You can still find a place to enjoy a nice steak dinner in Las Mercedes, the Caracas district once known for discos and beer-by-the-bucket pubs. Mostly, though, it’s shuttered stores and graffiti-swamped apartment blocks punctuated by busted street lights. And the strangest thing: scaffolding.
On brand-spanking new construction, no less. This seems wildly out of place in the economic basket-case capital of world. But there it is on Paris Street. And over on Jalisco. And on block after block. Las Mercedes, it turns out, is where some of Venezuela’s richest citizens, prohibited from moving cash out of the country, are parking it.