I was in Venezuela about 10 years ago for a short while. I thought the people were great - friendly, helpful. I'm really glad to have read your post and the comments. I had just read the news this morning and it seems like every week or so Chavez is in the news taking a shot at the US. I find it depressing. If there is only one person in Venezuela that feels otherwise (as you apparently do), I feel better already!!
My 2 cents on decanting...When I started drinking wine, I was told to decant older red wines. I have experienced (and read here) that although pouring to eliminate sediment may be appropriate for some of the older wines, there is no substitute for tasting the wine and judging for yourself. If it tastes great, drink it up. You may find that on many of the younger reds, some air time will improve the taste. Try some both ways and you'll begin to be able to tell when decanting will help.