With this article, we are beginning a series decicated to the adventure of the World French Champion Yann Guyader in Venezuela. To recap, the French skater went to South America to train Venezuelan national team for the upcoming Inline Speed-Skating World Championships. At the moment he set foot in Venezuela, the death of Commander / President Hugo Chavez was announced ...
After 14 years at the head of Venezuela and multiple operations in Cuba, Hugo Chavez was swept away by cancer. This charismatic figure of South America was part of the lineage of Fidel Castro. Outstanding orator, he was able to mobilize the masses behind him.
After a failed coup in 1992 and a stint in prison, Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998 based on the votes of the lower classes. Hugo Chavez led a struggle against "Yankee" imperialism criticizing George Bush he called "the devil" or Hillary Clinton. He maintained close relationships with contested leaders such as Colonel Gaddafi (Libya), Ahmadinejad (Iran) or with Russia and China.Hugo Chavez has significantly reduced poverty in Venezuela, half turning back during his presidency. The country has the largest oil resources in all countries of OPEC. Black gold is 95% of Venezuelan exports. This manna is used to implement social policies. Despite great progress in terms of poverty, Venezuela is a country where insecurity is one of the highest in the world. The aircraft of Yann Guyader has landed in the heart of action ...
"As you have probably seen or heard on the news "El Comandante" Chavez passed away ... As you can imagine, this is CHAOS ... I do not know if the word is the most appropriate, but I could not ask for a better moment to arrive in Venezuela. In fact, I have the chance to live a historic moment at the global level.
I was aware very quickly when Fabian Arcila (President of the Venezuelan Federation of Skating) picked me up at the airport ... He had two pistols on him and a bulletproof vest. Suffice to say that it is not a game! We are thus left to my hotel in Caracas. But no sooner arrived there, the official death of Chavez was announced on TV. It was already in the air because in my arrival Fabian had warned me. So we decided to cancel the reservation at the hotel and to leave as soon as possible in the direction of "Las Mercedes" an exclusive area ofthe state of Miranda in the eastern suburbs of Caracas. It would have been too dangerous to stay at the hotel. The announcement of the death of Chavez is the effect of a wildfire, everyone honks and it's a surreal scene that I saw, there are traffic jams everywhere, we hear on the radio that riots has begun in poor neighborhoods, especially in Petare, the "Barrio" the largest and most dangerous district in Latin America.
After more than an hour stuck in traffic jams despite our rock'n'roll driving aboard our large U.S. SUV, we arrived safely in a suburb that seems dead. Everyone is cut at home to avoid confrontations. So here I am, safe in a house that looks more like a BUNKER than anything else.
As it that was not enough, I am learning that I shall fly to Cali (Colombia) on Tuesday to train the Venezuelan national team. The fate is well done :-)
This Venezuelan journey should not be as quiet as expected ...