Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Venezuela is Socialist? Whaaa?

Part of LagunaMar, surrounded by mountains.

Our resort, LagunaMar, featured a fairly common form of entertainment each night. After the sun set behind the mountains, dancers and comedians would take the stage, a plywood & particleboard masterpiece, and squeeze laughter and smiles from the audience.

One night they shouted to the audience only in Spanish.

Upon hearing "Benezuela!" the Venezuelans erupted in cheers. The Columbians took their turn when "Columbia!" was shouted. And, as Chile, Argentina, Brazil, U.K. and Canada echoed across the stage, each corresponding nationality cheered for their country. Even Germany was mentioned, to the joy of two.

Two Venezuelans and a ghost.The United States, where half of my family lives, was never mentioned. And during our stay we didn’t come across any Americans. But Suz and I did meet a couple from Venezuela, on a 3-day vacation from Caracas. We learned a lot from them, including the astonishing price of gas. At 2 cents per litre, they filled their tank for less than $2.00 U.S, and drove 3 hours to the ferry which took them to the resort. Gas in Venezuela isn’t taxed, and is among the cheapest things they can possibly purchase.

So what’s the deal with Venezuela and the States? Why were there no American tourists? Why wasn’t the U.S. even acknowleged at our resort? It’s no secret that Bush hates Chavez and vice versa, but are flights from the U.S. actually restricted from entering Venezuela?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Bush was unable to supply enough oil for his own country, prompting Chavez to swoop in on his golden oil barrel and donate in the neighbourhood of one million barrels. It’s been said that the only reason Bush accepted Venezuela’s offer was because they already had a network of Venezuelan-owned distributors in place: Citgo.

Yet, despite this act of kindness in a time of devastation, Bush has put Venezuela on his blacklist of countries not cooperating with the war on drugs. The two are not related, unless you consider Bush’s double standard when it comes to Venezuela.

The U.S. relies heavily on Venezuelan oil, but at the same time tries to de-legitimize Venezuela’s government due to their close ties with socialst countries like North Korea and Cuba. It’s really too bad, because Cuba isn’t a threat to the U.S.

Of course, that’s debatable.

Bush’s administration tries so hard to protect their country from terrorists, but can’t protect them very well from hurricanes, as evidenced by the Katrina fiasco.

Hurricane Charley caused only 4 deaths in Cuba, yet was responsible for 30 deaths in the States. Wilma caused only 4 deaths in Cuba, but 36 in the States. And Ivan was responsible for a mere 3 deaths in Venezuela, zero in Cuba, and 54 in the States.

During our ‘orientation’ on our second day, a fellow Canadian asked our Venezuelan guide whether or not Venezuela was socialist. He replied, "we are leaning towards that direction… but we should not talk politics," then nervously laughed, and went on to the next question.

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Blogger Chana said...

the resort looks beautiful and i'm sure you both weren't missing the cold and snow.
Chavez is not a cared persona in my native Nicaragua. not unless you are the president and in high govertment positions..His influence is started to be felt in many latin 3rd world countries and the comparisons to the old Fidel are often...but politics is probably not the best to do while vacationing and i'm glad it was all peaceful and good for you guys.

thank you for you haven't forgotten me even when i haven't been a regular visistor. it is not out of want i assure you. i miss your blogs..

hope your feet are alright. that the sand and the hot water was just what you need it..i hope you are not in too much pain..and know that i often send you well wishes and good toughts.

working on getting healthier and stronger so i can get back to my daily visits..thank you for your friendship..

hugs to you both.

7:02:00 PM

Blogger mmat said...

i've noticed that communists never seem to want to talk about politics. except to me. when i was in university, a member of the communist party of canada came up to me in a crowd of about 100+ people and asked me to join the party. i politely declined and he crossed the road and left without speaking to any other person in the crowd.

but maybe i just look communist or something.

9:56:00 PM

Blogger Patti_Cake said...

I wouldn't have been talking politics either. This coming from a chicken who is afraid to travel to even socialist countries!

9:04:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Chana - Don't worry, I have not forgotten you. Nicaragua you say? Very cool. Perhaps you'll write about it one of these days?

mmat, if you don't want communists trying to recruit you, you shouldn't have been doing the goose-step and screaming "Hail Hitler".

patti_cake, socialist countries only want your hard-earned dollars. Tourism is almost as big a part of their GDP as weapons trading.

12:41:00 PM

Blogger SJ said...

Screw Bush enjoy your vacation!!!

8:58:00 PM


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