Jogging in Ciudad Guayana Became Obstacle Course Racing

Photo: Primicia

Running is one of those things that communism hasn’t ruined for me yet, and as long as my running shoes don’t break, I’ll keep doing it (I don’t think I can replace those). I’m not that into fitness, but there’s something uplifting about taking a break and going for a run on my own. Problem is, these days the scenery turns a little more apocalyptic every time I go out.

I’ve come to embrace the garbage of my city. There’s so much of it, my route is like an obstacle course now. You can find little garbage mountains on the sidewalks of suburbs, malls, and even hospitals. Some places don’t even have a dumpster, it’s just the mounds on the floor.

Chavistas tried to solve this a while ago with signs all over town, reminding you that littering is forbidden.

Photo: Carlos Hernández

I wonder why that didn’t work…

Trash can be in one of three stages: fresh, burned or burning. It’s better when already burned, because when it’s fresh, the smell is unbearable (especially after rain). I always hold my breath when going through the worst parts, and I’m running, so it’s an extra challenge; I avoid it when it’s burning, I’m not ready for that level of bad smell yet.

The garbage problem is also a vulture problem. There are hundreds, a pest out of control that makes up for a great post-apocalyptic scenery. Picture this:

You are running through half-burned garbage, some of it still smoking, with vultures in all directions. They’re the size of chickens, with longer wings and pitch black. They’re on trees, on top of buildings, on lamp posts and, of course, on the trash. You don’t stop to count them (maybe 50?), but you see one with its beak buried in a half-burned diaper. It sees you, sizes you up, but it’s not the only one looking. All of them are.

That happens all the time. It’s like being in that Alfred Hitchcock movie; pigeons fly off, but these fuckers fear no man. Wikipedia says they only eat dead things, so I always try to look extra-alive around them.

Since most traffic lights are busted and everyone drives like the monkeys from Jumanji, crossing the streets is a game of its own.

There’s also sewer overflows, which I usually find in pairs, one of them at the very end of the route, in front of my building. I throw some jumps, CAP style, great for the legs. Stray dogs, however, can be a real issue. I’ve learned the bad way that they don’t like it when a hyperventilating dude runs towards them. If it’s a big group, they may bark and chase you. The don’t bite, but they really look the part, and that adrenaline shot always comes in handy. Great motivation when you’re tired and thinking about stopping.

Now, what do you do for fun while running? With the crime rate, I don’t dare bring my old iPod, I just count the many animalitos lottery places (I always lose count at about 20) and, since most traffic lights are busted and everyone drives like the monkeys from Jumanji, crossing the streets is a game of its own.

Every run is different, you don’t know what you’re gonna get. Is it burning trash? Will the dogs attack?

We recently switched mayors; Tito Oviedo is the dude who scammed hungry voters by offering them Christmas pork. He had protesters at his office pretty much the same day he took office, and he’s now tasked with coming up with solutions for a city that negligence ate up.

I’m sure he won’t dare ruin the post-apocalyptic jogging that his predecessors created.

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  1. Just one more of the many problems of daily life in the ” utopian” society that is being created by the criminal narco gang of thugs running the country. The upside for you is that your calorie expenditure budget can still accommodate such activities as jogging . There are many who are forced to be more discriminating in how their daily calorie budget is used. From that perspective, encountering piles of smelly trash and some buzzards during your jogging may hopefully seem a little less daunting.


    • I found it a nice read.

      It isn’t up to the individual to do what the government is supposed to do. Unless the government wants to be absolved of the electrical grid, garbage collection, and operating traffic lights.

      Your Communist government is broken, dude.

    • I’m sorry for whatever is happening in your life that made you feel this was an appropriate thing to post, José.

      • He’s a chavista who most likely lives outside Venezuela, trying to pass for a despicable “hez-kuaka” to avoid being sctrathed.

      • “I’m sorry for whatever is happening in your life that made you feel this was an appropriate thing to post, José.”

        Contrast how Quico addresses an obvious chavista troll to how he responds to the average Trumpista who posts here…………….for those wondering……we’re without morals. LOL

    • Jose, The iron curtain that was placed around the Soviet Bloc countries, including Hungary, was not put in place to keep outsiders from coming in…it was put there to keep people from escaping .

    • Jose, your response has got me laughing… Why?
      1. You must not read much if you have NEVER seen an post more stupid than this. Really? Yes CC Chronicles has been publishing a lot of local, “on the ground”, personal account stories that highlight the situational and living difficulties for the last 6+ months. Agreed. But are you suggesting that Carlos made this up? or is exagerating the condition. Jose go out for a run for us all, take some pictures of your run, and let us all compare your paradise with his. deal?
      2. Suggesting Carlos “do something” about this!!! jajaja Well then, I suppose Carlos should “organize the community” to not only pick up the trash, but also the stray dogs. Heck, the metro needs cleaning, the bus/taxi system apparently needs a parts warehouse (stocked), the public common areas flowers – yes. Best though would be Carlos and you get together (community) and grow some medicine, and food. Just like Maduro wants. It has been a year – Yes?, since Maduro proposed Community Gardens to grow your own food. How is that work?

      3. And lastly, in that wonderful commie haven that once was Hungry, you would be shot in public (no less) for dumping trash. Now if that is the model country you wish to live in, then I see EXACTLY why the hell are you living in VZ. If you want to shoot ’em for dumping trash, then you are on team CHAVISTA for sure


    • lapuremerde, apparently you missed out on the sample of hydrogen sulfide released by Amuay. It would clear your mind (as an alternate you use di-borane or hydrogen cyanide). You should take some to Mad Ernie and Tarek, the three of you can snort them with some crack, Best Wishes


      Because that’s not the “community’s work”, you little commie, that’s why the gubmint gets paid, to do their job.

      But a little chavequito like you would never understand the concept of the value of work, since you are one of those little resented twits that think that an actual job is a “degrading punishment from the burgueoise”

  4. Where are my posts? Caracas Chronicles is simply a tool of Maduro – incredible. They practice censorship, is that group the one they pretend will replace this government? Give me a break.

    • CC has an equal opportunity comments section jose. If you do not believe this, just read lapuremerde post above, or Judys posts (she pops up now and then). Unless you are profane, your posts post. Well, sometimes there are lags, and browser problems. If so, repost it.

    • More often than not, posts that include links don’t reach the destination, must be some anti-spam filter in action, this happens specialy with posts that contain more than one link.

  5. This guy can’t find a better place to jog in around Ciudad Guyana? Nature is still everywhere:

    Ciudad Guayana is a port city on the Orinoco and Caroní rivers in Bolívar state, Venezuela. Comprising 2 towns, Puerto Ordaz and San Félix, it’s known as a gateway to the Orinoco Delta and the Gran Sabana, a region of grassy plains dotted with flat-top mountains called tepuis. Between the towns are the waterfalls of La Llovizna and Cachamay parks. Nearby is the huge Macagua Dam and its modern Ecomuseo del Caroní.

    Choose the “hybrid” version here, I see plenty of green, dude. Get a freaking clue.

    • Another useless post from the “Poet”.

      According to the “expert” who likely never even went there once in his life.

      You got some nerve pal. Mr. Hernandez lives there, I’m pretty sure he knows exactly where and when to jog.

      Still biking around Miami, Sister Sledge? You can tell us about that if you want.

      I’m surprised you didn’t bring up MPJ in some way. Your game is slipping mijito.

    • Yeah, I guess I could go to La Llovizna, If I take a bus and the line isn’t too long, I might get there in about two hours. Then two or three more to get back, as long as there aren’t any protesters blocking the streets that day

      • Dude, you must be living right in the middle of a barrio.. And it must be a huge shantytown, 10 miles circumference, at least…huh? I simply do not believe you can’t find a decent nature trail to run within 5 miles. You must have a knack for trash and vultures, I tell ya. I freaking nature trail dude, in freaking Ciudad Guayana.. wake up.

    • Actually, just about the worst thing you can eat is a buzzard. Their flesh is largely indigestible and can really do a number on your body, never mind the taste.

      I unfortunately know this from the time I had to take an employee to a hospital (about 30 years ago!) who was living in such precarious conditions he killed a zamuro and ate it. The attending doctor (remember when we had those?) let us know in no uncertain terms how much of a bad idea eating a buzzard can be. People have died from it, even.

      So, no lemonade to be had here dude.

      • I had an employee once tell me, and he was as serious as a heart attack when he said it, that eating buzzard was a cure for cancer.

        I told him I’d take the cancer.

        • Well, that’s another thing I have to cross off the “possibly edible things that were moving at some point”

          I’ve seen a person tearing apart an effin’ rotten cat, trying to find some meat on it maybe.

          Not a dog.

          Not an iguana.

          But a cat.

          A cat that was rotting in the sidewalk (Mind you, since the brand new “shiabbista and revolutionary” mayor came to town, the cleaning service (aka “el aseo”) that used to pass two or three times a week, now does its rounds once a month, and even in spite of being half rotten spewing a nauseating stink, there was a person that was so hungry that he was risking to die of an infection later rather than to endure the stomach ache any longer.

          Yeah, a rotten cat.

  6. In my humble opinion, garbage in the streets of Venezuelan cities has little to do with the current regime. It’s mostly a cultural thing. Yeah, it’s gotten worse, because the few trucks that were ever used to haul it off have now stopped running for lack of spare parts, tires, or lubricants.

    I recall my first visit to the country in 1992 shortly after El Galatico tried to sieze power illegally. I was shocked at what I saw. Even cities that were very clean by Venezuelan standards, like Maturin, still had plenty of trash in the streets.

    From what I’ve seen, the culture is one of: my personal space I’ll keep clean. The other side of the fence is someone else’s responsibility so I’ll just toss my trash over there.

    As for San Felix, unfortunately, I’ve been there. It’s where all of Maturin’s malandros would head back when there was a semblence of law enforcement and they needed to hide out for a while. As I’ve said before, if the country needed an enema, there’s no doubt where the tube would be inserted.

    • Likewise, Senor Rubio. I remember My first trip to trip To Venezuela in 1995 (I got out in 2001) We flew in Punto Fijo via Aruba (the flight was delayed because there burro’s on the runaway- my first real exposure to third world). I couldn’t help but notice the trash everywhere on our drive over to Amuay. On every bush, shrub and tree (?) there few thousand ripped plastic bags and other items of trash. On my trip to Caracas, we drove up on toll road, there trash everywhere I looked (the rancho’s / kennels also stuck – nice first welcome). In Barcelona, Maturin and Maracaibo – it was the same. Puerto La Cruz and Las Mercedes were somewhat clean. I also remember December, 1998 flood (I was on one the last few airlines to leave that night- and I remember some of co-worker to after “It was just a start). I don’t miss the trash in Venezuela at all. We got too much here in El Norte (politicians everywhere are just trash))

    • First time in Venezuela was December of 1978, missed our connecting flight from maiquetia to Barcelona, and paid a taxi 100 usd to get us to playa colorada where my parents were living at the time. The most memorable sight of that trip were piles of orange CADA bags full of garbage alongside the highway sporadically all the way there. I was coming from the Dominican Republic where I had been living for 4 years and had never seen such a thing. So garbage everywhere is not a new thing at all, but I can imagine the current situation must be pretty bad. I ended up living in Ciudad Guayana for 8 years in Urb. Los Olivos, I hear it has deteriorated a lot also. Too bad, I loved that country.

  7. Nothing wrong with the article. I mean, it’s not a new constitution for Venezuela or a definitive action now plan to oust the regime, but I found this today. It also is not a flight of cargo planes to airlift in food and medicine and airlift out all the corrupt in the country, but it also is a “personal interest” story which describes living conditions. Is Bloomberg (very leftist) imitating CC?

    I just put it up because I think it would be a shame to let the comments section here get trashed with bags of garbage inconsiderately dumped on a no-censorship clean white page that arrives on many people’s desktops in the mornings.

  8. Gringo, I read the linked story about the journalist who returned to Venezuela. Hopefully there will be follup reports about the journalist’s reactions to returning home. I am curious about the impact CC has. I would love to learn the breakdown of hits on this site broken down by country. Does anyone know whether CC is followed more by people in Venezuela or outsideþ. I would gather the number of hits is proprietary to CC , as in information it might not want out in the public domain. Perhaps CC would provide us a percentage breakdown of its readers.

    • William – That would be interesting information. You can get site hit stats on Alexa (I believe), but I don’t think they break down by country. Reporters have a way of “sharing” information most of the time, a kind of unspoken cooperative thing (if you don’t “share”, talk, converse, help, let others see your notes, give dates of press-worthy events, you become “unfriended”), so my guess is that reporters, even if only a few in number in any given country, read all articles about their subject before writing. CC is probably bookmarked in a number of places. Relax … the reporters and their editors take care of everything.

    • Daniel at Venezuela News and Views has monthly page view cointer by country at the bottom of blog page.. been there for years.

      CC once had a counter per story, as well as other features i.e. “like” button. I’ve written the editor more than once asking about these issues, and asking for more transparency. The CC reply was they were revamping the website, etc.

      Unfortunately transparency went away when the blog went commercial. I’ve questioned who pays what as the money and lack of transparency can lead to corruption, basic journalism principles. I keep asking, why don’t they directly criticize the mud BY NAME (Fucking Henry!).. Crickets..

    • Doubt it’d be venezuelans, given that 99% of articles are only available in english, and even if a lot of people here know english (probably a lot less now after the exodus) they’d still be a tiny percentage of the population

  9. “In my humble opinion, garbage in the streets of Venezuelan cities has little to do with the current regime. It’s mostly a cultural thing.”

    That’s correct. Rather, it’s a “lack of culture thing”, I’d say. Our beloved, always ‘victimized’, incorruptible, hard-working, highly educated “pueblo-people” have always been quite filthy, huh? 20 years ago, 40 years ago.. Heck, ever since there are Ranchitos everywhere. That’s why MPJ wanted to get rid of the massive Shantytowns like Petare, Guatire, La Boyera, La Urbina, where millions of kleptozuelans literally live among trash. How are you gonna collect their own trash, which they dump at their very neighbors’ rancho, or the closest barranco they can find, trucks can’t climb those hills, not even Jeeps get there. Look at the disgusting Guaire: everyone simply dumps their crap there, in their backyard, no moral or aesthetic problem with that. They are used to vultures, stray dogs, garbage everywhere. Savage.

    One of the sidekicks of poverty, massive lack of education and zero moral values is living in filth. As they do in most 5th World countries, Somalia, Haiti, Congo, Zimbabwe or Venezuela. They don’t know the value of cleanliness, due diligence with garbage. (Ask them about ‘recycling’ if you wanna get a good laugh) . They could clean their neighborhoods themselves, or at least do much better in disposing of their trash, Especially up there in inaccessible Rancho-Towns where they live with their half-dozen kids per abandoned wife.

    Blame 4 decades of previous MUDs for not destroying those Ranchos, building manageable “barrios” (as the 23 de Enero was going to be, until the Ad/Copey MUDs fucked it up), and especially for not educating these masses that are used to Live among Trash, accustomed to it. They don’t care. Go to any Barlovento or pueblito in the countryside, see if they keep their own little Caserios somewhat clean, with minimum pride. Nah… they just don’t care, beyond the Chavistoide disaster, it’s a “lack of culture thing”, indeed.

    • 23 de Enero (or as it was originally called “Urbanization December 2” by Pérez Jiménez) was a shit hole long before AD/Copey & MUD. My wife’s family lived their when they first moved to Caracas from Los Andes in the early 1950’s. They moved out to east Caracas as soon as they could before any family members were murdered. My mother-in-law told stories of gun fire and having to frequently run with her children while dodging bullets from local thugs during their time in 23 de Enero and that was the early 1950’s!.

      While not as bad as the description in the article, many parts of Caracas were dirty and trashy during the the time I lived there in the early 1980’s and no one seemed to care. You had to be careful walking on the sidewalks not to fall into the holes, trip over the trash, or step in the Dog shit. The only clean area was the metro… the government spends lots of money with TV and other advertising pushing the population to keep the the Metro Clean. The trash and dirty conditions seemed to grow a lot worse during the time that I traveled there in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.

      I believe that there is a culture issue that has existed for a very long time. I think is dates back to the time of the Spanish Rule of Venezuela. The Spanish rulers took what they wanted and didn’t care about the people. The everyday people saw this and gradually adopted the same mentality. If you’re the boss or “El Jefe” you just take what you want and don’t care about the “little people” as their are there for you to use and command. There is no concept of modern leadership or responsibility only an antique mentality of the Overlords and Masters. The Chavistas and Maduro are extreme examples of this mentality.

      If your are uneducated you learn by watching those in charge and since you want to have the “good things in life” you imitate what you learned by watching the Overlords. Cultural norms tend to be passed down thru generations. In this case over thru 2-3 centuries and many family generations.

      Even if you kick out the current government via rebellion or other means ….. how can you possibly change that mentality?

      • “…how can you possibly change that mentality?”

        With a government that actually enforces the law.

        It’s not that stupid manure of a “cultural, DNA-coded thing”, it’s simply a matter of that the regime hasn’t done its job.

        Yes, chavismo is the continuation of the 4th, and yes, it’s all the gubmint’s fault in the end.

        You don’t see educated venezuelans littering and peeing in the middle of the streets in other countries, and I’m not talking at all about the chavista detritus rats that are fleeing the country now that their revolution is screwing them hard, those don’t count, chavistas aren’t venezuelans.

        • There are always exceptions to every generalization. So sorry if my generalization does not apply to you.

          Did you mean to say that it is the Government’s fault that people piss in the street and dump their garbage any place they want? Does that mean that there is no personal responsibility involved, no ethics, no concern for self or others? So, is it the government that must be held responsible for each individuals actions and not the individuals responsibility to themselves or others? Don’t do the right thing, moral thing, and it’s OK to take others money unless big brother is watching?

          The educated Venezuelan’s you speak of seem to be a small minority of the the population. Many but not all are 1st or 2nd Generation children of immigrants who landed in Venezuela in the 1950’s. Many are among those that left early, often, and continue to leave as soon as they can. Those that are left in country obviously continue the good fight but are they enough to turn the country around?

          There is a common phrase used by people who specialize in organizational design and behavior “Eagles Fly and Turkey’s Roost”. Kind of self explanatory when you look at the Venezuela Situation.

          Also, when one migrates to a new country and encounters a new culture, one tends to be absorbed into and follow the norms and ethics of that culture.

          • Yes, I DO blame the government. People being assholes is why there are prisons, police and judges. Fact is, when people can be assholes with no repercussion, you’ll have assholes, not everyone, of course, but the number will differ from when there are consequences. See Colombia and Venezuela, both countries share widely the same demographics, however they turned out very differently, and that’s even with Colombia having to deal with FARC, the difference is the government and enforcement of law. I blame the game AND the player.

          • “Did you mean to say that it is the Government’s fault that people piss in the street and dump their garbage any place they want?”

            Gubmints exist to protect people’s rights, and one of those rights is to enjoy public spaces without imbeciles taking dumps annd littering everywhere, as well as not stealing, looting, raping or killing the s**t of each other.

            Laws exist for a reason, which is NOT to allow a dictator to screw himself to power for all eternity, since the beginning of civilization, the very notion of governments that evolved from tribal unity exists simply because people was looking for safety in numbers to avoid getting eaten or generally killed.

            So yes, the government exists to enforce the law, simple as that.

            ” Does that mean that there is no personal responsibility involved, no ethics, no concern for self or others? ”

            There are some persons that are stupid, simple as that, and if they insist in being assholes to everybody else in the society, then the society is in all their right to curbstomp them through their enforcers.

            I don’t care if a kid wasn’t happy in his slum because he was envious of another kid whose parents could get her a toy, that envy isn’t a justification for the first kid to go and kill the second one to steal her toy, and if the first kid’s family didn’t want to raise him to become a functioning member of society, then the now adult still doesn’t have any reason to go and become a serial mugger-rapist-murderer to sate his stupid rancor.

            When he was a kid, if he stole anything, then his parents should have cracked his ass with several belt lashes to beat that shit out of his system, but if his parents simply didn’t care, why has the rest of law-abiding society to submit to the newly formed criminal’s whims?

            “Don’t do the right thing, moral thing, and it’s OK to take others money unless big brother is watching?”

            When you have a PORTION of the society who’s prone to become criminals, then YES, you’ll NEED someone stronger to stand for them.

            As much as you dislike it, the truth and core of the civilization can be summed on this quote:

            “It is the duty of the strong to oppose any who threaten the weak.”

            The chavista Venezuela has spiraled down into this mess because the chavista deity spear-headed a campaign of making people stupid and criminal to drag them down to the mire where they could have them under control, all by advise of the cagalitroso himself, Fidel.

            “…seem to be a small minority of the the population…”

            No, the ANIMALIZED portion of the population IS the minority, they have destroyed the country because they ARE in power.

            “Many but not all are 1st or 2nd Generation children of immigrants who landed in Venezuela in the 1950’s.”

            Many more are children of venezuelans that simply don’t want to waste their lives in this dystopia or at least to waste their youths suffering to meet the basic sustenance from their work.

            “…are they enough to turn the country around?”

            Not as long as the tyranny continues to control every aspect of the population’s lives and every single media outlet and thus the flow of information (Such as presenting every single person that dares to rise against them as a “peine”)

            “…one tends to be absorbed into and follow the norms and ethics of that culture.”

            Not the chavistas, because as I explained before, they are the detritus of venezuela’s society.

      • If I had 1$ for everytime I heard someone lament :” If only the English had colonized Venezuela instead of the Spanish….” I’d be a rich man.

        More excuses….

        • How about “If only MPJ or Pinochet had ruled Venezuela instead of Chavismo for 20 years!”

          Narco-Kleptozuela would be even better than Chile today.

      • Early 50’s? You obviously have no idea of what you’re talking about. The place was barely built by 1957, MPJ soon left, and the buildings were invaded and fucked up right away by our.. oh so civilized “bravo-pueblo”.. under the following MUDs, getting worse through the years. Under MPJ the place would have been clean, orderly, you can bet your Claps on that.

        “La urbanización “2 de Diciembre” fue concebida en el año de 1955, con un presupuesto estimado para su etapa inicial de 101.920.000.00 bolívares ( BANCO OBRERO: 1957). Se construyeron 9.176 apartamentos en un total de 38 súperbloques de 15 pisos y 42 bloques pequeños, en las tres etapas y los tres sectores respectivamente, así como 17 kindergartens, 8 guarderías, 25 edificios de comercios, 5 escuelas primarias, 2 mercados y 2 centros cívicos para una población aproximada de 60 mil habitantes.

        Estos grupos de vivienda fueron diferenciados de la siguiente manera:

        Edificio Tipo A: Son súperbloques de 15 pisos con 150 apartamentos, 5 escaleras clasificadas de la letra A hasta la F, 2 ascensores y 3 corredores ubicados en los pisos 4, 8 y 12.

        Edificio Tipo B: Son súperbloques “dobles“, con 300 apartamentos, 10 escaleras de la letra A hasta la J, 4 ascensores con 3 corredores ubicados en los pisos 4, 8 y 12.

        Edificio Tipo C: Son súperbloques “Triples“, con 450 apartamentos, 15 escaleras que van desde la letra A hasta la Q, y 6 ascensores.

        Bloques pequeños: Bloques o edificios de 4 pisos con 24 apartamentos y 2 escaleras.

        En lo que respecta a su concepción administrativa, al Banco Obrero le correspondió la construcción de las viviendas, a la Gobernación del Distrito Federal la dotación de los terrenos, al Instituto Nacional de Obras Públicas, (INOS) el abastecimiento de agua, y al Ministerio de Educación (ME) las escuelas.

        En un principio la Urbanización 2 de Diciembre fue concebida para los antiguos habitantes del sector, con quienes se planteó negociar los apartamentos, en operación de compra-venta. Sin embargo, a partir de los sucesos del 23 de Enero de 1958, cuando el pueblo venezolano junto a un sector de las Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales derrocan la dictadura de Marcos Pérez Jiménez, muchos habitantes de los barrios del Oeste invaden los apartamentos de la Unidad Residencial 2 de Diciembre que estaban en vías de ser adjudicados.”

        Do a bit of research before talking crap, will you?

        • “A principios de la década de 1950, bajo el gobierno del General Marcos Pérez Jiménez, se construyó una Unidad de Vivienda de apartamentos diseñada por el arquitecto Guido Bermúdez sobre el modelo de “Cité Radieuse” Swiss Le Corbusier, también utilizada e”n la Unidad Vivienda Tlatelolco (México) con apartamentos que otorgado a la población de clase media y baja de Caracas. Inicialmente se llamaría “Urbanización 2 de diciembre” (en conmemoración del golpe de estado de Marcos Pérez Jiménez). Sin embargo, el nombre actual fue asignado por su sucesor, Rómulo Betancourt, con la fecha del 23 de enero (23 de enero) en conmemoración del derrocamiento del general y el inicio de la democracia en Venezuela.:

          My brother-in-law was born in 1952 in Caracas in 23 de enero. I guess you would then consider his birth as crap and that he doesn’t exist. That would be big news to his wife, sister, and his children.

          • Vas a seguir porfiando?

            Seriously, don’t be so lazy, study shit before you talk so much crap.

            “Antes de ser una parroquia, el 23 de Enero fue una urbanización proyectada por Marcos Pérez Jiménez, a finales de la década de los 50, cuyo nombre era “2 de Diciembre”. El terreno destinado a esta urbanización estaba habitado por las primeras barriadas caraqueñas de escasos recursos, cuyos pobladores provenían mayoritariamente del interior del país. Para construir, el régimen ordenó el desalojo por la fuerza de todas esas personas.

            Con el terreno ya desocupado, en la Urbanización “2 de Diciembre” se construyeron 9.176 apartamentos en un total de 38 superbloques (de 150, 300 y450 apartamentos) de 15 pisos y 42 bloques pequeños, así como 17 jardines de infancia, 8 guarderías, 25 edificios de comercios, 5 escuelas primarias, 2 mercados y 2 centros cívicos para una población aproximada de 60 mil habitantes.

            Al ser derrocado Pérez Jiménez, el 23 de enero de 1958, los apartamentos aún no habían sido vendidos ni adjudicados, con lo cual más de 4.000 apartamentos fueron invadidos, comenzando así la historia rebelde de esta parroquia, que adoptó como nombre la fecha de tan importante gesta popular.”


          • And tell your brother-in-law MPJ was in office less than five years, in the LATE 50’2, NOT “early 50’s” as you keep saying, from April 19, 1953 to January 23rd, 1958. The spanking brand new building were not even occupied yet when he left. They were occupied and destroyed in the years AFTER he was gone. Cappicce?

            La Unidad Residencial 2 de Diciembre se construye en los antiguos barrios y sectores pertenecientes a las Parroquias Sucre y Catedral. Así tenemos que en 1955, los barrios Monte Piedad, Colombia y las Canarias ubicadas dentro de la Parroquia Catedral, son demolidos para dar paso a la construcción de la primera etapa de la urbanización 2 de Diciembre (sector Este).

            Luego en 1956, en el sector de la Cañada de la Iglesia son demolidos los barrios San José, La Palestina y La Yerbera, construyéndose allí la segunda etapa (sector Central); la tercera etapa se levantará a partir de la destrucción de los barrios San Luis, Barrio Nuevo, Puerto Rico y 18 de Octubre en 1957 (sector Oeste y Terraza H).

          • Don’t be offended, Sr. Pedro Jose.

            Cada loco con su tema, como ud ya puede apreciar.

            Menos mal que MPJ se murió hace tiempo. El “Poeta” ya le hubiera dado un hijo si estuviera vivo.

        • Que paso Pedro Jose? Entendiste por fin, le explicaste a tu cuñado? O como los Chavistas, cuando ya no les gusta se van..

          • Roberto N …. En realidad, no estoy ofendido. Tengo mucho tiempo leyendo CC, así que tomo nota de que poeta pendejo y su putas les gustan a planchar los pelotas de la gente. Entonses de vez en cuando, me divierto pinchando este puerco

        • Admit you were utterly WRONG, PJ, en vez de huir insultando como carajita regañada. Escribiste aqui, y repetiste varias veces tus barbaridades:

          “23 de Enero (or as it was originally called “Urbanization December 2” by Pérez Jiménez) was a shit hole long before AD/Copey & MUD. My wife’s family lived their when they first moved to Caracas from Los Andes in the early 1950’s. They moved out to east Caracas as soon as they could before any family members were murdered. My mother-in-law told stories of gun fire and having to frequently run with her children while dodging bullets from local thugs during their time in 23 de Enero and that was the early 1950’s!.”

          Early 50’s huh? The building were barely built months ago before MPJ was kicked out, VERY LATE 50’s and were not even occupied when he left. They were destroyed during the subsequent “democracies”. Clearly. face the Historic FACTS, admit you were dead wrong, grow up.

          • BTW, aprende a escribir en Castellano. Nuestro “pueblo” escribe con menor errores que tu, animalito.

  10. Loved your post Carlos. I used to live near Plaza Venezuela and went for a regular run around there, and the effect was always like an obstacle course, though not yet totally post-apocalyptic. The giant, shifting sidewalk concrete iceberg floes on Libertador were a particular challenge. Whatever the dangers or hazards (again, within the normal range of not normal, at that time) it helped maintain some mental equilibrium.

    The picture of the birds is just remarkable. Is that photoshop?

  11. I read CC almost daily, and my only connection to Venezuela is through my ex-pat wife. I ask her questions from time to time… there are Venezuela colloquialisms that I am not familiar with that I need explaining. Some geographical reference, or some sort of Venezuela “insider” stuff I am unfamiliar with.

    She doesn’t understand why I invest myself in all of this. She tells me that she is now entirely apathetic about Venezuela. She is a US citizen (since our wedding in the 1980’s), her children are American, and everyone (family) she cares about is no longer in Venezuela. She does have friends from her girls school days that remain, but for the most part she is either entirely apathetic to what is going on, or she is somewhat schadenfreude-ish. “Venezuela is getting what it deserves” kind of stuff… especially when she hears stories about Chavista loyalists who bitch about hardships brought on by Chavismo.

    I guess I don’t know why I care. I am a bit of a political junkie, I suppose. I chose Venezuela to follow closely, just because I have been there more times than any other country. I found most of the people very pleasant and the countryside beautiful. A lot of countries are that way, though.

    What I don’t understand is the cultural mentality of fucking over your neighbor (theft), which I have witnessed myself while visiting . (It isn’t just Venezuela, BTW). While the United States has embraced the ethos of individuality and self sufficiency (at least away from the East and West coasts), we actually make a point of not only being nice to our neighbors, but helping them out. We recently had a new neighbor move in. We introduced ourselves, the lad and I started unloading the trailer as more neighbors started showing up and unloading… the wives all started cooking and unpacking the kitchen… it was great. Two entire U-Haul trucks were empty in an hour and 30 minutes. My wife said “This never happens in Venezuela”.

    I don’t know if its just her experience, or she is angry/bitter. Maybe it didn’t happen where she grew up. I can’t imagine the world being that much different from middle American suburbia. Either way, my wife refuses to read CC because it causes some kind of hurt feelings or anger about Venezuela. She certainly has nothing against CC.

    • I’ve seen this in my part of the US too, Venezuelans who pretty much “le hicieron la cruz” (made the sign of the cross) on their country and choose not to look back. To the point of answering in English when you talk to them in Spanish.

      The fact that you do care is admirable.
      Folks sometimes need to turn their backs on something in order to move forward and this may be so in your wife’s case.

      I was born in the US, but entered Venezuela when I was weeks old and never really left. Physically I left “por ahora” in ’99. Venezuela matters to me greatly, not just because of my Maracucha wife, my Valenciana and Caraqueña daughters. But because regardless of my passport, to me it is still my home, warts and all.

    • “While the United States has embraced the ethos of individuality and self sufficiency (at least away from the East and West coasts)…”

      Historian Frederick Jackson Turner in his “Frontier Thesis” (1893) theorized that the frontier was a process that transformed Europeans into a new people, the Americans, whose values focused on equality, democracy, and optimism, as well as individualism and self-reliance (paraphrased from Wikipedia).

      Sadly this unique cultural is little understood by many (“they cling to their guns and their religion”) and relentlessly attacked and ridiculed, both abroad and here at home (“basket of deplorables”), by those who consider themselves to be the intellectual elite. Rugged individualism is the antithesis of socialism, and puts “those who know best” out of business. It is therefor a character trait that has to go.

      • “To ride, shoot straight, and speak the truth-
        This was the ancient law of youth.
        Old times are past, old days done;
        But the law runs true,
        O little son!”

        This old poem will strike a chord with some, but most will think it outdated and simple-minded. What a shame.

      • @ Lorenzo….Amen brother. You have just described the mindset that still prevails here in middle of the U.S. We still believe deeply in the words of Thomas Jefferson: ” The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and is it’s natural manure”. That is why we can never allow ourselves to be disarmed by a government whether state or federal. Once a government is able to disarm it’s citizens it no longer has anything to fear from them.

        • I do not wish to presume, but I assume you also include that said arms should not be in the hands of nut jobs.

          Finding the fine line between freedom and obligation is not easy, but we should be able to come up with a better way than what we have now.

          • @ Robert N, I couldn’t agree with you more. A more stringent screening process is needed to filter out the mental cases without a doubt.

    • “What I don’t understand is the cultural mentality of fucking over your neighbor (theft), which I have witnessed myself while visiting.”

      ElGuapo, I’ve written about this subject a number of times here, but since my observations seemed to horrify one of our fellow posters who would then blast me for my inhumanity before looking for his safe space, I haven’t talked about it in a while.

      As you may know, I’m now a plantain tycoon, buying and selling the big green bastards for profit. I’ve even got the magic liquid you spray on those suckers to make them turn yellow more rapidly.

      It’s about a 30 minute drive for me to this very tiny pueblo where the guy hauls them from his farm up to his house, sorts and counts them, and then calls me with what he’s got avaiable. Last Sunday I was scheduled to pick up a group at midday. About half-way there I had a flat to fix. I called the woman to let her know what was going on and she said the guy had just called, asking if I was still coming, and telling her he needed to head back down to his farm later in the day.

      At that point I didn’t want to be on the road without a spare, especially with about 300 kilos of extra weight, so I’d already decided to head back to town to fix the flat instead of proceeding on to pick up my loot of big green bananas. I told her to call him and ask if I could make the trip the next day. When I arrived at the house she informs me I’ve got to make the trip NOW because “if he leaves the platanos on the table in his shed, they’ll be stolen during the night”.

      WTF? I’m telling you, this is a tiny pueblo. A tiny pueblo of farmers. The people there may not be eating much variety, but they’re not starving. There can’t be but a few hundred people there, tops, and I’ll bet if you ran their DNA, they’d all be almost identical matches……..that’s to say they’re all related to one another……they’re all family.

      Yet if this guy leaves 500 platanos in his shed overnight, they’re gone the next day. Who’s going to steal them? Malandros from Maturin who are spying on him waiting for just such an opportunity? To me, this is just one of the many significant obstacles I see to this country ever functioning as a normal society again. If one has no problem robbing his neighbor, probably his first cousin’s harvest, what’s the big deal about stealing from the owner of the farm who employs you, or the bank, or whoever it is that has more than you but is kind enough to allow you near his property?

      Yeah, part of that is cultural, but when you’ve got El Galatico himself telling kids it’s bad to be “wealthy” and okay to steal from those who have more than you, especially if you’re hungry, then part of it also rests squarely with the chavistas.

      • I don’t know what to make of it. Where did it come from? It certainly doesn’t affect everyone, as my wife’s family seems honest (enough). Though I do remember my in-laws talking about their neighbors who they “never trusted” and made sure that any time they got something nice for their home (new TV, furniture, appliances) they always tried to sneak it in late at night, so nobody in the neighborhood knew they got it. When they met the neighbors, it was always outside, and rarely did they let them into the house, which I found odd. The bars on the doors and windows was hard to fathom too. Working/middle class neighborhood.

        According to the Aunties, the really odd thing was that when something WAS stolen, everyone seemed to know about it, though nobody said how they knew about it. Hard to imagine an entire neighborhood of neighbors not looking each other in the eye…

        I don’t want to let this tome come off like I think everyone in Venezuela is a criminal. I don’t, as some of the most virtuous people I know I met in Venezuela. It’s just hard to imagine that things can be so culturally different from “fly-over country” in the States, especially when everyone just wants to do better than the previous generation.

        I wish things were better there.

        Good luck.

    • Of course, Tom and Roberto have not added a single, original word of wisdom regarding the Specific Issue at hand. Who has the CORRECT facts? Huh? Retards with their childish and useless ad hominems..

  12. Wonky thing about someone extolling the virtues of communism, they are no longer talking about the world today. At all. A web site just show me:

    The last five communist countries in the world are:

    People’s Republic of China
    Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
    Socialist Republic of Vietnam
    Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)
    Republic of Cuba

    While China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cuba officially claim to be communist states, the country that adheres most strictly to communist principles is North Korea. We know how safe and sane and comfortable it is there.

    In it’s original form, communism has long been dead.

    Communism was meant to spread around the world. But when the Chinese go to Africa, they aren’t taking communism. They are taking the market economy in one of its wildest forms. We are not talking about the expansionist communism of the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s any longer, anywhere in the world. That backfired handsomely, as it must.

    Someone rooting for communism these days is utterly clueless, rooting as they are for no separation of the judiciary and the state (meaning no laws in the strict sense), rampant corruption, brutal suppression of freedoms, limited to no human rights, etc. And at the top you will always find a few people who have all the rights, doing exactly what they want to sans checks and balances.

    Clearly, any present day advocate of communism believes the party line, with all its empty promises. And if there’s trash in the street it’s your fault.

    The main problem with communism – aside from the reasons just listed – is the transition out of it, and a shift back to (or the start of) a work-based economy, as opposed to a welfare state. That takes generations. Nations like Norway have aspects of socialism made possible by mega oil, a thriving market-based economy, a premium on freedom and human rights and a largely transparent government that is highly educated and disciplined.

  13. The _last_ thing that Venezuelans need is to hear about the gun situation in the US.

    The “good guys” in Venezuela aren’t the ones carrying guns.

    Just look at the murder statistics in Venezuela for 2016 and 2017. Colombia is paradise by comparison.

  14. @ RS, thats my point exactly! once the law abiding citizens of a country, any country, allow themselves to be disarmed then they are at the mercy of common street criminals just as you pointed out, not to mention the criminals running Venezuelan.

  15. It appears that the foreground flying creatures are more like Valkyries in size–maybe looking for Carlos/similar to take to Valhalla amongst so much human detritus? And, good luck with finding “nature trails” to jog in anywhere around San Felix, unless you mean human nature trails, where you have to dodge bullets, and not just dogs/garbage.

  16. Good article but it has 2 problems:

    1. What’s going on in Venezuela is hardly communism. Don’t get me wrong, communist regimes can be pretty terrible, but Venezuela just isn’t one of them.

    2. Zamuros are not a pest, they transmit no disease and clean up garbage that otherwise WOULD transmit disease. They are very effective at cleaning up the mess venezuelans leave behind. Although they thrive in our filthy cities, they produce only positive externalities. In other words, they are a massive blessing, not a problem and certainly not a pest by any definition.

    • “What’s going on in Venezuela is hardly communism.”

      In fact, yes, it’s even worse than a communist regime, Venezuela is a COLONY of a communist regime, which is MUCH worse.


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