Photo: FyA Tour

Quick question: what happens first if you contract yellow fever, do you die or get deported?

I’m gonna tell you a secret: passports in Venezuela are paid with dollars, in cash. Wanna get your papers or, say, your criminal records? Get ready for a bribe. As in all red States, poverty and bureaucracy turn corruption into a way of life. You can either embrace it, or get nothing done, and that’s how an entire society turns into a network of accomplices.

The new flavor of this disease? The issuance of yellow fever vaccine international certificates.

In Anzoátegui, there are no vaccines for yellow fever at any of the authorized healthcare centers, so I think you can see what the process is like if you need to travel abroad, and that little requirement is ruining your show.

“Son, you wasted your trip. There are no vaccines here, let alone certificates.”

Looking for more information about this, I went to the Felipe Guevara Rojas Central Hospital in El Tigre where, upon arrival, a thin lady with a pencil told me that “son, you wasted your trip. There are no vaccines here, let alone certificates.” The place hasn’t had any vaccines since December. Last January, they received 15, not enough to cover the demand, and many people were left out after spending the night in line.

The Angulo Rivas Hospital, in Anaco, is in the same situation. A nurse who asked to remain anonymous told me that the delivery of certificates had been suspended due to “a mafia.” If it’s known that this “mafia” exists, is suspending deliveries the best way to fight it?

I don’t know if the Health Ministry’s indifference is born out of incompetence or as a platform for business, because some patients with whom I talked to that morning told me about an alleged private laboratory in Anaco that sells certificates.

She says, straight up, not checking for any info on who I might be, that I had to transfer Bs. 700,000 and send her the info to be displayed on the certificate.

Desperate because you need to travel and there are no vaccines?

Find a contact. But let me tell you: it ain’t easy. I got a lady’s phone number in Barcelona who, by the way, it was explained to me, “hands you the certificate in a matter of hours.” I call her and she says, straight up, not checking for any info on who I might be, that I had to transfer Bs. 700,000 and send her the info to be displayed on the certificate. It’d be ready that very afternoon.

Nervous and curious, I went the following day to the agreed place for the certificate. There I stand, waiting under the sun in an ominous corner near Barcelona’s Municipal Cemetery, of all places, at the Pedro Maria Freites Avenue. She arrived, and I could immediately tell she was nervous too. We didn’t talk much; she handed me the certificate sealed by Anzoátegui’s Health Institute (Saludanz) and, with an authorized signature from that entity, valid until 2028 (10 years from now, deceiving international authorities), it had the issue date space in blank, so I could write it myself days before the trip.

Thank you very much, it was a pleasure, goodbye. As easy as that.

The “mafia” is, then, real. Much more dangerous than the actual mosquito carrier.

The “mafia” is, then, real. Much more dangerous than the actual mosquito carrier, uncaring about the possibility of someone contracting the fever and spreading it here or abroad. While last year, many monkeys were ignorantly slaughtered in Sao Paulo for carrying the virus, in Venezuela, there are very organized groups who don’t really mind about creating a public health issue at an international scale.

How is this even possible and why doesn’t the State act against them? You tell me, dear reader.

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  1. “A nurse who asked to remain anonymous told me that the delivery of certificates had been suspended due to “a mafia.””

    I call BULLSHIT. If this “nurse” wants to remain anonymous, all the while spouting the Chavista party line about unseen mafias causing problems for the virtuous pueblo peoples, then she ought to be proud to have her name bandied about.

    iViva la Revolucion!

  2. It is depressing that your first reference is dated 1982. The Soviet empire disintegrated in the early 1990’s. You would think Russians would learn something from such a grand failure and clean up their act. Instead they seem hellbent on recreating the evil empire in all its glory, with an ex KGB as a leader, exporting international crime, subversion, and corruption whenever and wherever they can. It is as if after three generations of Marxism (or their versions thereof), and the resulting degradation of all societal norms, it is the only thing they know how to do.

    Let’s hope it isn’t too late for Venezuela.

    • Well, Putin has something on his favor that all the URSS bureucracy didn’t.

      People can eat three times a day now and live from their work.

  3. In the 1990 what used to happen was the following: You need at least 2 -3 days for the vaccine to have effect, before you can travel. If you were traveling to Brazil, and you didn’t have a certificate, what the authorities would do was t vaccinate you in an office in the airport, and put a date 2 – 3 days before, but at least you got a vaccine …

  4. I live by a couple (expat Russians) and sadly, what was written in the WaPo story is very very close to the truth, according to this couple.

    The entire culture revolves around thievery. Any opportunity to gouge or pilfer is never wasted. Late to work, early to leave and disappearances from the job (whereabouts unknown) were as common as breathing air. While most Americans might pilfer some pencils or Sticky Notes from work, Russians have no qualms about walking out the door with anything they can carry or cart off. And good luck with any low level government jobsworth, who won’t get off their ass to do their job without first getting their palm greased. They laughed when I told them about waiting in line at the local DMV… such a thing in Russia is unheard of.

    First off, there is no such thing as a queue, only a mad crush. Waiting your turn? Pfft! Only amateurs do that!

    Secondly, nothing (NOTHING) gets done until the paperwork (rubles) are exchanged. Only then are the fees paid. They got the biggest laugh out of the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode… because THAT is the type of person who populates the lowest rungs of Russian bureaucracy. No bribe? “NO DOCUMENTS FOR YOU!” They don’t even hide it.

    But, apparently the apathy and dismissive attitude that goes along with being a low level government jobsworth in the US is a worldwide phenomenon.

    As far as Putin? Apparently, Russians love bombast and bravado. Even fake bravado. Everyone from the last Tsar to the current despot was awash with it. They know their leadership is full of shit, but they love it.

    • Difference with Venezuela: “They know their leadership is full of shit, but they have to eat it”–or, get shot, jailed, tortured.

  5. No matter how much failure of their philosophy they observe first hand, leftists continue to cling to their pseudo-religion (and talking points).

  6. “I’m gonna tell you a secret: passports in Venezuela are paid with dollars, in cash.”

    I don’t think “secret” means what you think it means.

    Good article. A great topic for a follow up article: Do other countries recognize and accept “as true” documents obtained in Venezuela? What happens if you show up at US immigration/customs at MIA and flash one of these?

      • Pilkunnussija, I was wondering if you could clarify if the wording of the Barclays report, that you mentioned a day or two ago, was definitive or not. Not that regime finances are solid but if that agreement was not renewed it is huge news that I have not seen reported definitively elsewhere. TIA.

        • Alejandro Arreaza at Barclays wrote: “At the same time that production is declining, the number of barrels that do not generate cash for the government could be increasing. With production in freefall and given the current uncertain political climate, China’s disbursing significantly large financing remains unlikely. It has been reported that China has not extended the grace period on loans to the Venezuelan government, which would reduce cash generation by about 30%, so that Venezuela will either default on China debt or be forced to bring non-oil imports close to zero.”

          • Thanks for that reply, hopefully John sees this and runs the numbers. My guesstimate is PSUV is running just in the black at the moment but with 200,000 less barrels/, coming soon, will be losing money. When this happens, I hate to think about the repercussions. Even doubling fuel prices will not help because some portion will still be smuggled across borders.

  7. It’s very easy to get a certificate, you just need to turn up to your flight to Manaus with Avior at Maiquetia, where they will insist that Brazil requires the yellow fever certificate (this is a lie, you can check on the Brazilian health ministry’s website that it’s not required). You have a choice of mafias (taxi drivers or suitcase wrappers) who will get you to the clinic in Vargas, where on parting with $75 (no self respecting mafia accepts Bolívares of any variety anymore) you will get your undated vaccination certificate and be back in time to check in for your flight. It goes without saying that on arriving at Manaus nobody asks to see any sort of certificate. The author of the article needs to get with the program…


    Entry requirements

    A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is only required for travellers 9 months of age and older coming from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    The vaccination requirement is imposed by this country for protection against Yellow Fever since the principal mosquito vector Aedes aegypti is present in its territory.

    Last updated: May 14, 2018
    Recommendations for all travellers

    For your protection, vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older.

    Due to the current outbreak in in the states of Distrito Federal, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo, travellers who were vaccinated more than 10 years ago should consider an additional dose of Yellow Fever vaccine as a precaution. A single dose of Yellow Fever vaccine provides adequate protection for most travellers and under World Health Organization guidelines, countries cannot require travellers to receive a booster dose as a condition for entry. However, travellers going to or temporarily residing in areas with recently confirmed cases may be at increased risk if 10 years have lapsed since their last Yellow Fever vaccination. As such, a one-time booster dose is recommended.

    Travellers going to areas with recently confirmed cases (see above) and who have been advised against the Yellow Fever vaccine due to medical reasons should postpone travel to these areas. Meticulous anti-mosquito bite measures are essential for travel to other areas at risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

    Note: Areas not considered currently at risk of Yellow Fever transmission include Alagoas, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, and Sergipe.


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