The political environment in Venezuela is unstable, and concerns about its economic viability are growing. No one knows what will happen in a year, perhaps longer, until the situation changes. More expatriates, including those who often brave tumult such as journalists and businesspersons, have left the country. Airlines and foreign companies have cut back on their local presence or ceased operations in the country altogether. Travel to Venezuela is inadvisable at this time.
I look forward to visiting Venezuela someday, but even a World Adventurer knows when they’re not welcome.
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As Venezuelans go to the polls in state elections, I’m reminded of an article that I wrote a decade ago called “Have a Rest, Sr. Presidente Chávez.” Ten years on, Venezuela’s economy has deteriorated considerably, and the country has grown politically unstable with the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) and opposition political parties fighting for control of the Venezuelan government.
My thoughts go out to those caught in the middle of a devastating impasse that has left millions of Venezuelans without sustenance and livelihoods, whose lives have been marred by escalating violence.
I pray that the outcome of this election will not trigger a new round of crackdowns and violence. Whether Venezuela has more crises in store or can find a peaceful resolution to its problems, one cannot tell. No matter what the outcome, may it bring the people of Venezuela much-needed relief.
Royalty-free image courtesy of GraphicStock.
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Macau is a place of contrasts. Macau, or Macao as it was better known when it was a Portuguese colony, is officially the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. Like its many names, the SAR is filled with more people, culture, and history than its small size suggests. Sitting on just 29.5 square kilometers (11.39 sq. miles) of land, some of it reclaimed from the Pearl River Delta, Macau has a population of more than 600,000 with a density of more than 18,500 people per square kilometer (48,000 per square mile). Although crowded, its denseness does not seem so much from its small footprint as from its rich and colorful history. The former colony still retains much of its Portuguese and indigenous Cantonese character but has grown more Chinese since its return to China in 1999. As the country’s only destination for legalized gambling, a Portuguese legacy dating back to the 1850s, Macau has become a tourist draw with its growing array of gambling and Las Vegas-style entertainment and conference venues. Nestled amid the grand casinos are neighborhoods steeped in colonial and traditional Chinese heritage. Like its sister across the delta in Hong Kong, Macau is worth highlighting as a semi-autonomous region because of its unique character and heritage.
More About Macau
Ruin of St. Paul’s Cathedral
A Skyline View of Macau
Taipu Village at Night