Sotiri Dimpinoudis is a journalist in Venezuela, posting video of events in Maracaibo, a northwestern city known as the center of the oil industry. It’s harrowing. (I’d embed, but it doesn’t seem to work.) His feed has pictures of a normal Western mall gutted by looting, as well as shops and restaurants emptied and ruined by the mobs.
The wikipedia page paints a picture of a civilized place. Proud of its university. Nothing about this is foreign to us Yanks:
Culture in Maracaibo is very indigenous and unique, is recognized in every state and city in Venezuela, and is very influential with its gaitas, desserts, style, living, and customs. Most major houses of advertising in Venezuela acknowledge how opposite the culture of Maracaibo is from that of Caracas. Studies of both prove, for example, that Caracas’ leading soft drink brand is Coke, while in Maracaibo it is Pepsi. This has made many brands create special localised advertising of their products (including several Pepsi commercials spoken by local celebrities).
Think NYC vs. Dallas, LA vs. Chicago. The journalist’s feed, by the way, includes video of the looting of the Pepsi distribution center, and the destruction of the fleet of trucks that deliver the soda. They took the tires; they took the engines.
Marabinos are extremely proud of their city, their culture, and all of Zulia. They usually claim that Venezuela wouldn’t be the country it actually is without Zulia.
Just as Texans note – correctly – that the US wouldn’t be the country it is without Texas. Now imagine Dallas looted.
You scroll through the account of the last few days, and wonder exactly how they come back from this.