I had an girlfriend back in the early 70's. Her parents moved to Venezuela for work so the next Christmas I flew down there with the live caged chickens (on the plane). All I can say is that Venezuela was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. I remember driving North to the beaches at Maiquetia and buying empanadas out of oil drum stoves. The beaches had names like Mobil and Esso and if you looked hard you could see derricks way out in the water. Going out to dinner in Caracas was strange for an upstate NY boy in that there were guards toting machine guns all over the place. Still celebrating Christmas in South America (a very sad tree) was magical. But then, I guess that's all over now. Maybe, just maybe it'll come back someday.