No photographers allowed


On Wednesday, SEBIN detained reporter Luis López and photographer José Manuel Díaz from local newspaper La Verdad de Vargas at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía displaying a “suspicious attitude. That sounds pretty serious. Were they planting a bomb? Plotting to traffic drugs?

Nothing of the sort: they were charged with taking this picture.


A picture of the terminal’s floor, the iconic mosaic by famous Venezuelan visual artist Carlos Cruz Diez. Its formal name by the way is Cromointerferencia de color aditivo (1974-1978)”. In recent years, it has become an icon of the exodus of young Venezuelans driven away by the crisis. It is perhaps fitting that it’s now visibly falling apart.

But the story doesn’t end there: López and Díaz were held for two hours. Their case was then taken by National Guard Brigadier General José Viloria Sosa, responsible for the airport’s security. According to Lopez’s version of events, Viloria explained that Maiquetia is a “security zone” and considers their work as “suspicious”. Then, he said to them that both would go to SEBIN’s HQ if they didn’t comply. The General also considered the reporters’ claims about the obstacles on their journalistic work as “political posturing”.

Finally, both men were released and “advised” to ask for a permit next time. No pictures were deleted despite the official pressure.

Just two years ago, the authorities now arresting people for showing the mosaic’s decay were busy pledging to fixing it. One year after that, the restoration just stopped.

The sad thing is that that damn mosaic is the one thing Maiquetía has going for it. Our gateway airport is consistently ranked the worst airport in the entire region and one of the worst in the whole world. You’d think they’d spend their time fixing that, instead of harassing people taking photos.

Thank goodness for Franz Kafka International, still saving us from coming at the bottom of the league table.

The obvious deterioration simply adds more meaning to the tragedy. No wonder one of our best rock bands, Desórden Publico, featured it heavily in their most recent music video.

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  1. I was taking the report on Franz Kafka International Airport seriously for a short while, until I saw the video came from The Onion. Guess I haven’t Czeched out international airports recently.

  2. Mitchel25J (15 million + Views Thank You ) PRO
    10 years ago
    Ah this is a topic I know something about.

    Here in the States its not allowed to take any photos of Commercial Airports unless you recieve written permission form the Airport mangers Office which really isn’t to hard to do.

    You can sit off the airport and take photos all day long. now if you plan on taking photos at a airport remember to check out what your taking photos of first make sure there is no TSA/Police/FBI in the photo and no photos of the security area.

    Also if someone ask you what your doing tell them the truth and if they ask you not to take photos don’t fight with them that is the easist way to lose your Camera and haven a nice talk witht he Police.

    • I was taking pictures of your place because it’s falling apart because your government sucks.

      (I did not know it’s not allowed to take photos of the inside of an airport. Whatever happened to pictures of departing family? And with every cell phone on the block a video camera?)

  3. People would do right in remembering that the national police (aka PNB) started their business by beating the living lights out of everybody that dared to take pictures of the metro, claiming that “the metro is ruined because of the photos the eskuaka twitters are taking!”

  4. Hahaha…. Franz Kafka International. A nice bit.
    That being said, my wife (an expat) has been having trouble getting to and from Venezuela. I don’t even travel with her any longer, as I (US citizen) am just a liability now. The bribes were getting too expensive.

  5. […] Regardless of what happens with this particular case, the State is becoming more and more hypersensitive with non-hegemony media outlets, even falling into the bizarre: Last week, two journalists were detained for over two hours just for taking a picture of Maiquetia Airport’s floor. […]

  6. FYI: Desorden Público is a ska band not a rock band!
    “Esto es ska
    si no te gusta te vas”

    The lack of humility in DP’s video is scary. If the song is about how everyone’s leaving because everything’s gone to hell why is Danel (DP’s drummer) walking around the airport and Caracas dressed to the nines in typical hipster fashion? It is such a put off (pantallerismo venezolano in full effect)… To reflect how bad things are a choro should of made a cameo appearance and stolen his Beats by Dr. Dre that would of given that wham bam touch to it! Completely out of touch with reality.

    God forbid the GN man up and honor their oath to guard and protect! A picture of a broken piece of art is worth a thousand clicks in the IG, FB, Snapchat, Twitter era.

  7. I have to i have credit to the cc writers, with all thats happening in VZ you guys still have an excellent sense of humor although its a bit solemn, hope things return to ??/soon.


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