Venezuela in the Chavez era: a reporter's view - Article Photos 5/7

FILE - In this April 25, 2010 file photo, swimmers are taken via boat to the starting race point of the "swim across the Orinoco and the Caroni rivers," in San Felix, southern Venezuela. AP reporter Ian James, who swam the race in 2010, is finishing his assignment in Venezuela the first week of March 2013. James says that he has gained more street smarts, become a tougher, more resourceful reporter and developed a deep affection for Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)