Jeff also says, "In order to exchange money on the black market, you have to carry large amounts of cash around with you as you wait for someone to approach you to make the deal. Shark diving in a filet mignon wetsuit would probably be a safer idea. What further complicates the situation is that the currency inflates at a rate of around 40% per year "-
Although he appears to be trying to be funny, it also appears as if he is saying "If you want to change money on the black market, carry the cash around with you and at some point someone will approach you." This may be true in a few places, like the Caracas airport, Merida or Puerto La Cruz or parts of Margarita. However, in general, this is not the case. Also, the currency does not inflate around 40% per year. In the last few years the black market rate for the Bolivar (Venezuela's currency) has floated between about Bs3 and Bs6/$US. As I write, it is at Bs5.74/$US. The legal exchange rate is Bs2.15/$US. I think Jeff is confusing the value of the Bolivar with inflation. Inflation in Venezuela is quite high, around 30-40% (or more) for some articles or sectors of activity.
The same US-government website states:
"CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a US citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States."- Persons violating Venezuela's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned."- Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, regardless of where the offense occurs."
What was I saying about gringos before? Oh yes, if there exists no sign telling you, "Do Not--then the typical gringo is going to go ahead and do it. If the US government does not specify that sexual abuse of children is a crime, what would a USAer then assume? That sexual abuse of children is not a crime, that it is okay?
In Venezuela, as in most parts of the world, sexual abuse of children or women of any age is naturally considered a perversion (not because the law says it is a crime), and, as often happens in Venezuela in cases of rape, the perpetrator is lynched in public or in jail, as it should be. In general, Venezuelans, unlike gringos, do not need signs or laws in order to behave with common sense and basic human respect.
Jeff, also says, "And that was our final terrifying experience with Venezuelan authorities. But we managed to survive it without paying a 'tax' to this imbecile."
Here he is calling a Venezuelan National Guard (GN) an imbecile, simply because the GN held him and his gringo friend for about 15 minutes for questioning. According to Jeff, the GN did not understand that the copies of the passports which Jeff and his friend were carrying were valid IDs, according to Venezuelan law.
This really sickens me--who gives Jeff the funnyman the right to call a Venezuelan GN an imbecile? Is it because he is American? Does that give him the right to call anyone he wants an imbecile? Does USA "freedom" imply that he (or any other American) is "free" to call any non-American who is doing his or her national security job, imbeciles? "Freedom" to disrespect others and get drunk on a public bus (which probably had some children on as passengers)?
Should I be so "bold" and "free" as to call Jeff an imbecile because he couldn't figure out how to use ATMs in Venezuela? May I repeat the proposal that Jeff is an even bigger imbecile for assuming that it was because he was in Venezuela that he couldn't get money from the ATMs, while in fact it was because he just couldn't figure it out?
About the 15 "terrifying" minutes with the GN"- If Jeff the American only knew how badly US immigration officers treat most non-white people entering or passing through the USA. In 1987, I was held up at gunpoint by five US immigration officers and interrogated at gunpoint for about 4 hours because, according to them, I looked like an Arab. The boss even threatened to assassinate me. Like thousands more, I have been interrogated in the USA and in Canada by US and Canadian police and immigration people more times than anywhere else in the world--even if I was born in Canada.
Jeff also says some positive things about Venezuela:
"All in all, in my experience, Venezuelans are wonderful people with no major grudge against Americans "- Despite the warnings of violence, the American media's negative political slant on this country, and Hugo Chavez repeatedly calling us 'Capitalist Dogs,' Venezuela, thus far, is not nearly as bad as it's made out to be. Many watery Venezuelan beers have perished at our hands; many a delicious glass of Venezuelan rum has met its end in our gullets "- Venezuela is a beautiful country, with many wonderful people and incredible sights. However, the pistol-whipping kidnappers, eyeball-thieving murderers, and bribe-soliciting soldiers make it difficult for me to recommend tourism in this fine nation
The most positive thing Jeff says here is ""-make it difficult for me to recommend tourism in this fine nation "-"
The more we can dissuade disrespectful, "crazy, lunatic and imbecile" gringos from coming to Venezuela, the better.
I agree with that "crazy" Venezuelan Chavista "- "We are Venezuelan! We shouldn't let gringos on our buses!"
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).