"Torre de David" goes Hollywood

Homeland’s versions of La Torre de David and Caracas were actually filmed in Puerto Rico.

The story of La Torre of David, an incomplete Caracas skyscraper which turned into a vertical slum, is well known around the world: from an award-winning architecture project to a fascinating article and as a subject of short video reports – all inspired by our slum.

It was just matter of time until the tower would make its entrance into fiction, and it just did, thanks to a recent episode of the acclaimed U.S. TV show “Homeland”.

In the aptly-titled “Tower of David”, the main character, Nicholas Brody, has ended up in Venezuela, hiding in the famous building under the control of a local criminal. The Caracas-setted scenes were actually shot in parts of Old San Juan (Puerto Rico) earlier this year.

What’s the reaction from the communicational hegemon? Check out this article from Alba Ciudad 96.3. FM., where the writer doesn’t just criticize Homeland for its anti-Venezuela bias, but also calls the show “anti-Muslim” and accuses it of being embedded with the C.I.A.

The reasons behind his conclusion? First, Homeland is one of Barack Obama’s favorite TV shows. Second, the show’s cast recently made a visit to the agency’s headquarters. Ergo, Obama told the C.I.A. to use Homeland in order to trash Venezuela’s image. #SoundsLegit

The episode was aired in the U.S. last Sunday, and it can be seen in Venezuela two weeks from now in the cable channel which owns the rights to the show. That’s if CONATEL or some other government agency doesn’t go berserk and decide to ban the broadcast.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. “The episode was aired in the U.S. last Sunday, and it can be seen in Venezuela two weeks from now in the cable channel which owns the rights to the show.”

    Begging the question of how the #TROPA managed to watch it already in the first place. 🙂

  2. I just have to say that I am adopting the (fortunate) typo “conclussions” as a new word meaning “a conclusion reached after having a concussion”. Very appropriate for anything chavismo has done.

    Or is Gustavo playing mind games with El Imperio and JJ Rendón trying to lead us to that thought…

  3. Homeland is anti-Muslim in the same way that Full Metal Jacket is anti-Vietnamese. It depicts Muslims being terrorists, but the ultimate evil masterminds are closer to home.

    If these people actually watched homeland, and came to the conclusion that it is Anti-Muslim, they are dumber than I thought.

    • chavistas drawing drawing wrong conclusions by completely omitting evidence that is in plain sight and doubling down on whatever made-up fact could serve their storyline?? can’t imagine that happening…

  4. I watch Homeland and saw the episode Sunday with a mix of shame and bemusement. Was surprised that they actually used (some) Venezuelan actors. Of course it featured a pran, underground doctors performing unsanitary surgeries, corrupt cops and malandros shooting up the corrupt cops, among other fun things.
    I think the producers of Homeland thought: what’s the craziest place on earth with the seediest characters where the most fucked up shit nobody could imagine can happen and where you would least want to be exiled, and they concluded “Why of course, Caracas! Let’s send Brody to Caracas!”

    • Which ones were venezuelans? I watched with shame and boredom, to be fair, a bit puzzled by the insanity of brody surviving a ten hour trip on the back of a pickup truck after getting shot in the stomach at the border, and the ridiculous clothes selections that makes everyone look like a bad guy who moonlights singing salsa at a Miami nightclub. Was also the most boring I’ve ever seen of this show, I had never checked how long it had left to see if my suffering would end soon. For me the show has gone completely off the rails, if it were exciting still I would be able to put up with the shamed bemusement of CaracasBrody.

  5. The writers read The new Yorker of course…nad well Yes they visit the CIA , and it was really funny on an interview, that Brody’s wife and the Brody ( The actors) were banned from the CIA GIFT SHOP!!!

  6. How come Brody wind up in Caracas? Wasn’t he escaping to Canada in the last episode of season two!???

    geez you miss a couple of episodes and all hell break loose in the TV show.

  7. It’s not just Homeland that has used Venezuela and Caracas as an “unsavory” locale in the plotline.

    From about 2-3 years back now many fictional shows in the US now mention Venezuela as a less than desirable place, or a place where shady, murky deals take place.

    We have taken the place of Bogota/Colombia, which used to be the “bad place down south” in TVLand.

    • It isn’t just TV.

      The new Call of Duty franchise game, Ghosts, which is due out in a couple of weeks has Caracas is the capital of, well basically, South America and is at war with a the remains of a devastated United States after orchestrating a cyberattack upon that country and turning its WMDs against it. CCS features as the setting for missions as well as a “faction” within the game. For what its worth, Caracas is for all intents and purposes the new superpower because of oil and other extractables.

      Of course, going back into video game history a bit further, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames had Venezuela as the setting for the entire game where the protagonist is hired to rescue “Carmona” who led an unsuccessful coup and is being held on an island and then the hero/anti-hero is betrayed upon doing so. After a successful coup by Carmona, the player returns for revenge and more or less blows up the entire country a bit at a time.

      I’ve also theorized that the strategy game Tropico was a tutorial for Chavez in how to run a country…but even the game runs more efficiently than Venezuela does now. So, meh.

    • Sadly no, not just Homeland. And It has been happening for a while now.
      Last night I was watching The Blacklist when the mobster negotiated his escape to Caracas by private jet. Estamos de moda, s…!

    • that was the first thing that popped into my head when I read about this: the days when Colombian drug lords would appear in TV and cinema screens, with their lawless godforsaken free-for-all country’s jungles in the background while they carried out any illegal transaction that you could think of, are sooooooo very 1980-1990’s it’s ridiculous…

      no doubt imaginative chavistas will claim a backdoor deal between Obama and Santos to smear the international image of chabe’s peaceful, loving, prosperous legacy to Venezuelans.

  8. worst episode ever! It irks me when Directors, Casting Directors and consultants can’t make out one accent from another…The day a malandro talks as sweet and polite as the main thug did this past weekend that’ll be the day and that’s just one of my many complaints….! Also this year there was a horrible cheap short film that debuted during the Berlinale called A City Within a City another production gone wrong….


    Gustavo, if you watch the episode there is an interesting plot twist in the sense that the group keeping Brody in the Tower are Carrie’s underground contacts in Caracas. Amusing that the Radio station article did not denounce Homeland for portraying the Tower “colectivo” as CIA agents.

    Also, don’t forget the first episode had a CIA agent taking out a Banker in Caracas that was leading the finances for a terrorist group.

    It seems to me a pointless exercise in criticizing a fictional show for inaccuracies in portraying certain elements that make absolutely no difference for the average viewer.

    What seems to me like an interesting opportunity is for
    publications that try to convey the Venezuelan reality to
    take advantage of the show to explain the reality of the
    Venezuelan experience starting from what gets portrayed
    on the show.

    For example this last episode could support an intersting piece
    on “Colectivos” or “Invasiones” among other topics that would
    be hard to relate to your typical outsider.

  10. Television and movie writers and producers are always looking for new stories and themes. Venezuela may be an un-tapped gold mine. Here is my suggestion:

    A Reality Television show based on two or three Venezuelan “Importers”. Think of something like “Flip this House”. At the end of each show, our industrious bolivarian entrepreneurs recount their latest trials and triumphs in a night club while drinking 18 year-old whiskey.

    Hell, just the prisons and their prans could be made into a Mad Maxesque epic.

    • On this note – I think that producers of these shows would have a great need for native script consultants that can help them portray the extremes of Venezuelan reality in an edgy way.

      … Wonder who is uniquely positioned to do this … (no kidding)

      – How about an episode where a guy ends up buying Onassis’ apartment in Park Avenue while mountains of food containers rot and people lineup and fight for frozen chicken at the market

      • Sin vaina. It doesn’t get more ridiculous than this. #Venezuela the land where you can turn $150k into a cool million – if you’re a #Bolichico of course!

  11. Flights with two thousand dollar tickets that are booked solid months in advance and leave the airport half empty. Supermarkets with huge displays of 12 and 18 year old whisky but no meat or toilet paper. Judges and police officers given lengthy prison terms while killers and kidnappers roam the streets with impunity. It would all make excellent, even amusing, material for TV programs or movies, IF ONLY IT ALL WASN’T TRUE!!!!

  12. There was a fascinating episode of “The Good Wife” which had ” Chavez” at a deposition. I thinkmit was a cople of seasons ago. i need to see that one again. Venezuela has also been on ” Covert Affairs”. It’s obviously the bad guys’ paradise du jour.:-)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here