Jan. 21, 2005 6:29 a.m.
The clock radio time was blinking on and off — 5:48. I wondered what country I was in. I had dreamed about Russia, and had called the U.S. I was in a hotel, and I felt safe, so I must be in the UK, but this was not the hotel I stayed in in the UK. I was about to turn on the light when it came to me: Venezuela.
We drove to a British cattle farm. Squatters had begun to build houses right in the middle of the farm. Local authorities were helping them. The term used by the cattle farm to describe the squatters was "invaders." One foreman had an overhead map of the farm that he spread out on the hood of our truck. He used his hand to show where the invasion began and how it had spread over the entire farm.
To get there we got up at 4 a.m. The fixer next to me was wide awake. His family had a rich history in the region. Despite the darkness he pointed out where various relatives once lived and described historical battles they had fought in.
Thanks for reporting on Venezuela. Give as many details as you can on conditions for the people, their "mood," and what Chavez has done to a once fine country. I spent extended stays in VZ on several occasions and found it warm, friendly, peaceful, safe, and pleasurable. What Chavez has done is a shame; the country has taken several steps backwards instead of continuing to move forward. Those against Bush's foreign policy which might prevent such disasters should travel more.
— John W. (Cincinnati, OH--formerly of Knoxville)
I can identify with your Caracas airport experience. I moved to Venezuela shortly after Chavez came into power, and was transferred out after the strike that tried to take him down 2 years ago. What was a beautiful, dynamic country on the verge of entering the 1st world ...has dropped below most 3rd world countries thanks to his revolution...very sad.
Dear Mr. Harrigan,
If you find yourself out by Puerto La Cruz - eastern coastal town, please feel free to come by for supper!
My husband and I have been here since November and boy do I miss FOX News! CNN International is a JOKE! Thank God for the internet and the FOX Web site.
— Jody (Puerto La Cruz, Edo. Anzoategui)
I am really enjoying reading your "blogs." You do a fantastic job reporting in all areas of the world, and present a very unbiased view of things.
— Gail (Overland Park, KS)
As an "old school" Tae Kwon Do instructor, I was amused by your descriptions of the Martial Arts Schools you were obviously ruling out for your niece. I admire your insight. I also enjoyed the occasional remarks about how the Martial Arts contributed to your own discipline and fortitude.
Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.