Delegates from the world's leading oil exporting countries were wrapped in tight security as soon as they arrived in Caracas for talks that began on Monday (17 December).
GV PAN: Security helicopter flying over Caracas
GV: Hotel Tamanaco, with police barriers set up
SV AND CU: Police and troops guarding entrance and roof (3 shots)
SV AND CU: Armoured cars in hotel grounds (5 shots)
SV AND LV: Troops in grounds and on roof. (3 shots)
SV: Soldiers guarding hotel stairway
GV EXTERIOR: Of hotel
SV AND CU INTERIOR: Delegates walking to hotel reception (3 shots)
GV: Guests registering.
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Background: Delegates from the world's leading oil exporting countries were wrapped in tight security as soon as they arrived in Caracas for talks that began on Monday (17 December). The Venezuelan government has set up the security net, mindful of the intrusion at a 1979 OPEC meeting in Vienna, when the terrorist called Carlos kidnapped a number or oil ministers.
SYNOPSIS: While the OPEC visitors are in Caracas, security helicopters will be burning aerial surveillance patrols, making sweeps over the city. The helicopters are part of a task force of some seven thousand men from the armed forces, police and intelligence services -- handling security. Their focal point is the Hotel Tamanaco, where the oil delegations are staying. Men with guns guard all the hotel entrances and, from rooftop vigils, keep a watch on surrounding streets and neighbouring buildings.
Armoured cars stationed at fixed points, or cruising the hotel grounds, have drawn complaints from regular guests that the hotel has been turned into an army complex. Whichever direction they turn, the guests are confronted by unsmiling men in uniforms, armed to the teeth and beyond.
Supplementing the guards visible in their uniforms are undercover personnel dressed as porters and other hotel staff. Recognised delegates had an easier time on arrival than unknown visitors and newsmen, who were frisked as soon as they entered the hotel complex. Bomb disposal and explosive experts were also checking all briefcases, typewriter cases and other hand luggage in a leave-nothing-to-chance operation.