Oops, sorry. I didn't mean to sound so negative about Venezuela. It really is a great place.
And yes, the USA can be dangerous, too.
I'm not against Chavez because he doesn't like Bush. I don't like Bush either!
I just worry that the anti-Bush propaganda and scapegoating that Chavez puts out might create some anti-american attitudes that could make Venezuela a less safe place to be as a tourist. Though most people I met in Venezuela were friendly, there were some signs that not everybody loved us, i.e.
Before I went to Venezuela, I actually thought Chavez might be a cool guy because he is the first leader of Venezuela who has ever tried to appeal to the poor people and make things better for them. But everyone I spoke with in the country said that despite Chavez' big talk about socialism, he wasn't helping the poor so much as he was just helping himself to ever more power. And in the meantime crime and corruption were getting a lot worse. Everyone I met had stories about being robbed, sometimes that very same day, and many of them had also been kidnapped or carjacked. Just last week some of my parents' friends were hiking in the jungle near Caracas when they were robbed at gunpoint and tied to trees in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately one guy (a surfer) was able to wiggle out of the ropes and untie the others so they didn't die of starvation or get eaten by ants.
So while no place is perfectly safe, I think it's fair to say that one ought to exercise a little extra caution these days in Venezuela.