Caracas Does Not Believe in Pictures


Photo Feature by Caridad

HAVANA TIMES — Caracas is not a pretty city. The only thing that keeps people from going completely mad is the Waraira Repano (or Mount Avila) that hugs almost the entire extent of the capital.

A light rain is enough to flood the city’s streets and make them look like weeping virgins. If the rain gets a little stronger, mud-slides begin to affect the surrounding hills.

That said, this is the city I live and die to photograph.


When I say “die”, I am not just speaking metaphorically. I am always eager to take pictures everywhere, but taking pictures in this city can spell death these days. I may be exaggerating – it all really depends on luck and chance – and it may simply mean losing my camera forever.

I looked up the cities that are the most dangerous for photographers on Google. I don’t believe Google, or the people who put together statistics, care much about photographers. They only mention journalists or the most dangerous cities in general.

Caracas, of course, could not be left out of those statistics. According to several web-pages, the Venezuelan capital is among the most dangerous in Latin America.

It’s safe to assume that, in a city where stealing and having things stolen from you is like going shopping, where anyone can lose their life over a cell phone, or simply because (they kill you and then find out what you’re carrying, or they kill you if you look at them the wrong way, or if you fork over less than what they thought you had on you), walking down the street holding a camera could be suicidal.


So, even though I’ve learned other aspects of photography since leaving Cuba, I am starting to miss taking pictures of everyday life.

There is no municipality, parish or sector in the city where one can feel totally safe. You never know who might be watching you.

The worst part is that you can’t even trust the police or National Guard. In some cases, they are the ones you should worry about – not because they may shoot you, but because they could well take your photographic equipment with impunity.

Caracas is sad, and definitely does not like photographers.

Click on the thumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery. On your PC or laptop, you can use the directional arrows on the keyboard to move within the gallery. On cell phones use the keys on the screen.


Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

17 thoughts on “Caracas Does Not Believe in Pictures

  • The term “beggar nation” is a frequently-used term to describe those countries that rely on the charitable acts of wealthier countries. “Borrower nations”, like the US, have problems unique to indebtedness but depending upon charity, or as you suggest, toilet paper from family in Miami, is not one of those problems. By the way, Cuba does have national debt. Putin did not forgive all of the debt the deadbeat Castros owed, just $32 billion of it. Likewise, the Castros stole the property of businesspeople and landowners worth and estimated $7 billion that is still owed. Don’t drink the Castro Kool-Aid without thinking for yourself just a little.

  • If you want to be condescending and call an entire nation of Cuban’s beggars. but facts don’t support your position. Cuba has absolutely no national debt, and they have universal health care, and they are all housed.

    And for Americans? – you can lay out the per capita debt and so on. It would be obvious to an accountant who the real beggar is

  • “Why do we have to make toilet paper?”. Therein lies the problem. You don’t even realize what a beggar nation you have become. We call it being ‘self-sufficient’. By the way, in Miami, they really do sell toilet paper with Fidel’s photo on every square. It’s hilarious. The more moringa you eat, the more toilet paper you need.

  • Why do we have to make toilet paper?. We have enough of it coming from our friends in Miami delivered by plane. Now if that dang American embargo is lifted!, oh boy oh boy..will we will be able to use a few extra squares than we have to ration ourselves to. But till such a time, we have enough of your comments to wipe ourselves with, or hopefully with your photo printed on it would be nice too. Dreams do come true!, Thank you!

  • I take that to mean that your Castro revolution is still struggling to make enough real toilet paper to meet the needs of the Cuban people.

  • Toilet paper? – LOL since you asked, why I just print your comments and use that, very absorbent.

  • Twice.

  • How many times have you been to Caracas ?

  • The nature of Caracas is beautiful. But unfortunately the writer is right about crime, carrying an expensive camera is just asking for it.

  • I was responding to a previous comment. You Castro trolls amuse me. How’s the toilet paper situation in Havana these days?

  • Not true, a any slum in Caracas would make the worst US ghetto look like Disneyland.

  • Moses if you want to talk about how great the United States is, go do it somewhere else that is meant for discussions on United States. Fox TV perhaps?, This is Havana Times for discussing Cuban and Havana issues.

  • Simply not true. So far, there are no neighborhoods in the US, where the local police do not go because of the organized crime groups. In Caracas, this is the case. Street crime in the US is on the decline. Crime is at record highs in Venezuela and increasing. In fact, Venezuela is among the countries with the highest murder rates in the world. Your anti-US feelings may bias your preferences but the facts are the facts.

  • Caracas is Caracas, even all this, heres nothing like home

  • Many US cities have worse problems. I have been to Caracas ( I like it and will be traveling there again soon) and many areas in Venezuela. I am in Mérida, Venezuela now after crossing the border at Cúcuta, Colombia and traveling by bus through many small towns and cities . I would rather be in Venezuela than anywhere else. Nice photo’s by you though.

  • Because bad as Caracas may be it’s still better than Havana….and that’s says a lot!

  • If you don’t like Caracas, why don’t you go home?

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