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August 16, 2007

Holiday in Hell

Posted by Dave Blount at August 16, 2007 2:10 PM

Here's a tourism tip for moonbats: Show your support for the "Bolivarian Revolution" by spending your next Caribbean vacation in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela. Just don't forget to take extra care. From the State Department's Consular Information Sheet:

Violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. The country has one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the world. Armed robberies take place in broad daylight throughout the city, including areas generally presumed safe and frequented by tourists. A common technique is to choke the victim into unconsciousness and then rob them of all they are carrying. Well armed criminal gangs operate with impunity, often setting up fake police checkpoints. Kidnapping is a particularly serious problem, with more than 1,000 reported during the past year alone. There have been several high profile kidnappings that have resulted in murder, including the killings of three minor Canadian brothers, a wealthy Italo-Venezuelan businessman, and the daughter of a senior Venezuelan military commander. Investigation of all crime is haphazard and ineffective. In the case of high-profile killings, the authorities quickly round up suspects, but rarely produce evidence linking these individuals to the crime. Only a very small percentage of criminals are tried and convicted.
Maiquetia Airport, the international airport serving Caracas, is dangerous and corruption is rampant. Concerns include personal property theft, mugging, and "express kidnapping" in which individuals are taken to make purchases or to withdraw as much money as possible from ATMs, often at gunpoint. The Embassy has received multiple, credible reports that individuals with what appear to be official uniforms or other credentials are involved in facilitating or perpetrating these crimes. For this reason, American citizen travelers should be wary of all strangers, even those in official uniform or carrying official identification. There are also known drug trafficking groups working from the airport. Travelers should not accept packages from any persons and should keep their luggage with them at all times.
Because of the frequency of robberies at gunpoint, travelers are encouraged to arrive during daylight hours if at all possible. If not, travelers should use extra care both within and outside of the airport. The Embassy strongly advises that all arriving passengers make advance plans for transportation from the airport to their place of lodging. If possible, travelers should arrange to be picked up at the airport by someone who is known to them. The Embassy has received frequent reports recently of armed robberies in taxicabs going to and from the airport at Maiquetia. There is no foolproof method of knowing whether a taxi driver at the airport is reliable. The fact that a taxi driver presents a credential or drives an automobile with official taxi license plates marked "libre" is no longer an indication of reliability. Incidents of taxi drivers in Caracas overcharging, robbing, and injuring passengers are common. Travelers should take care to use radio-dispatched taxis or those from reputable hotels. Travelers should call a 24-hour radio-dispatched taxi service from a public phone lobby or ask hotel, restaurant, or airline representatives to contact a licensed cab company for them. […]
While visiting Venezuela, Americans are encouraged to carry as little U.S. currency on them as possible and to avoid wearing expensive or flashy watches and jewelry. Due to the poor security situation, the Embassy does not recommend changing money at the international airport. Visitors should bring a major credit card, but should be aware of widespread pilfering of credit card data to make unauthorized transactions. Travelers' checks are not recommended as they are honored in only a few locations. It is possible to exchange U.S. currency at approved exchange offices near major hotel chains in Caracas (personal checks are not accepted) and at commercial banks with some restrictions. Due to currency regulations, hotels cannot provide accommodation exchange. There are ATM machines throughout Venezuela. Malfunctions are common, however, and travelers should be careful to use those only in well-lit public places. ATM data has also been hacked and used to make unauthorized withdrawals from user's accounts.
Popular tourist attractions, such as the Avila National Park, are increasingly associated with violent crime. Americans planning to participate in outdoor activities in potentially isolated areas are strongly urged to travel in groups of five or more and to provide family or friends with their itineraries prior to departure. […]
U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Venezuela are advised to take common-sense precautions and avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, no matter where they occur.
Harassment of U.S. citizens by pro-government groups, Venezuelan airport authorities, and some segments of the police occurs but is quite limited. However, Venezuela's most senior leaders, including President Chavez, regularly express anti-American sentiment. The Venezuelan government's rhetoric of hate directed against the U.S. government, as well as American culture and institutions, is slowly affecting attitudes in what used to be one of the most pro-American countries in the hemisphere.

Ah, life in socialist paradise. Hopefully some vacationing moonbats will enjoy the place so much, they won't want to come back.

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Venezuela is becoming a popular tourist destination for moonbats.

On a tip from Jimbo.