Of all the photos on Google Images … (Update: Photo dropped)

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FitVen, Tourism Minister Andrés Izarra’s flagship Venezuela Promotional Expo, needed an image to demonstrate just how welcoming the country is to outsiders. So of course they came up with this one:

fitven

Who is the strapping young man being welcomed into the sweet embrace of the patria?

He’s Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss, in 2013, returning home to the States after 48 hours under Military Intelligence Detention for asking awkward questions about smuggling in San Cristobal.

Wyss
Original Caption: Colleague Luisa Yanez, left, gives Jim Wyss, a welcome hug upon his arrival. Miami Herald reporter Jim Wyss arrived at Miami International Airport after being detained by Venezuela for three days on Sunday, November 10, 2013. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Esa vaina no fue accidental ni que me lo jure el papa. 

Update: The BBC is quoting Wyss saying the ad has been dropped.

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1 COMMENT

  1. So, if you plan to visit Venezuela and have any kind of Press credential, prepare to to be received by friends and family this way, if you ever come back home alive.

  2. Duro! que perversion, tipo nivel Goebels…

    “We shall go down in history as the greatest statesmen of all time,or as the greatest criminals”
    ― Joseph Goebbels

    • You’ll find it a lot easier from now on, with more hugs on the horizon. After all, advertising at a promo expo can only lead to sure-fire results, no pun on the fire.

    • When I receive hugs in Venezuela, I always check for perforations, my wallet and my watch, in that order.

      Honestly, in all the traveling I’ve done including the really-off-the-beaten-path places, I’ve never been to a place where I could go two whole weeks without encountering another native English speaker in some capacity.

      Merida has something of an adventure tourism market. Most of the people who capitalize and own the businesses are ex-pats from Europe and they employ Venezuelans. Jeep tours to the paramo, the parapente company, atvs, canyoneering. The guides are all Venezolano, but the offices are packed with Dutch, French, Germans, you name it.

  3. La Guaira has always been slightly sinister for all foreigners, since I can remember.My elderly parents were once detained while officials searched them for drugs…thank God for my astute criollo husband who was able to convince them of their innocence….this was back in the 80’s, so I can only imagine how dangerous things are now.It takes a brave man or woman who knows this to be true and still takes a chance.

  4. … I kinda expect this to disappear from everywhere they deployed it and then furious declarations about how he did a photoshop…

    • When traveling in LatAm, I used to escape the bribes by playing dumb, and pretending to not understand Spanish until they gave up on me as a lost cause who was wasting their time. I can’t pull that one off anymore, though. My comprehension is such that it shows in my face. However, here in Margarita, the police have long since stopped pretending to enforce traffic laws even to collect bribes. I find it amazing that traffic works as well as it does, considering.

      • I spent almost all the bolivars I had left on the cab ride from Caracas to the airport one time. So when the kid in the National Guard uniform asked me for a certain amount for tax I just played dumb and gave him everything I had, not much. He even gave me some back, the more worthless bills.

  5. This is not an accident. Someone in the chain through a joker into the deck. I hope he covered his tracks well. Chavismo will not be amused.

      • Fenotipo = Conjunto de características físicas externas de un ser vivo.

        Por ejemplo, el fenotipo caucásico, es de piel clara y tiene unos rasgos faciales determinados, mientras que el fenotipo negro, tiene piel oscura y otro conjunto de rasgos faciales determinados.

        En Venezuela, el 90% de la población comparte casi todos los rasgos raciales, por la sencilla razón de que casi todo el mundo acá es descendiente de un mestizaje que proviene desde tiempos de la colonia, lo que refleja la idiotez inherente a que alguien quiera ser racista, puesto a que como dice el refrán, “se está escupiendo él mismo en la cara”

  6. Chavismo, pushing into the limits of the trollosphere…

    Pura mamadera de gallo… maybe the caption should read “mamamos a Venezuela”

  7. BTW, I’m not sure Izarra takes the blame for this one. He’s in the tourism ministry, but the picture is an ad for Telesur. Oh, the ironies, a “news channel” advertising its love for Venezuela by showing harassed foreign journalists.

    Come to think of it, jim Wyss *was* treated like one of our own.

  8. If you Google: ecuador travel

    You get their fancy official site for tourism as the 1st result.

    If you Google: venezuela travel

    You get the Venezuela Travel Warning page from the US Department of State as the 1st result.

    Cheverito got owned.

  9. I think that that this case, as most of the things that happen with this government, are first and foremost due to incompetence.

    The picture is a good one. The guy looks like a gringo and his face is full of happiness…but first the picture was taken without permission (who cares about copyrights?…) and it happened to be that of a detained journalist (who cares about re-checking where a picture came from).

    Do not think this is on purpose, it is just pure incompetence

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