Annika Rothstein Alive from Caracas

Annika Rothstein, an independent journalist, has been reporting for some time on the miseries – and resilience – of the Venezuelan people. Last weekend she went to the Colombian border, where government forces had assembled to keep an aid convoy from entering the country. 

The story she got was one she was lucky to survive. We speak to her in relative safety, where she recounts the story of a very bad day in a dangerous country – and what the people she encountered say about the forces wrecking Venezuela.

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There are 23 comments.

  1. Percival Thatcher

    Annika, no matter who is paying you, no matter how much they are paying you, it’s not enough.

    James, bringing up the possibility that the laptop may be compromised shows you have a conspiratorial mind. So how come you’re never at the meetings?

    • #1
    • February 25, 2019, at 5:30 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. JuliaBlaschke Coolidge

    Amazing. So glad Annika is safe and pray she continues to remain so. I was struck by the story of absolute baseness in one instance and such kindness on the other. It is past time for Maduro to be pulled from a spider hole and hung.

    • #2
    • February 25, 2019, at 5:51 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. kedavis Member

    Setting aside the wisdom of being there at all, I can’t seem to grasp the value of having “security people” who just get kicked around too.

    • #3
    • February 25, 2019, at 7:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. EJHill Podcaster

    We don’t normally do this kind of thing, but Annika was robbed in her encounter with the Colectivos. If you’d like to help out here is a link to her PayPal account:

    Annika Rothstein

    She sent me a note from Caracas, “I am still in a bit of a chaotic situation so if anyone wants to help in some small way that is of course massively appreciated.”

    • #4
    • February 25, 2019, at 7:14 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Concretevol Thatcher

    Annika, your Twitter feed has been invaluable. So glad you are safe……..you are rivaling Claire B in putting yourself in hazardous situations! God bless

    • #5
    • February 25, 2019, at 7:57 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. James Gawron Thatcher

    Annika,

    You’ve done a great service. Sometimes it is most important to face the worst of it. The Colectivos are a sick creation of Maduro. Just as you said, they don’t represent the Venezuelan people but rather Maduro’s perversity. That is why your post went viral. The Venezuelan people want their story told as it happens.

    U.N. Condemns Venezuela Violence as U.S. Imposes Fresh Sanctions

    The head of the United Nations condemned violence that took place this weekend at the hands of the security in Venezuela as the United States imposed fresh sanctions on the Maduro regime.

    At least four protesters were killed and a further 300 were injured this weekend when security forces attempted to block the entry of U.S. emergency aid across the border from Colombia and Brazil, as Venezuela slides deeper into one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises.

    “The Secretary-General is following with increasing concern the escalation of tensions in Venezuela,” said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for the Secretary-General António Guterres. “He was shocked and saddened to learn that a number of civilians lost their lives in the context of yesterday’s events.”

    Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, team detained, released in Venezuela, network says

    Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and five members of his team were detained and later released in Caracas, Venezuela by President Nicolas Maduro on Monday during an interview in which the embattled president “didn’t like the questions” he was being asked, the network said.

    Ramos, 60, was interviewing Maduro when the president “became upset with the line of questioning and ordered the seizure of the video and Univision equipment, including TV and phones, as well as the detention of the journalists,” Univision reported.

    Maduro reveals himself and the true nature of his regime. Recognizing Guaido was not a mistake. The people of Venezuela have the right to defend themselves against the Colectivos and to choose a government that protects their rights.

    Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    Stay safe Annika. Sometimes just surviving is the greatest victory.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
    • February 25, 2019, at 8:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. James Lileks Contributor

    Percival (View Comment):
    James, bringing up the possibility that the laptop may be compromised shows you have a conspiratorial mind. So how come you’re never at the meetings?

    I can never remember who the other informant is.

    • #7
    • February 25, 2019, at 8:44 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. James Lileks Contributor

    Word gets around:

    • #8
    • February 25, 2019, at 8:49 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. Yehoshua Ben-Eliyahu Coolidge

    Annika, you have done your duty and exposed the thugs. But now it’s time to get out. We don’t want to sacrifice a nice Jewish girl like you to these barbarians.

    • #9
    • February 25, 2019, at 9:07 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Richard Easton Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Setting aside the wisdom of being there at all, I can’t seem to grasp the value of having “security people” who just get kicked around too.

    There’s not much one security guard could do in that situation.

    • #10
    • February 25, 2019, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. DonG Coolidge

    A frightening and but important reminder of what actual Journalism is. Thanks for the interview. It alone is worth the price of a membership.

    • #11
    • February 25, 2019, at 9:26 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. dicentra Member

    Hey, next time you want to see what’s happening at the border, land in Bucaramanga and drive from there. Colombia has to be the safer approach by far.

    • #12
    • February 25, 2019, at 9:43 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Arahant Member

    dicentra (View Comment):

    Hey, next time you want to see what’s happening at the border, land in Bucaramanga and drive from there. Colombia has to be the safer approach by far.

    She mentioned the airports are closed to foreign travel and that would have been her preferred route.

    • #13
    • February 25, 2019, at 10:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. I Walton Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    dicentra (View Comment):

    Hey, next time you want to see what’s happening at the border, land in Bucaramanga and drive from there. Colombia has to be the safer approach by far.

    She mentioned the airports are closed to foreign travel and that would have been her preferred route.

    There are thousands of foreigners going to the border from the Colombian side for the concert, so I guess she wanted to be inside Venezuela. I’m glad she did, this was the first report on the collectivos I’d heard and I hear hours of reporting daily here in Colombia. Fascinating. That’s a whole new angle. Maduro and the Cubans will have to deal with them until they start pouring into Colombia. This was the Cubans as they did the same to us.

    • #14
    • February 26, 2019, at 6:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. I Walton Member

    Remember when Cuba emptied its jails as it opened escape to the US. Was that the early 80’s? Cubans are doing the same with the Collectivos. They’ll be heading to Colombia after this crisis. 

    • #15
    • February 26, 2019, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Skarv Coolidge

    Journalism as it should be. Brave and important. Interesting that none of the big established media organizations come even close to reporting on this level.

    • #16
    • February 26, 2019, at 6:12 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. colleenb Member

    Thanks for the interview. I am scared for her but appreciate hearing what is happening on the ground. Real reporting instead of spoon feeding questions to J Smollet or following K Harris around and helping her buy clothes.

    • #17
    • February 26, 2019, at 7:48 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. James Gawron Thatcher

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Thanks for the interview. I am scared for her but appreciate hearing what is happening on the ground. Real reporting instead of spoon feeding questions to J Smollet or following K Harris around and helping her buy clothes.

    Colleen,

    I agree about 1,000%. Aren’t you sick of journalists who tell you how significant their work is when you can see for yourself that they are just lazy overpaid manipulators? When news reporting is significant nobody needs to tell you that it’s significant.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #18
    • February 26, 2019, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Arahant Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Remember when Cuba emptied its jails as it opened escape to the US. Was that the early 80’s? Cubans are doing the same with the Collectivos. They’ll be heading to Colombia after this crisis.

    Mariel BoatLift

    • #19
    • February 26, 2019, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. Valiuth Member

    I felt like I had a week shaved off my life just listening to that story, can hardly fathom living through it. She exemplifies the best of journalism. How long can this situation continue? We will watch another country fall into chaos with its autocrat protected by Putin and a cabal of miscreant nations. It seems to me it is not enough to just recognize the legitimate government of Venezuela. The international community should be ready to back up that legitimacy with force. At the least we should tighten the economic noose on Maduro and all his international supporters. Renew sanctions against Cuba, Russia, and any nation supporting this butchery. 

    • #20
    • February 26, 2019, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Blue Yeti Admin

    Programming note: Annika will be on tomorrow’s Ricochet Podcast to give an update. 

    • #21
    • February 28, 2019, at 9:39 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  22. Stad Thatcher

    Annika. Your reporting is great, but not worth losing your life over.

    Get out ASAP.

    • #22
    • March 1, 2019, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Front Seat Cat Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Annika, your Twitter feed has been invaluable. So glad you are safe……..you are rivaling Claire B in putting yourself in hazardous situations! God bless

    She is doing a powerful service, and reminds me of Lara Logan, but even more courageous.

    • #23
    • March 7, 2019, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like