And then one day there is a great heaving movement of the inmates in the prison. You hear their shouts and barks followed by bursts from assault rifles nearby. You wonder whether it is better to move toward or away from the shooting –maybe the place is being liberated. You smell the blood and hear the death well before a military man –he's younger than your children– bursts into the room firing. You dive to the infested floor as hundreds of steel-jacketed rounds splash through bodies like hot knives through warm butter. Buried alive under several bleeding inmate bodies, you hide until the killers move on, reloading. You can't breathe. You're unsure whether you've been wounded or as luck might have it, killed. You're wondering whether death would be good or bad luck when a radio within earshot reports that inmates rioted but the government is now in control of the situation. You try to laugh but can't catch a breath. You close your eyes praying to Jesus they never have to open again.
"Cocoa is to Venezuelans what wine is to the French," says Alejandro Prosperi, head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Cocoa, using this simile to express the paramount importance or the cocoa industry for the country. Often times heralded as "the best cocoa in the world," a passion for quality dating back to the sixteenth century has made Venezuelan cocoa growers to enjoy high prestige at international level and their product to be among the most sought-after in the world.