147 thoughts on “Got coke?

  1. Does the Comando Venezuela or the Capriles campaign has any plan of restoring security on the border and how to deal with the huge FARC-Drug-Army problem?


  2. Someone was asking me the other day was Capriles’ main problem would be if he were elected. The first thing that came to mind, more than economic, social, or political issues, was this one. Dealing with a narcostate can paralyze an administration, and can handicap any other efforts in any other fronts. Dealing with this has to be priority No. 1. It’s do or die.

    Good article from Neuman. He’s on a roll.


    • I agree. For the last two decades I have periodically spent time in a quiet rural area in Mexico, the last place you’d expect masked federal agents with assault rifles riding around in armoured vehicles and severed heads rolling around. This year, there suddenly appeared the military, and the severed head reports. And the local businesses were changing hands or shutting down because people were coming around now asking for payments.

      A similar thing is going on in rural venezuela, for a long time, apparently not completely under the radar (see the NYT story), but pretty much. Not so much severed heads, though sometimes dumped bodies on the roadside, but if the area becomes contested, there will be this sort of thing.

      This is what is coming to communities in Caracas if it is not already there now, because this spreads like a cancer, and it spreads everywhere.

      I think north american governments have to grow up and start being realistic about the nature of this beast and how effectively to deal with it. And I think supporters of the current regime in venezuela also need to understand who and what it is that they are supporting.


    • It will be inevitable for a new government to sign an agreement with Colombia to allow their armed forces to enter Venezuelan territory and do their job given the situation ours are in. So far, Colombia has been much more successful in taking over territories formerly operated by FARC than dismantling the organization itself, hence the facts the map is displaying. Should a purge of our armed forces be favorable, they’ll be transiting a weakened state which is going to hinder them from being effective in their restored role and inevitably a lot of our government budget will have to be spent in accomplishing this. The social agenda Capriles is selling will be affected, so he must make preparations in advance to cope with it or he’ll face more social dissatisfaction —the context Chavismo likes to take advantage of. Yet we ought not to be unsettled and nervous. Besides winning the election, we first have to know who Capriles appoints to key positions to take a stance.


      • Yes, the people in charge of “fighting” the FARC in venezuela have a strange habit of, how to put it mildly, straying from the task at hand (pays well, obscure military postings on the colombian border…).


  3. Silver lining, though: what the cool map in Neuman’s article shows is that the problem is Apure. I guess that’s better than if the problem were spread all across the country.


    • Its not just Apure. Its Barinas. Its the government. Its the military. Good for the NYTimes for doing this story. These people are not just moving coke. They are terrorizing a population.


    • It is spread all across the country. You can find men in dark glasses, with gold chains and Colombian accents, on the beach at San Juan de las Galdonas in the northeastern state of Sucre … and they’re not on holiday. The map only shows the air routes north. It doesn’t touch on the other half of the trade, that often goes by land, sea or river, and it takes no account of the increasingly massive flow across the Atlantic, especially via West Africa, into Europe and elsewhere. If a government comes to power that is committed to combating organised crime, the likely result is low-intensity warfare. It’s also worth bearing in mind .. just to complicate the issue .. that the real problem is prohibition, which will ultimately have to be abandoned. The ‘drugs war’ is unwinnable and totally counter-productive.


      • On that note, here’s a description, in a recent decision written by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, on the “consumption” end of the issue (“DTES” is an area in downtown Vancouver, Canada):

        “While some affordable housing is available in the DTES, living conditions there would shock many Canadians. The DTES is one of the few places where Vancouver’s poorest people, crippled by disability and addiction, can afford to live. Twenty percent of its population is homeless. Of those who are not homeless, many live in squalid conditions in single-room occupancy hotels. Residents of single-room occupancy hotels live with little in the way of security, privacy or hygienic facilities. The residents of one building often have to share a single bathroom. Single-room occupancy hotels are commonly infested with bedbugs and rats. Existence is bleak.

        [9] A survey of approximately 1,000 drug users living in the DTES was presented to the federal Minister of Health in a 2008 report (Vancouver’s INSITE service and other Supervised injection sites: What has been learned from research? — Final report of the Expert Advisory Committee, March 31, 2008 (online)), and summarized by the trial judge at para. 16 of his reasons (2008 BCSC 661, 85 B.C.L.R. (4th) 89). Generally, he found that:

        • those surveyed had been injecting drugs for an average of 15 years;

        • the majority (51%) inject heroin and 32% inject cocaine;

        • 87% are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 17% with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);

        • 18% are Aboriginal;

        • 20% are homeless and many more live in single resident rooms;

        • 80% have been incarcerated;

        • 38% are involved in the sex trade;

        • 21% are using methadone; and

        • 59% reported a non-fatal overdose in their lifetime.

        [10] For injection drug users, the nature of addiction makes for a desperate and dangerous existence. Aside from the dangers of the drugs themselves, addicts are vulnerable to a host of other life-threatening practices. Although many users are educated about safe practices, the need for an immediate fix or the fear of police discovering and confiscating drugs can override even ingrained safety habits. Addicts share needles, inject hurriedly in alleyways and dissolve heroin in dirty puddle water before injecting it into their veins. In these back alleyways, users who overdose are often alone and far from medical help. Shared needles transmit HIV and hepatitis C. Unsanitary conditions result in infections. Missing a vein in the rush to inject can mean the development of abscesses. Not taking adequate time to prepare can result in mistakes in measuring proper amounts of the substance being injected. It is not uncommon for injection drug users to develop dangerous infections or endocarditis. These dangers are exacerbated by the fact that injection drug users are a historically marginalized population that has been difficult to bring within the reach of health care providers.”

        So yes, the war on drugs is not working, on either the production or the consumption end. It is just killing people faster.


          • “They ALSO COLLECT old age security, guaranteed income supplement, housing perks and line up for their legal daily smack needs.”

            I guess that’s a compelling economic argument for killing them faster.

            On the “economic analysis” of dealing with addiction, aside from the extermination pitch, which I grant is probably the cheapest solution, I’d point out that addicts can be a pain in the ass but nevertheless productive and relatively harmless to others (if not themselves) if they are not forced by the law to spend all of their time and resources feeding their addiction. Check out an itunes playlist, fashion runway, medical office, legislature or theatre near you. Those are just the addicts we love and admire. Check out the alcoholics in your family (every family has them)- most of them live to a relatively ripe old age, and perhaps even retire with honours, no? Same thing, its just that they can do it legally.

            You sound like a friend of mine, so don’t take it personally. Do I want to pay for addicts? Of course not. Am I going to pay for it- one way or another?- yes. Put all the cops, high priced prosecutors, high-tech military outfits and jails out there that you may want, pummel the latin american countries which produce the stuff with all the chemicals and hardware you want, this problem is not going away. Thank god for CC so I can rattle on like this…


      • Please limit your argument to your immediate circle –
        Re: Check out the alcoholics in your family (every family has them)-

        Opinions and off the cuff preconceived value judgements still won’t hide the fact that Canadians look at people as HUMANS, and have tried to HUMANIZE the less fortunate in their society.

        Please leave your mud slinging in the gutter.


        • DId not mean to accuse you of having an alcoholic in your family, particularly if you find the suggestion distressing. My apologies. The phrase “legal daily smack needs” suggested to me another kind of intolerance, but I misjudged.

          Other correction: prosecutors in Canada are actually not-so-high-priced, but they are still expensive for us to be paying them to spend their time going after what the law often requires them to go after.


      • Agree with everything excepts last part. The u.s. can win against cocaine if they devote the assets I.e. militarize even more. Would like to see v22 ospreys used in Hispaniola. You can stop the flights given enough resources. The blow will just move eastwards


          • I agree its wrong. But if you frame drugs principally as a crime prevention problem, it completely makes sense. That’s why it reflects the prevailing view in el norte.


          • Excuse me, you do not live in the U.S. nor are you privy to what is really going on. Shit you just made the link between army and coke. So instead of resorting to Chavistas shoot the messenger tactics, please explain your comment


      • Couldn’t agree more. Venezuelan traffickers, not Colombians, blew open West Africa as a coke trade route, and recent U.N. drug data (too tired to find the reference) attribute up to 70% of Europe’s cocaine moving out from Venezuela.


  4. I learned a lot reading this article. I always thought the army’s complicity was largely about moving coke from the border to Puerto Cabello/Maiquetía, so it could be smuggled out among the cargo. Turns out the coke doesn’t get very far into Venezuela before it flies out again.

    But that begs the question: all that coke that’s microtrafficked in every barrio in the country gets there how again!? Is that a different trafficking route? Or an offshoot of the same one?


    • There’s myriad of trafficking routes and these transnational networks are seldom a one-organisation operation. It’s been quite a while since the Pablo Escobar-era’s over; now trafficking is atomised and, thus, more effective against repressive policies.

      Here’s a great report on the issue from 2008. The section dedicated to Venezuela is from page 11 to 13…so it’s worth a read.


    • “But that begs the question: all that coke that’s microtrafficked in every barrio in the country gets there how again!?”

      FARC’s bribes to the Venezuelan military are paid with coke, not with money. Remember that those who send the coke aren’t the same ones who get the cash for it (they carry lots of coke, but little money), so it’s easier for them to pay all the bribes they need to pay in their way to the airport by giving the soldiers a piece of the cargo. The Venezuelan military then sells the coke to the malandros who then sell it on the barrios. Most of the “drug busts” that occur are just the military’s way to get back the coke they just sold so they can sell it again (or because they got double-crossed by the malandros).


  5. It would be very interesting to know more about the trend in domestic drug use. Most of the information on this area focuses on the international market. Correct me if I am wrong but from what I have seen, the venezuelan press generally stays away from this issue. Understandably.


    • Thing is this increase of cocaine trafficking in the country is mostly the consequence of regional/international dynamics (atomisation of trafficking networks, balloon effect, recrudescence of repressive policies in Colombia, US accent on Caribbean patrolling, etc.). Venezuela is not a big consumer of cocaine compared to its ‘richer’ regional neighbours and, in general, cocaine-consumption in the region seems to have reached a plateau.


      • Sorry, I forgot to mention that the ‘sub-optimal’ (if we are to stick with the century-old prohibitionist paradigm) national policies are also a big player. Traffickers are just turning to ‘easier’ routes.


      • My impression is that venezuelans in these rural areas are very conservative in their attitudes about drug use, even if they live cheek to jowl with the FARC and enjoy their narcocorrido music. Maybe that’s what you are looking for in a good transit point ;)


        • Also, I wouldn’t expect these populations to have the means to buy a drug that’s considerably expensive.


  6. We have been infected. By the same illness that almost killed Colombia.

    Thanks Hugo! To the Armed Forces you fostered and to your pals in the frontier.

    One can only hope that the worlds will get common sense and end the Drug Wars before Venezuela suffers further. I was going to say “becomes another casualty”, but it seems that with crime as it is we are already a casualty.


  7. So we agree the military takes coke in Apure to protect the flights. This goes up to generals some known. Thus the question, who do the generals report to on drugs? Big bro Adan.


  8. Problems of NOT living in Venezuela:

    Take a trip to Península de Paria, my image of paradise (hope I die there, ans soon!). Really and actually. Really. Quite quite little boats to Trinidad & Tobago.Funny trips. Pescadores, you know? They get drugs to Trinidad & Tobago. Guys, get real: “Venezuela es otra”. Muy otra. Colombia “exported” the traffic here. Thanks to Chávez.

    Paria is quite away from Apure, JC. Do you have to check the map? The “alijos” get there under protection of one of the two “official” cartels… and by official I mean, yes, Military. The Guardia Nacional Bolivariana. That’s NOT a problem that you, as CC (Comando Capriles should be your real TAG, by the way) will solve with smiles and goodwill and faith in democratic processes. No, JC. And those guys, hey, they do send drugs, big time, to T&T. La “Guardia Nacional Bolivariana” handles it. Period. Wanted to move there, it is really cheap, but… Caracas, this hell. is better. I know where I am.

    You ALL, and you know it, live in First World realities. You do political tourism as the WORST of the CAVIAR LEFT. Assume it. You DO NOT use the METRO, nor drive a “carro por puesto”. You belong to first world realities. You, if you were honest with yourselves, with thank your gods and keep silent. For a very long time. A very long time.

    Dudes; ALL the Venezuelan coast is a “free port” for drug traffic. Even in Paria you hear Colombian “Vallenatos”. Ask for a Polo Margariteño,or a traditional Malagueña, and maybe you’ll find an old man that has a memory of that beautiful, traditional, music (which, have I to tell you, is the core of national identity). No one else but the oldest do remember. The waiters in the “posadas” offer pot for free (yupi, I got some!), ’cause their “bros’s” money comes from dealing with heavier things.

    That’s about the size of it. “Apure”. Laugh. Sigh.

    Oh, yeah! Capriles can win. What will he do with that, dude? Wave his wand? Against the Chinese and the Russsians that own PDVSA? No help from the USA? Actually you believe that?

    Iranians have control of a port in Paraguaná. Research.

    After dining Italian or Chinese, research, dear JC.

    In Paria, the “business” is handled by the “Guardia Nacional Bolivariana”. That is ALL the Venezuelan coast. A long one. A very long one. The “Boss” tells the guards to go left, when the drug is coming from the right. Or viceversa.

    Will you wake from from your First World dream, darling? Or will you see that Venezuela has been sold to China and Russia and whatever?

    Please, stop the nonsense.

    The way out of this mess is NOT winning the next election. That, to quote Churchill, is (let’s hope) the end of the beginning. The start will take, at least, ten years. Of course, you’ll be writing your opinions (rightly) from Chile or Maryland or Hong Kong.

    Flowers in the garden are fine. I favour jasmines. In your dinner plate, they are bitter. Very, very bitter. Quite so. If you don’t have to eat them for your only dinner.

    Best regards.



    • Thank you for your expertise in comeflorismo, nemo.

      Before any more of your pulpit lashings, do keep mind that millions of Venezuelans don’t use the metro. And taking a carrito por puesto is more expensive than taking the bus. For the record, since you’re in assumption mode .. I have taken both modes of transportation during my infrequent visits over the years — not something that I need to wear as a badge of honour, as do those who wear jasmine perfume. I just prefer the metro to the fumes on street level. No big deal.

      Otra cosa .. what cerebral gusano in your head tells you all who come here are from caviar left, let alone the worst of it? Did a jasmine petal land in your soup this evening?

      Get off that cloud, missy.

      As far I know, no one that frequents this blog, nor others like it, is under the delusion that a quick turnaround is possible. That is, assuming a Capriles win. Most folks who have deep ties to Vzla — whether they be on tierra patria, or far away — by necessity or choice, have a sufficient idea ‘como son las cosas’. Most know that the blueprint for chaos and damages existed pre-Chávez. They became so pervasive, so extensive over the following 14-year mandate that any turnaround will likely take much more than 10 years, ceteris paribus.

      I do hope for a Capriles win, because his vision is ample, inclusive and mature. No jasmine petals in his soup. Know what I mean, dear?


      • Syd:

        You are sooo right. 80% of Venezuelans use public transportation. The “OIL SUBSIDE” is for the rest… 20%. Of course, 80% are not millions. They are killed just by thousands.

        “The death of a man is a tragedy. The death of a million is just statistics”.

        Remember who said that, Syd?


    • Nemo,

      My intuition tells me that you are making sense- I am so amazingly saddened to hear it though.

      My Venezuelan family is Oriental, mostly from outside of Carupano ( El Pilar. Los Aroyos, Tunapuui) and I have family in Guiria and El Tigre .I know what you mean when you speak of the music, as it was always the center of life in those parts.I learned to play cuatro in the late 60’s and it became part of my soul, especially the golpes orientales and local town songs like ” Cuando El Bobo se Enamora ” or “Coro ,Coro, Coro, Mero, Mero, Mero” etc .The locals were for the most part naive, simple, joyful and extremely musical.Now,
      a paradise is being destroyed by greed.
      Outside other people’s dimensions there is a lot happening that one can be so totally unaware of.

      I believe that what is going on is way worse and more entrenched that what many would like to believe, and that it will probably take a more energetic attitude and lots of outside help to end it .We need outside help because it is an outside problem as well as an inside one.Do I have to spell that one out?

      It is true I am living in a first world reality since 2002, but so many of my family members are stuck there, including my daughter…so while the suffering is not exactly the same, it is still powerful.

      do not ( including one of my daughters).I know the suffering is not the same, but it is still


    • Nemo. Thanks for your words…

      they make my heart feel like lead, you have your truth, and we have ours.

      I can but answer you, with a few stolen verses –

      Pa’ una ciudad del norte
      Yo me fui a trabajar

      dime tu porque te trato yo tan bien 
      cuando tu me hablas como un cabron 
      gitana mia ! 
      mi corazito està sufriendo 
      gitana mia por favor 
      sufriendo mal nutricion 
      tu me estas dando mala vida 
      cada dia se la traga mi corazon ! 


      Por fin vuelvo de nuevo, hogar querido,
      lejos de ti cuánto fui desdichado,
      lo que puede sufrir se lo he sufrido,
      lo que puede llorar se lo he llorado.

      Nemo wrote: You ALL, and you know it, live in First World realities. You do political tourism as the WORST of the CAVIAR LEFT. Assume it. You DO NOT use the METRO, nor drive a “carro por puesto”. You belong to first world realities. You, if you were honest with yourselves, with thank your gods and keep silent. For a very long time. A very long time.


    • A short walk from where I live you could see an area you probably would not recognize as a First World reality. It is not a house or a street block- it is a large community. One of the things that shapes the reality of that community is crack cocaine. The issues of the third world and the first world are often related. People I am close to in your world suffer because that cocaine has to be brought here from Colombia, which then is converted into a poison used by people in my world, who I see every day on my middle class first world white-picket-fence streets going through garbage as a means of survival.

      Sometimes, as in the case of this New York Times story, an outsider is able to shed light on a situation that, for a whole number of reasons, a local person can’t, won’t or should not. I don’t care where the author (and his team) is from- it was the truth, and I think it is important that the story was published. I think CC also deserves support for what it does. They do some “translation” between these worlds, which are not always so far apart, and (when I don’t disagree with them at least ;)) they shed some light.


  9. El Chigüire bipolar? Ese site donde TODO es banal? No te culpo, GHA. En Venezuela, todo depende del petróleo…. incluso tu “humor”, soportado por “papi”.

    Esto no es un país: es una forma de salir de él. Keep me posted!


  10. haw you have taken the Metro, dear? Last time you got your Gerontium? God!

    Come, live, smell, sniff, live!

    And sepen me your First World shit!


  11. I reallly get going with these “so called” Caracas Chronicles that don’t even know Caracas anymore. Just memories. Like you. Sorry. I, living in Caracas, have got a better right to get MY GOAT than you…

    Haven’t I, Syd, dear?

    Shouldn’t you be happy in Canada?

    Anyhow, you have to take control of your hormones before yor grow hair around yor nipples, don’t you think, my dear? Not so sexy.

    Best regards!



  12. Syd:

    How long since you visited Caracas, dear? 20 years? I’ll take ypu for a tour… on the “civilized” part. If you can get out of the “Old Citizens city”.


  13. Sorry for the aggession, dear Syd. You started the sarcasm. The godesess ans gods know I’,m pretty good at it!


  14. Niña que bordas la blanca tela,
    niña que bordas la blanca tela,
    niña que tejes en tu telar…
    bórdame un mapa de Venezuela
    y un pañuelito para llorar…
    y un pañuelito para llorar.


  15. Syd:

    INfrequent is the key word of your post. Your word, not mine. Take the Metro next Monday, on “hora pico”. Write later.


    • Take the subway in Tokyo. Take the subway in New York. Take the subway in Toronto. All during rush hour. But oh no, the Caracas metro is INSUFFERABLE ‘en hora pico’. Suggestion: Take a pill to calm down, before you enter this blog, so that you may enjoy, rather than become enraged, by the differences of opinion, from those in Venezuela and from those who live outside it. This comment area is a communion of sorts. And yes, there are fantasists and tongue lashers, alike. But most who gather here enjoy communicating. May you, too, without having to let us know how much more venezuelan you are than the venezuelans.


    • pobrecita. you have no clue how deep my roots go in Venezuela. But if you need to incompletely label people, or draw attention to the hairs on their nipples (coño, eso lo hace una del manicomio), or wish them dead (ditto), or let us all know how venezuelan you are and how you suffer so, then I do agree with your statement, below. You should stick to watching TV. This is a political blog where most people know enough to reason in a political vein and provide backup or some sort credibility to their statements.


      • See how sexist YOU are, Syd, my dear? I don’t mind being feminized, but, as long as my “rants” are “sentimental”, you assume I’m a woman! And I don’t even need a (Canadian provided) cane!


  16. Nemo:

    What you describe it’s not news to us living abroad, believe it or not. We all have family, parents, siblings and friends living in Venezuela, and they all, like you are suffering.

    Your bitterness as a result of living in the middle of the shit pile is understandable too.

    What I can’t take is that you take for granted that we are all eating caviar, driving our jaguars around and laughing at the venezuelan reality from afar. That, at least for most of us, is an absolute lie.

    How many times have you had to clean the left over shit from a dirty toilet as part of your volunteer duties, so your kid can participate in a sport program? Or even participate in any volunteer job at all just for the well being of your community?

    How many times you had to shovel a meter of heavy snow at 6 in the morning out of your walk way so you can make it to the bus station, walking at -25C, so you can get to work or take the kids to school in the middle if a blizzard? For your information, people here DO that. They don’t stop because it’s raining, like in Caracas.

    How many times you have been laid off work, without any prestaciones or utilities or benefits nor explanation from your employer, but maybe just a month worth of severance payment?

    Nemo, go f..k a cow.

    PS. : Regarding this blog, how about you start one and you go into the effort of researching and informing us ignorants if you really know what’s going on? Of course not. Let other do it and just criticize them.


  17. I finally got it, Syd. Sorry for the delay (poor slow me!). This is just entertainment. Will stuck to the TV in the future. It’s better, don`’t you think?


  18. Carolina:

    Fucking a cow? WOW! Good idea… if you find one in a country where finding just a piece on meat is quite a job.

    Have you ever been out of job for three years, dear?

    I have.

    I wrote “CAVIAR LEFT”. Research what that means. And learn to read with attetion. It’s good, you know? One can understand better.

    And the .. (should be … three) to substitute swearing is just so XIX Century as queen Victoria, dear.


  19. Carolina:

    I know you don`t laugh from afar. But you, certainly, have some assurances in your life… like winter. Here, you go to work and you don’t know if you are coming back. And if you DO come back, you don’t know if the TV will be there.


    • Nemo, with all due respect, I think you are displacing your anger.those who really deserve it are Chavez , annd the people who directly or indirectly support him.maybe you disagree with many of us, but we are not the enemy…sorry if my typing is even worse than usual, this I pad drives me crazy.


  20. I’m just expecting to read how the owners of this “site” (it’s no longer a blog, as I understand) “spin” things when Chávez win. I honestly expect “que el sapo ese reviente antes”.


  21. “Flee from the country where a single man holds all the power: it is a country of slaves.” Simón Bolívar

    Most of you fled already. Maybe that’s the core of my anger: I can’t!


    • I understand your frustration but beleive me nemo , many of us who fled suffer a lot….it,s never good to compare one,s suffering with someone else’s….a friend of mine who lives in Caracas often falls into resentment as well…he says he feels like the last man standing in a battle, as he watches everyone leave, one by one….. anger might be honest, but it can still be displaced.keep us informed of what you observe…get your message out there …you might help enlighten.


  22. Yes, Nemo, we got the message loud and clear.
    You are the poor suffering victim,
    no one is willing the share your pain,
    you are in a dead end, sin salidas.
    You can’t make the best of what you’ve got,
    You need to lash out, etc, etc,


  23. No, Doris. You are the victim of thinking that Venezuela is a “nation”, which it isn’t. Oil keeps and will keep us afloat. I stand where I am: NOT in the Club Hípico. Good luck to the horse. Won’t bet on it, dear.

    OT: Do you know that “Doris” means “gift” as in panDORA?


    I’m generous.


    • So go shovel it instead of ranting and complaining so much or attacking those who have left, just because you can’t.
      And before you go ahead with your bitterness, I did my share of shit shoveling for many years working for my country, until the situation jeopardized the safety of my children. There I decided between the country and my kids. And that was BEFORE Chavez.


  24. Last time I drove through Apure on my way to Puerto Ayacucho -beautiful trip by the way- , I remember there were checkpoints everywhere. I think that was in 1998. Soldiers armed to the teeth were present every 20 or so km’s. I wonder if those checkpoints still exist. Has anybody droiven through that part of the country lately? Are security forces still present in good numbers?


          • She’s the real deal, as we say up here. Is it a full Moon or what? I’m confessing to derek walcott in drag.


            • Good for you. Derek Walcott. Good god! THAT’S A POET! (no irony or sarcasm here: one of his poems “Love After Love”, is pinned on my door. If her female version is your mother in law… well, you are in for a deep ride, friend.


              • pour ne pas sentir l’horrible fardeau du temps qui brise vos epaules et vous penche vers la terre, il faut vous enivrer sans treve. In other words, as they say in England: cheers.


  25. Ja ja ja! 14 years ago? You’ll surely meet narcoguerrillas, and would have your Semitic (Arabic) aswers ready! Keep walking!


    • Nemo,

      Okay.That’s it.

      I have tried to understand and agree on some of your points.I have tried to explain why it is not proper to take out your anger on this blog.Other people have done the same, yet you continue uselessly.

      Have you thought out where it is you want to go with this?

      Define that for me, or from now on out, I will consider you a troll, and simply not answer you any more .

      I do not talk to trolls.


  26. Mrs. Carolina (de Quiensea):

    The battle is here… not wherever you are. No matter how many shovels of snow and shit you do! Criticism is good for the mind, don’t you think?


    • De nadie. Yo soy de mi misma y de nadie mas.

      Nemo, your envy is not letting you see that the battles are everywhere, all the time. The enemies are different, that’s true, but it’s up to us to find a way to fight them and sometimes, pick them. It’s called LIFE. It’s true that Venezuela is going through the worst moment of its modern history and honest venezuelans are struggling to survive. It’s also true that Capriles, if he wins, won’t be able to fix it quickly as the damage is too big. I know all that.

      But my question to you is what are YOU doing about it? Sitting and crying and complaining and blaming on others, and envying those that found a way? Uh?

      My take is that, if you ever have the opportunity to leave, you won’t make it either. Emigrating is a very tough experience, and it’s obvious that you don’t have what it takes, here or there or anywhere.

      Good luck.


      • Envy? What’s there to envy, dear? Cleaning toilets? Maduro surely shits turds harder than you have ever cleaned! Not to talk about hos ex: Cilia Flores!


  27. Firepigette:

    I’m not a Troll, though I can be one. One of the worst kind, because I agree with alot on this site.

    I’m an Elf, if you have read “The lord of the rings” or “Remembrance of things past”, or “Quinx” (“the Avignon Quintet”) or “His Dark Materials”, or “The notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge”, or the complete works of William Makepeace Thackeray, or the COMPLETE diaries of Virginia Woolf, or… “The Illiad”… or… Jung’s “The Red Book”… or…

    wow… sorry

    The list will take longer than a real troll…

    your choice, dear. Do as you like. Me sigue sonando la “Malagueña salerosa” en la totuma que tengo por cabeza…

    In this site, every subject is dealt with lightly. No real contact with Venezuelan life. JC for instance, discovered two months ago (I’m being generous) that Miguel Henrique Otero (“Bobolongo”) divorced Carmen Ramia THREE years ago. Way to get informed, don’t you think?

    That’s the point.

    Reality? Go figure.

    This blog is written in English with what the owners “discover”, between meals, on the Internet.

    So, if you decide I’m a troll, let it be. I won’t stop being who I am, dear.

    Your bid!


  28. Well this whole thread turned rather surreal very quickly.

    On a more serious note: Although it’s pretty disturbing for a Venezuelan to see how many narco flights originate in the country, it’s even more disturbing as a Honduran to see how many of these flights land in that Central American nation. I sometimes wonder how much Chavez’s 14-year permanence has helped drug trafficking. There’s no need to make new contacts or new elites to buy off every four years, they’ve been in power so long everyone knows who to do business with. No wonder Chavez doesn’t cooperate with the DEA, it would seriously undercut business.


    • agree on the surreal. some folks should be on serious medication, whether or not they’re chavista poseurs, batshit crazy about 7O. And poseurs are those who cry a river, yet have the comfortable means to be ‘jodiendo’ electronically, while claiming importance over some stupid ‘chisme’. Qué gentuza.

      I, too, would like to know more, say, with statistics, over the 14-year growth of the drug trade. I’d also like to see flight tracking from the coca leaf origins to Apure. En fin, this article by Wm Neuman is just a tease. I’m hungry for more data!


      • Nice reference to Joni Mitchell… The only Canadian in the music hall of fame, as fas an my Alzheimer goues. II prefer “Both Sides Now”. Aren’t we getting older nicely, Syd?


  29. Syd, the only really good figures would be from the DEA, and they’re usually not talking. I believe that some 50% or more of the coke going to the U.S./Europe is trans-shipped through Venezuela. The increase has been exponential since the U.S. and Colombia began collaborating some years ago. It isn’t obviously just Apure, it’s the Goajira, Falcon to Aruba/Curacao, ports in Maracaibo/Pto. Cabello/La Guaira including some PDVSA vessels, Cigarettes from El Oriente to Margarita (can outrun the GN easily), small peneros to other Islands, etc. etc.. Captured shipments are either payback, get-back, for non-payment of peaje, or just for show.


  30. See, seedy Syd? Statistics are just “numbers”. Get your walking stick and measure the shit by yourself, dear!


  31. Another point: 24%? 50% was my calculation, a ojo de buen cubero. Drug goes along from Zulia to sucre… 24 % is just such a little number… Another problem. What will HCR do about it without half the population calling him “intervencionista”?

    Ain’t as easy as in Canada, Syd


  32. El peo en Venezuela, si Chávez gana, va a ser de esos que hacen la fortuna de bobos como Jon Lee Anderson. Si no, también. Así se bate el “cobre” (por el verbo) en el mundo. No soy yo el que le pone jazmines a la sopa. Es que tú no comes otra cosa (entiendo que tienes el estómago delicado!)


  33. Got it Canuclehead. Cheers is what we get…

    Even from these guys who think they have “credibility” after supporting the “sifrino” we’ll all want win”

    Crediblity, actually? After two weeks here?


  34. Sorry for that; Firepigette no se traduce así:


    Winnie the Pooh: Piglet.

    Don’t know where te fire comes in!


  35. I agree that many people on this blog are lost.I agree with you there.Why do I think that? I would rather not say, but here I agree with you.But everyone is entitled to an opinion in a democracy.Most people here want to see Venezuela improve.They want to see Chavez gone.Most people have good intentions. and that should count for something.

    Now, I really think that in order to converse with others on this blog it is best to do it in as polite a manner as possible.If someone insults you for your ideas, makes childish comments like ” sigh, sigh ” , etc – then they are the ones “trolling”, not you.When we treat each other roughly a real conversation becomes impossible.

    Getting sarcastic, making silly insults, fighting uselessly with others does not add to the understanding you more than likely wish to impart.

    There will be people who will insult you for being different, but don’t let them insult them for something you actually did wrong.Being different is not a crime.

    PS.My name was chosen on a whim.I happened to be reading about the Chinese Year of the ‘Firepig’ on the internet when I decided to comment on Daniel’s blog, and I really had Zero investment in the name or any other name I might have chosen instead.I kept it over the years just to be consistent with my comments, and no, it doesn’t describe me.Pigs are far more innocent, pudgy, and hungry than I am.I take very good care of myself.But the ‘ette’ part is correct – I am a woman.


    • Oh, brother.

      Speak for yourself, FP. If you’re lost in your airy nirvana, that’s understandable, evident, and OK. But don’t assume with your *intuition* that most people on this blog are “lost”. Your need to speak for others, when you have no clue about them, is insulting.

      What an idiot. Really. Oh, and “I do not talk to trolls.” Right.


    • Yep. re: Pigs are far more innocent,….
      Wibbly Pig adventures are a perennial favourite in our household.


  36. FT, I’m impressed with your housekeeping. A very important article and you cannot control and then criticize a well-meaning and true comment with ignorance. You obviously are clueless about American counter narcotics efforts past present and future. FYI, it’s the US military holding your countries problems at bay. Without them we are all fucked. And if your boy does not become president don’t ask for US help to clean your house which is full of corrupt drug dealing military –


  37. Doris, still smoking the bazuco pipe? Some respect for the men and women who are fighting on the front lines. This is military solution Quico. Here’s a primer sans Venezuela:


    Four part series:


    Quico, if you think your boy Capriles “we don’t want any involvment from Washington” is going to take power, I have some new for you. Will get back to you after the elections to rub it in your face


  38. I think some comment moderating mechanism needs to come back. This thread is full of pointless replies and insults.


    • John, you’re right, but the real problem is the morphing Troll, or perhaps tag-teaming Trolls, trying to contaminate/discredit this Blog and its Bloggers (recently based on their ex-pat status), in order to try and bolster Chavez’s waning chances of winning, and to justify his win if its fraudulent. The main targets of the Troll(s) are the international readers of this Blog who really don’t know the reality of the horrors of the Venezuelan situation and its disastrous economic reality. It’s a real testimony to the importance of this Blog to the Chavez Left that they dedicate so much time and effort to it; remember, they are paid saboteurs, and the typical Blog commentator here is simply volunteering his information in search of the truth. It’s virtually impossible to moderate/screen the Troll(s) due to the plethora of fake names/avatars used. I recommend that the serious commentators on this Blog simply ignore the obvious Trolls, although I personally enjoy responding to it/them satirically when they become too ridiculous.


      • I understand the troll problem, I’m a long time reader. It’s just that there used to be a way to vote up or down comments and the less regarded ones would be hidden, you’d have to click on them to see them. It helped to keep the thread manageable.


      • I wonder if there’s a mechanism that forbids one to change their name/email, without permission.

        That goes for trolls and non-trolls alike, who think they’re fooling people by switching, after they get pummeled with a few tomatoes, following some outrageous comment. It happens.

        Most people that frequent these blogs do so in earnest. The need to ‘acudir’ will be intensified as we near 7O. It’s unfortunate that the experience of community is marred by those wtihout the courage to at least stick to one name/avatar.


        • Syd, fur once, was write… Had to bee seriusly medicated. Hy blood presure, mild ACV. Came from hosp. yestrday. Heel tere, beeelieve, recovering use off right hand slow. Schit.Fucking bloddy paralaisis… Peinfull effort. High tension! Stupid too drinck brandi as remedy. Rests doctors say. Will. Stoopidities expleinable, he said. Sorry for all blindness and controless. Plis forgive insult. Good reedance, off de otter hand.


      • A few thoughts on this troll thing:

        1) Hard as it may be, and lord knows I’ve succumbed before, you simply have to ignore trolls. Responding to them only encourages them and also deviates the discussion into LA-LA Land. 90% of “international” readers that find their way to this blog can recognize trolls, this is not the first blog or forum they visit. For true newbies, reading through the rest of the comments will suffice to let them know who is sane, and who is not.

        2) The authors of a blog have a couple of options when it comes to dealing with trolls They can either eliminate comments, which can be time consuming as well as an attack on freedom of expression, or they can let them stand and put the onus on the readers to ignore/not respond and let the troll extinguish itself. TO each his own, each blogger decides.

        3) John: The reason Quico and JC and GEHA took down the comments points system (I think) was that some idiot with absolutely nothing better to do figured out a way to vote multiple times on the same comment, so that a guy like Kepler, for example, had 46 thumbs down on all his comments because some douche simply doesn’t like him. The experimental “hide by importance and popularity” feature they tried out could have led to groupthink and hidden contrary, legit, points of view, which is why IMO they abandoned it. But you can ask them privately if you want.

        NET: Responding to GAC/Arturo/ etc is useless. They know what they know and believe what they believe and nothoing that you or I or anyone else commenting on this blog is going to change that. The only thing that will change them is when reality slaps them upside the head and they are forced to acknowledge the futility of their beliefs. Troll acknowledgement only drives serious readers and commenters away and this is why trolls do what they do. Tilting your lance at their windmills only serves them, not you or the rest of us.


        • FYIY, the older comment rating/hiding system John refers to brought a million practical difficulties with it – it just wasn’t very stable or adaptable and it was easy to game. It would’ve cost thousands of dollars in programmer time to really fine-tune it, thousands of dollars I don’t have, so…

          Over time, I’ve learned to treat trolling like the weather. Most of the time it’s ok, but often it’s obnoxious and sporadically it becomes catastrophic. But just like weather catastrophes, major trolling outbreaks tend to clear themselves out with time.


        • That was funny: the umpteen negatives on Kepler, to the point that Kep began by ‘saludando’ the thumbs-down-malandro.


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