Cucuta: City of Love?

Cucuta: Commercial Boulevard. Photo: Camilo Chavez on Flickr

A friend and I decided to go to Cucuta, Colombian city distant some 8 hours by car from Caracas, Venezuela, where both of us lived.

I was driving a red Mustang then, and on it, we prepared — very happy — to travel.

We had each some 500 Bolivares, a respectable sum of money back then, (before the disaster Chavista) much more taking into account that flashing a note of 100 Bolivares, granted you the unconditional “love”, and the company of a pretty and young Colombian girl for the length of your stay (2 or 3 days) in the city.

The girl would be your companion day and night, being your guide in the city, making purchases, eating with you, shopping around and sleeping with you.

Back then, the Colombian city attracted many Venezuelans due to the strength of the Venezuelan currency, which made everything there cheap, so people like us traveled to Cucuta to acquire merchandise, mainly women’s clothing, to later resell it in Venezuelan cities, at low prices yet with a considerable profit.

Unfortunately, nowadays Venezuelans. continue traveling to Cucuta, but now for different reasons: to escape the dictatorship of Maduro by emigrating to countries in South America, or to buy food, which they can’t find in Venezuela.

Besides, Cucuta then had the additional attraction of low price and plentiful sex, as the city acted as a magnet to hundreds of young and pretty Colombian girls looking to “make a living”.

As in many other border cities, you could find whatever you wanted in Cucuta.

The streets of the city were always full of guys offering the tourists drugs, young women, pen pistols, all kind of other weapons, etc., etc.

Cucuta at night. Photo: Camilo Chavez at Flickr.

Driving around in a residential area of the city, we saw two young and good-looking girls walking nearby.

Placing the car close to them, we began to tell them things, inviting them for a ride.

After a while, they accepted our invitation and boarded our car.

Driving without direction, we talked to the girls, who said to be University students.

We were a bit surprised, as the women after the brief talk, invited us to a disco, but, heck! we were in Cucuta, after all!

So, it was an invitation which we accepted immediately.

With the women guiding us, I drove to the disco, which appeared to be far from the city center.

After driving approximately 20 minutes, we arrived at the illuminated parking of what appeared to be our destiny, so after closing the car we headed to the entrance of the disco.

The so-called discotheque was a very dark place, probably a cinema beforehand, as the tables were arranged in terraces, descending toward an empty circular, lighted dance floor.

Inside, the place, as I already said, was very dark, only illuminated by some bulbs enclosed within very thin metal cylinders, which pending from the black ceiling by a long cord, threw a faint circle of light over the little round black tables surrounding us.

“What are you going to drink? “, asked a waiter. The women, without asking us, ordered a bottle of local firewater (aguardientico, as they called it in Spanish in the country) and orange soft drinks, as it is typical in Colombia.

Although we saw below the mentioned illuminated dance floor, we didn’t see anyone dancing, as everyone there, including us, “were too busy”.

A while later, the women said they needed some fresh air, so we paid and left the place.

Already in the car, with the women guiding us, we arrived at a solitaire, dark and uninhabited place, which made us believe the women wanted something more than just kisses from us.

The women defined the site as Venezuelan territory: “you are now in Venezuela”, they said.

But, after wandering for a while through that zone, the women said they had to go back home, “because it is getting late and we have to wake up early tomorrow morning to go to classes”, they said.

Frankly, I found everything strange enough, but I didn’t beat the subject around the bush anymore and headed to Cucuta again to take the girls home.

With what I know now though, I’m sure that those two wicked ladies wanted to sell us to the guerrillas of the FARC/ELN, which already back then sought refuge in Venezuela, whenever the Colombian army got too close to them.

Colombia’s FARC guerrilla. Photo: Getty Images at Flickr.

My friend and I were lucky, and just weren’t kidnapped or maybe assassinated by the FARC or ELN, because in our wandering by that isolated area of the Venezuelan Tachira state, we didn’t come across any of the guerrillas, which the women surely were looking for.

Maduro’s dictatorship protects the guerrillas of the ELN, as he protected before the FARC’s guerrillas. Both can move freely in Venezuela, as the authorities do nothing to prevent their activities in the country.

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Eugenio Magdalena

Eugenio Magdalena

Eugenio is a disabled Economist (UCAB, Caracas), cursed a post-graduate Diploma in Marketing (Strathclyde University, Scotland, UK), and an MBA (England, UK).