the street vendors (even cakes). They are not always the cleanest and things that are fried (empanadas, etc.) are often cooked in old oil as there are shortages. Your body will need time to adapt to the local bacteria (at least 30 days). Only bottle water should be drunk or if in someone´s house, they should have a multiple tiered filtration system, preferable with a UV light tier. Eat in hotels, restaurants or in homes. Panaderies (breads, pastries) are generally good, but there is a smaller risk if it is not more upscale (like Gourmet Market in El Rosal, one of my favorites). A normal dinner meal (an appetizer, main course, dessert, drink will be about 5,000 Bsf per person in a 2 star spot, 5,000-10,000 BsF per person in a 2-3 star locale, 10,000-15,000 in a 3-4 star place, 15,000 – 20,000 per person in a 4-5 star establishment. I had a nice meal in a 4-5 star establishment that included; salad, appetizer, a large portion of Lomito (11oz Filet Mignon) medallions, desert, glass of wine and offered coffee for about 18,000 BsF. Fish will generally be the most expensive item as it is not regulated. You can find a simple spaghetti and meat sauce for 1800-2000 BsF at 2 star spots, 2000-3000 BsF at 2-3 star locals, 3000-3500 BsF at 3-4 stars places and 3,500-4500 BsF at 4-5 stars establishments. Breakfast at a restaurants will range from 2,000-5,000 BsF per person and you can do it on the cheap at a good panaderia for between 500-1500 BsF depending how much you want to eat. Many places have executive menus for lunch where you get soup, a drink and a selection from 2 or 3 main courses for 2,500-4,000 BsF. You can do it on the cheap with soup for 1,000 BsF. Note, the Venezuelans general eat their big meal of the day over lunch and have a siesta afterward. Many businesses are closed between noon and 2 PM. Dinner is more sandwich and/or soup oriented. Ham and cheese is huge in Venezuela (breakfast, lunch or dinner). These prices are for Caracas and smaller cities will generally only be slightly less as most food prices are regulated.

After talking with a lot of normal working class people, they can live on 150,000 BsF per month in Caracas, other cities will be cheaper (I estimate 25-35%). The standard may not be what you expect, but it can be done. Also keep in mind that the minimum salary (which is normal) is a little under 10,000 BsF with food supplement of a little over 6000 BsF (I expect this salary to be raised again in mid-March and most probably again on May 1, and September 1. Most people must supplement further and that is why your biggest issue as a tourist will be petty crime. The biggest issues after petty theft are bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and dengue fever. In all of my years of experience in country, I have only experienced minor petty theft on 2 occasions in a hotel environment.

Nightlife. I went out one (fun) night with my friend (just the guys), one (relaxing) night with him and his girlfriend. Two (great) nights with my LTR only, one (crazy) night with the swimmers and two (wild) nights with the surfers. I will begin with the surfers. I have a few surfer friends as I have done a lot of surfing in Venezuela and in Caracas we surf in La Guaira, technically to the west of Caracas. It is generally poorer and the income comes from the (shipping) port and the airport. These guys often drive taxis during the night or do something so they can surf during the day. They are generally school of hard knocks, very practical and have a live and let live attitude. They are a lot of fun. I was the only gringo surfing and there are seldom foreign surfers there, so I needed to watch myself. I had zero problems (probably because of my friends) and added some adventures to my book. I was at a beach party one night and house party another night that created memories that will light my fires when I am (really) old.

In the Caracas, I recommend doing a fair amount of your night venues in Las Mercedes. There are more 10´s in other spots, but there are numerous 7-10´s in this area and it is safer.

1) Rosalinda club, this is a hot spot with numerous 7-9´s, lots of dancing. Las Mercedes
2) Marbella Discotheque – 5-8´s with some 9´s. Las Mercedes
3) Hollic, dancing with a younger crowd 18-20, a lot of 6-8´s. Las Mercedes
4) Desigual Club - Dj environment 6-8´s with some 9´s. Las Mercedes border.
5) San Ignacio Mall has several night clubs locate there with higher end service. 6-9´s. Chacao

Most dance clubs are Tuesday or Wednesday to Saturday that open at 9 or 10 PM and close between 3 and 6 AM.

The following are more of the non-disco environment, but drinks, food, and relaxation and music (perhaps some dancing):

6) Juan Sebastian Bar in the financial district, good jazz or other bands depending on the night. Great place to begin the evening to warm up or bounce to near the end of the evening. 7pm-1am on weekdays, 7pm-3am on weekends. Also a good Italian restaurant next door. El Rosal
7) Altimira Suites, the bar is 360 degree and is a roof top local with a nice view. It is not your typically big city roof top party rave, but more casual and a good place to bounce and game, often with live music on the weekends. It is open until midnight on weekdays and 2 am on weekends. Los Palos Grandes
8), Entre Hojas Lounge/Bar, Renaissance Caracas La Castellana Hotel. This was a good place to drink, talk, relax and meet up to begin the night. Sometimes there is music.
9) Terrazas Steak House –higher end locale with eating, drinking that holds about 500 people with live music. Las Mercedes

For more drinking and pick-up

10) La Quinta Bar – cheap drinks, live music. Las Mercedes
11) Theatro bar- various types of crowds depending on the music, they party 7 days a week, some nights are comedy. Las Mercedes

From a 2012 post by WestCoast https://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-11046.html
I would add that the Whiskey Bar was a great place, but it is no longer operating under that name or management. El Mani is still a fun place and I would recommend it.

You can probably Google some of these to get more information. Also be advised that getting a taxi after midnight can be a challenge and after 3 am is difficult. You should have the numbers of at least 2 taxi services or drivers before you go out. Talk to the people at your hotel for references. Call the taxis ahead of time and use them to get to where you are going and then have them pick you up. If you tip them well (50%) at your initial drop off, they will probably come get you at 4 or 5 in the morning if they know you are going to tip them well.

There was no sunscreen to be found in the city and I asked a number of people and even got a number for the Coppertone distributor in Caracas. Remember that you will be around 10 degrees north latitude and the sun is intense, so bring what you need.

Almost 50% of the population is under 25 years of age. Out of a country of some 31-32 million people, somewhere between 7-8 million (the census is not that accurate) people live in the (greater) City of Caracas while about 4 million live in the DC (Districto Capital) area.
(This post was last modified: 02-10-2016 11:50 AM by NASA Test Pilot.)
02-10-2016 11:07 AM
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Chaos Offline
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RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
^ Outstanding info!

I don't know where else I could this kind of detailed information.

Thanks again!
02-10-2016 12:00 PM
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Post: #117
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Is this quote from your post totally accurate: "I saw almost no foreigners other than two Chinese tourists and a few others on the airplane when I arrived. I know foreigners are in the city (embassies, etc.), but I never came across another Caucasian during my 10 days"... Are you saying you saw no "Caucasians" (white people) in Venezuela during ten days, really? Because, looking at recordings of manifestations against Maduro, I myself saw quite an important number of White people still living in Caracas... am I mistaken?
02-10-2016 12:16 PM
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Post: #118
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
No, you are not-mistaken brother. I actually saw no white foreigners (to be more specific) while I was in Caracas; but I know they are there. That is why I mentioned it, highly unusual. I even had one group of 12-13 old girls point at me while walking down a large outdoor boulevard on a Saturday and said extranjero (foreigner), like I was some type of rare bird. Also note that many Venezuelans have very light (and sometimes white skin). I know one Venezuelan dancer, in particular, whose mother´s skin is very light brown and her French father´s skin is a darker shade of white and she is white like she is from the midwestern part of the U.S.

By the way, stay clear of the ´manifestations´ (protests) if you see them, as you can receive (low probability) unwanted attention (and detention) by authorities as some type of potential foreign trouble maker.
(This post was last modified: 02-10-2016 09:40 PM by NASA Test Pilot.)
02-10-2016 01:12 PM
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Post: #119
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Excellent post, NTP! I lived and worked in Caracas from 2001 to 2003 when it was beginning it's downward spiral. I lived in El Rosal and used to walk to work in Las Mercedes. Fantastic area to live for a single guy. On some weekends, I'd take a bus to cities like Maracay and Valencia where it was super easy to pick up women. Also, we used to hit a local beach north of Maracay called Chorini as it had a laid-back, Caribbean vibe and was cheap with a decent beach. Of course, I hit Isla Margarita a couple of times and Los Roques was incredible!

I had a blast those 2 years even though it was way more expensive than now. When I would visit Colombia (where I currently live) back then, it was still known as a crazy dangerous country, and the Venezuelans would tell me that I was crazy to go there. Now it's completely reversed.

Roosh member, TullyMars, and I are planning a trip to check out my old haunts in Caracas in June so thanks for these updated posts about current conditions on the ground there. How is the Tamanaco Hotel in Los Mercedes these days? Thinking about staying there.
02-10-2016 07:49 PM
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Post: #120
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
Considering this is a travel thread, lets put the political analysis aside and talk about travel, lifestyle, and most importantly.....pussy.

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Game is the difference between a broke average looking dude in a 2nd tier city turning bad bitch feminists into maids and fucktoys and a well to do lawyer with 50x the dough taking 3 dates to bang broads in philly.
(This post was last modified: 02-10-2016 08:18 PM by Cattle Rustler.)
02-10-2016 08:17 PM
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RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
(02-10-2016 08:17 PM)Cattle Rustler Wrote:  Considering this is a travel thread, lets put the political analysis aside and talk about travel, lifestyle, and most importantly.....pussy.

Impossible. Venezuela's reality totally depends on the (horrendous, scandalous) political situation.

Out-of-this-world inflation, record insecurity, medium-class flight, bitch-shield levels, all that is massively impacted by politics.

Also, from a moral point of view, talking about Venezuela without mentioning the scandalous, illegal and inhuman detentions of opposition leaders, is unsavory.

On top of that, one has to be aware that, as a foreigner, you do run the risk of being targeted and called a spy and thrown in jail. It happened to some old, inoffensive French expat some time ago, accused of being a coup-plotter and arms dealer tard

Also, as a European, I feel Maduro's hateful and racist politics quite disturbing, and reason enough to boycott this country for the time being. Now, if (illegal-resident) Maduro gets sent back to his real home-country, or thrown in some UN jail, I will be the first to book a ticket to Venezuela, cause it'll then become quite the poosy-paradise indeed Smile
02-10-2016 09:49 PM
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Post: #122
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
@perdidogringo

The Tamanaco Hotel is a good choice as you are more isolated, but your gaming logistics can be a little more challenging as you will need to cross a major highway (at night) if you are walking on foot in Las Mercedes. One of the cool things is that if you want to feel like a baller, there is a heliport a few hundred meters from the hotel (and they will send a car for you). It will be slightly more expensive than your normal taxi, but I do not think that you will have any securities issues. If you are interested in the helo-taxi (which does not have yellow plates), send me a PM and I will give you specifics.
02-10-2016 11:20 PM
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RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
(02-10-2016 11:20 PM)NASA Test Pilot Wrote:  @perdidogringo

The Tamanaco Hotel is a good choice as you are more isolated, but your gaming logistics can be a little more challenging as you will need to cross a major highway (at night) if you are walking on foot in Las Mercedes. One of the cool things is that if you want to feel like a baller, there is a heliport a few hundred meters from the hotel (and they will send a car for you). It will be slightly more expensive than your normal taxi, but I do not think that you will have any securities issues. If you are interested in the helo-taxi (which does not have yellow plates), send me a PM and I will give you specifics.

I had to look at a current map of Caracas since I remembered the Tamanaco being right on Avenida Principal de Las Mercedes right before (not after) the autopista. Looks like 13 years has eroded my memory- apparently it is Hotel Paseo de Las Mercedes I'm thinking of. It's attached to a mall?
02-11-2016 06:41 PM
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Post: #124
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
I had a great adventure inland. We took a beaten-up bus in country and then hiked two hours through the jungle (on a beaten path). We just had a medium backpack (with bedroll) each and our surfboards. I always have a water purifier straw where even I travel and I borrowed a hunting knife from a friend (my Rambo knife was on the boat) as well as a good machete. I also purchased some sowing thread (and sowing needles), a small bottle of alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, bandages and some antibiotics (I always carry an antibiotic cream as well). We ate off of the land and there was no need for the Arepa (staple corn flour in Venezuela) mix or black beans that I brought with us. We ate a lot fish and some snake, there was a vast supply of bananas, plantains, lechosa, and mango. She showed me some edible roots and leaves. The river water was a decent quality, but I was unable to examine bacteria.

This girl surprised me with her knowledge of the land; being able to rough it outdoors as well as able to scale and gut a fish (she probably learned it from another guy). I felt like Tarzan and we established a nice rhythm of sex, eat, surf, rest ...repeat 2 or 3 times per day. It was very natural. The surfing was fun. It is not like the ocean, yet the uniqueness of the experience was so enjoyable that I would do it again (and again). She is now in my (FB) rotation, but I do not believe in unicorn meat nor rainbow sauce.

Total cost: $3000 BsF for 2 round trip bus tickets, 0 BsF for Food, 0 BsF for lodging. We could have stayed there for weeks. That is what I call, CHEAP. Now I have another hideaway…way, way off of the grid.

One of the bigger issues that I saw and was told about while travelling in the interior of Venezuela was the roving gangs (AK 47´s and automatic pistols with extended magazines, etc). I am not talking about the Collectivos (a type of militia), but rather armed and organized gangs that have formed (and there are a number of them). They are extorting money from business operators such as construction companies, or sometimes requiring money from those that want to cross their territory. My concern was accidently coming upon a group transporting product across country and showing up to a gun fight with a knife. Nothing bad happened.
02-15-2016 10:31 AM
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NASA Test Pilot Away
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Post: #125
RE: Venezuela could open up shortly?
It has started. Look to the summer months as I stated in one of my first posts.

http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-po...ent-maduro
02-16-2016 04:59 PM
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