Venezuela – Final Thoughts

Posted: June 2, 2011 in Venezuela

I have to admit that before entering Venezuela, I had mixed feelings about it’s safety and what I might see. I sure didn’t expect to find this…

It’s a country that most nations want for it’s black gold and therefore just like kindergarden kids bash the hell out of it’s politics and everything else they can find on it. Although it’s not a perfect system since there is no such thing on this planet, Venezuela has created a stress free environment for it’s inhabitants. Media from “developed” countries will teach you that happiness relies in wanting more and being able to buy more. Hugo Chávez, the “crazy” president of Venezuela has taken a different approach to “happiness”. Take some of those billions of dollars coming in from Black Gold and create a certain standard of living for everyone, not just the billion dollar publicly traded oil companies.

Venezuela
– has natural beauties that can’t be described with pictures or words

– has the lowest gas prices in the world at around 1.5 US cents a litre for the 95 octane gasoline… GVT subsidized

– has some of the lowest water and electricity prices as well… GVT subsidized

– has free healthcare. Some might argue of how reliable it is, but I haven’t seen any hospitals with 24 hour line-ups in the emergency rooms and I have seen lots of ambulances and hospitals everywhere

– free college and university… meaning that you wont start off your 30s with a 100 000$ debt from studies

– amazing roads… best maintenance I have seen for the roads and there were paved roads even in places I would’n have expected so, especially in the mountains

– Affordable housing. You can buy an apartment or a small house in most places for 5000-10 000$. This means no 30 year mortgage to be stressed about. I’d say that over 90% of people in Venezuela own their homes and everything else out right. Just think about how your life would change if you had no debt? 😉

– Security… this of course is arguable. In most places, if you leave your stuff unattended, it could disappear. Then again, a few cars got broken into on my street in Canada, I had a car broken into twice in the US and another one stolen in the US right in front of my appt window. As for violence, you will mainly find it in large cities closer to the Atlantic and of course the capital Caracas which you should stay away from. The mountains are safe and so are the cities in the mountains. Security is not much different than most other countries…

– Some of the nicest people! I was invited by more than one person I had just met to stay over at their place. What are the chances of that happening in Canada or the US? I was also treated for free food on more than one occasion from places selling food on the street… wait a minute, the people from a “poor” country treating the “rich gringo” to free food?! In Canada or the US, if you visit someone chances are you wont even get a hot dog, let alone someone selling food on the street saying “I just met you but breakfast is on me” 😀

Now I’m not going to compare the above to the US cause that would just be a joke when talking about free health care, the bare minimum a “rich” country should provide to it’s citizens, let alone free education…

But if we look at countries like Canada, where the oil and other riches are taken from under the feet of it’s citizens while the government subsidizes with BILLIONS the large corporations doing so and enslaving it’s citizens to large lifetime debt, it makes you rethink everything you know about what a happy country is? US and Canadian pharmaceutical companies make billions off off stress relief and depression pills while people in Venezuela will look at you wondering what you’re talking about when you say depression…

BTW… just a note to think about… in Marketing you might learn that people dealing with depression are some of the best consumers and the number 1 impulse buyers… 😉

I have talked to a many people from Venezuela and most are dreaming about the “American Dream”, the one they see on Satellite or Cable TV. I have also talked to many who have been to the US, Europe or Canada and have returned to Venezuela. This is what they have to say: “The people of Venezuela don’t know what they have.”

If you’re backpacking through South America, visit Venezuela, and if you don’t have too much time, at least take a few days into the Venezuelan Mountains… and most important of all, don’t believe what people who haven’t visited this beautiful country have to say about it…

A quick note and edit: Venezuela is also a country with opened trade borders where you can find anything you would find in other countries, from the latest electronics and house ware to the latest cars and motorcycles. I met people who thought of Venezuela as a dictatorship country with closed borders where products are limited. You can buy the latest gadget and everything you can imagine and can afford. You will see just as many new American and Japanese cars in Venezuela as in other countries… most of which I can’t afford back home.

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Comments
  1. Steve says:

    Awesome post! I’d love to get down there one day. What was the general opinion on Americans? Did you hear of any Americans having problems with anything down there given the current political environment? I could see the border and govt. officials being more unpleasant for us.
    Be safe!

    • pimptrix says:

      I have an American buddy who’s also riding a motorcycle down and he crossed only a few days after I did. He said that the officials were really nice and professional. You have to remember that there are actually quite a few Americans down in Venezuela sent by the petroleum companies to run the rigs. I haven’t met any but I know how petroleum companies send their man from local training to other countries they do business with. Either way, I haven’t heard anyone having any problems in venezuela with officials other than a few cops expecting bribes… which I didn’t encounter. Police would actually wave me by giving me the thumbs up and never checked my paperwork.

      From talking to locals that go back and fourth between US and Venezuela, the only problems they have are usually at the US borders with lots of questioning, but when they return with US stamps and US visas, no questions are asked on the Venezuelan side.

      If you decide visit Venezuela, let me know and I can give you some pointers. I would suggest renting a car instead of relying on the bus system, especially since you’ll only pay the car rental fee and gas wont cost you more than 5$ for a month worth of driving.

      Cheers,
      Pimptrix

  2. Ocean says:

    Thanks so much for this writing. So refreshing to hear a true observation of freedom “under” socialism – which is actually the ideal form of government, serving the people!

    I reposted this to my facebook, with the following comment.

    Peace,
    Ocean (the biker guy who kept you up by snoring all night at the Pidgeon Point Lighthouse – sorry 😦

    ______

    My post on http://facebook.com/fireworksvenue :

    My motorbiking buddy has some cogent observations of a socialist country to the south, one GB tried to overthrow with the CIA very recently, one where their “dictator” is loved and has raised the standard of living for all the citizens, not just making handouts to multinationals… Read on!

    • pimptrix says:

      Haha, how have things been? Thinking of riding another long trip any time soon? One of my buddies is riding his bicycle from Alaska down to Argentina… and the funny thing is that it’s taking me just as long with my moto as it’s taking him with his bicycle.

      On the facebook write-up, maybe a quick note which I guess I didn’t quite make clear in my post… Most of the people in Venezuela don’t actually like their “dictator”. There is a lot of talk about corruption up in the ranks. All these countries have illegal corruption and once publicized by the media, it’s pretty easy to change people’s views on a certain person or a group of people. What they don’t realize is what their share is out of this corruption and that illegal corruption actually has limits set by the fear of getting caught. They have no idea about the legal corruption going on in the other nations that they so much dream about living in and the fact that legal corruption has no limit as it’s backed by lawyers and corporations writing laws for their own advantage.

      Cheers buddy!
      Pimptrix

  3. Vlad says:

    My dear “socialist” friend, with these ideas, I think you have just earned yourself a place on the no-fly list and lifetime CRA audits.

    Are you sure that $15 is buying 1000 litres of premium gas?

    Then drug trafficants are really stupid, they should switch to gas exports.

    • pimptrix says:

      Yes, 1.5 cents a litre give or take a penny. And gas trafficking is actually really big between Venezuela and Colombia. They buy it there for 1.5 cents and sell it in Colombia for 50cents to 1$ a litre. You can see a bunch of people selling gas on the side of the road in Colombia by the gallon or by the 6 gallon jerry can. 🙂

  4. Pablo says:

    Its difficult to understand a country environment and behavior with a few days visit, most of the things you`re writing are true, some others are just plain view of a more complex problem. Actually we are dealing with many major problems, among them personal security, 15000 Venezuelan dies every year victims of violent crimes (Not including death from illness and car accidents). Yes, gas is quiet cheap, but everything else is extremely expensive. It´s not true you can get an apartment with 5 or 10 grands, we have a lack of 2 million homes, and most of apartment government is building are just a mirage. Taking 3, 4 and 5 years to build, and promoted each year as a new achievement. Buying a car is almost impossible, not because you don´t have the money, there´s almost no production nor import.
    There is no such a thing like the “American dreams”, same with Venezuela, Twenty first century socialism (as Chavez like to call his system) is just a fraud.

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