WikiLeaked

Local or loco?

The moral of this one is don’t make jokes about Chavez in Veneuzela, or even above Venezuela: 1. (C) The evening of September 30, American Airlines Country Manager Omar Nottaro (strictly protect throughout) called Econoff to report that the captain and crew of American Airlines flight 903 were being held at the airport. He explained ...

The moral of this one is don’t make jokes about Chavez in Veneuzela, or even above Venezuela:

1. (C) The evening of September 30, American Airlines Country Manager Omar Nottaro (strictly protect throughout) called Econoff to report that the captain and crew of American Airlines flight 903 were being held at the airport. He explained that upon landing a crew member said "Welcome to Venezuela. Local Chavez time is" X. (NOTE: In December 2007 Venezuela created its own time zone, moving the clock back half an hour on a permanent basis. The crew member was likely trying to remind passengers of this and to suggest they turn their watches back 30 minutes. END NOTE.) According to Nottaro, a passenger and friend of Venezuelan National Assemblyman Carlos Echezuria Rodriguez, thought the crew member had said "loco Chavez time." Nottaro’s report of what the crew said is contradicted by a copy of the Venezuelan Immigration (ONIDEX) report obtained by a Consular Section Interpol contact which states the announcement had instead been, "the hour of the crazy Chavez and his women".

[…]

3. (C) Nottaro stated Deputy Rodriguez demanded to hear the on-board recordings of in-flight announcements and wanted each crew member to give a statement. Nottaro was able to diffuse the situation by promising to put the crew back on the empty airplane as soon as it was refueled and get the captain and crew out of the country immediately. Nottaro also apologized in person to INAC President Martinez and committed to writing several letters of apology on October 1. Venezuelan authorities accepted Nottaro’s offer and the crew left Venezuela at 11:30 pm. American made the decision to turn the plane around even though it meant canceling AA flight 902 out of Caracas the morning of October 1, at considerable cost to the airline.

"The hour of the crazy Chavez and his women" would be a fantastic telenovela,  though.

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