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beware the Guardia Nacional at Caracas airport

Dublin, Ireland
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beware the Guardia Nacional at Caracas airport

Maybe I could let you know of my experience at Caracas airport in late October 2010. I was flying home to Ireland via Madrid.

Intercepting me at the check-in queue, the Guardia Nacional subjected me to psychological abuse over a period of 2 hours. They took my passport. They aggressively searched my luggage. They poked me in the stomach and were unpleasant and threatening. After about an hour of misery, they drove me away from the airport in a van, accompanied by 4 of them, for a body scan; the plainclothes guy with them (he had a “Seguridad” on his sleeve) kept demanding bribes (which I eventually paid, being terrified). The four of them remained at close quarters while I had to strip to my underpants and socks for the scan. When, eventually, the x-ray showed clean, they argued with the radiographer in front of me. I had to pay for the scan and they made a big fuss of the fact that I'd no more Bolívares (having paid the airport tax; even when paying the tax they tried to get more money from me, lying about the correct amount). They even accused me of smoking marijuana purely to intimidate me further. It was a miserable experience to end an enjoyable stay in Venezuela. I felt totally humiliated.

At no stage was any English spoken despite my asking and my basic Spanish was inadequate for the experience.

Venezuela is a vey beautiful country and Caracas is an interesting city but be careful!

Caracas, Venezuela
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1. Re: beware the Guardia Nacional at Caracas airport

Sorry to hear about this.

They do tend to pick on younger people travelling alone. I would always recommend arriving at the airport as early as possible to check in for your flight incase they want to make further 'checks'. That said, it is very bad luck if it happens to you and still quite rare.

You may want to contact the Venezuelan Embassy in London (handles Ireland also) to make an official complaint about their conduct. However this is Venezuela and things are very different down here...

2. Re: beware the Guardia Nacional at Caracas airport

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