The decaying Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas provides a window into the sad reality of the life and times of Venezuela.
I’ve talked before about the sad state of affairs in Venezuela…a once-leading nation in Latin America that has disintegrated into a dangerous banana republic.
I’d rather walk the streets of Mogadishu, Sana’a, or Aleppo than Caracas, where murder and mugging is commonplace and hyperinflation means most Venezuelans have trouble even obtaining food staples like rice and bread.
A fascinating story (in Spanish) shares how Caracas Airprot is rapidly falling apart:
- Airport is in a state of dissrepair
- Most airlines have cancelled service
- Security cameras no longer work
- Jet fuel is contaminated
- Passengers robbed, one killed last year on airport premises
- Airport staff robbed as they leave the airport at night
The latest problem: theft of artwork.
Passengers are pulling up tile pieces of the mural by Cruz Diez de Maiquetía as souvenirs as they leave the country. This iconic mural in the international terminal covers floors and walls. Over the last few months, huge chunks of the mural have gone missing, a hallmark of the airport. Pictures here.
The airport that once had robust service around the world and was even served by Concorde, now cannot even protect its artwork.
But there is some hope. While some Venezuelans admit to stealing pieces from the mural, they describe it as a political move. As thousands flee the country in hopes of a better life elsewhere, most hope to one day return to their homeland. When they do, they will piece back the mural, a sign of restoration.
top image ironically taken from the airport’s website, which is no longer online