|Why Oliver Stone’s ‘South of the Border’ Flopped South of the Border|
|Written by Ann McElhinney|
|Monday, 28 June 2010 00:04|
Just like Oliver Stone I have recently returned from a trip to Venezuela.
I have been a journalist in some pretty unusual places that have more than a few security issues. I have investigated some unsavory people in places such as Romania, Uzbekistan,Cambodia and Uganda. I went undercover in Indonesia and ended up ensuring that one particularly cruel and crooked mother and daughter team received lengthy jail sentences in the other Jakarta Hilton.
But out of all these places and scenarios I can honestly say that Caracas is the scariest place I have ever been.
It feels and is lawless. The people have the despair of those who know their lives should be better but are beaten down by the everyday misery of watching their savings and futures disappear. Murders and kidnappings are endemic. There is a small area of Caracas that is safe for foreigners during the day. At night you have to be careful everywhere. Poverty and high prices seem to increase along with the oil revenues that are kept or misspent by the government.
Whilst I was there Hugo Chavez, the country’s president, did one of his regular Sunday broadcasts. These 4 hour homages to himself are a feature of life in Venezuela, that and shortages of things like milk, bottled water and toilet paper. During the broadcast Chavez is seen walking through an old part of Caracas with the local mayor. His red-shirted entourage surround him. He points to a jewelry shop and asks what it is. When he is told he immediately shouts, Expropriate! Expropriate! He goes on to repeat this action on a number of other small jewelry shops in the area before moving on and reminding his audience of how great he is.
Read the rest of the story on Big Hollywood
McElhinney's opinion was also noted by The Washington Times