The coming week will be my last on this journey to Venezuela. Its been a tremendous trip where I did not understand what the people said.. but did get everything that they meant! I met very friendly folks who many times went out of their way to help me.
On Saturday, I went to El Hatillo – a small quaint place with small European like crafts stores. That was followed with a Cable Car journey – definitely the most spectacular that I have ever undertaken – to top of Avila mountain. The cab driver (who took my to El Hatillo and to Avila) was a Trinidadian descent Venezuelan who does not speak English but is as vivacious as they come! HECK he did not even know what CRICKET was!!!! We bought some stuff and had coffee… admired good looking women without understanding each other!!
The view from Avila Magica (pronounced “Aveeela Mahica) was indeed MAGIC! Never have I missed my camera so much.. did not want to buy a disposable because it could not have captured the magic of the ocean beyond the slopes of Avila mountains with small European style houses lining the slopes… I know I will come back again to this beautiful country… perhaps when oil is not as important enough to the world to screw a paradise and lives of people by putting a mad man in charge of the house.
Another thing I have found to be of use is to be perceived as an Indian rather than a guy coming from US in this part of the world! Americans – as commented by almost every strangers and known friends here – are not really trusted. Strangely every night I get to see discussions on CNN about the WMDs – Lord Hutton report, David Kay’s resignation, and Bush’s rather hesitatingly expressed “confidence” that they still will be (somehow!) found! Needless to say, the trust of the world is gone. So are thousands of Iraqi civilian, their infrastructure, and at least at last count over 520 American citizens!
I also came to read this old article by Seymour M. Hersh – on how the administrations of Reagan to Clinton let Pakistan get the Nuclear weapons and proliferate them and lying continuously to the world and the Congress. How a brilliant, honest and hard working CIA analyst was pronounced a “National Security Threat” and made to rot! Reading through this article and Barlow’s dilemmas I am reminded of a quote by an accomplished American (probably Mark Twain or Ben Franklin) “What is morally incorrect can never be politically correct”! Should one day a terrorist use a nuke, we know why and how that came about – despite the “Oh my God” response of the administration of the day!
Well, I will let the world take care of itself while I enjoy a day off in a distant land until I return back to Houston next Sunday!