Anyone looking to do a fun trip to Venezuela might contact Leo Zamora of CatteleyaTours.com
I spent 2 weeks with Leo in 2008 trekking thru the cacao regions of Barlovento, Chuao etc as well as visiting many National Parks, giant sand dunes and botanical gardens. We were invited into many farms and homes ( wonderful local people who understood there's politics and there's people, and they welcomed the people of America.) and the factory where El Rey is produced and even tracked down bootleg cacao liquor. (Oddly except for the airport, you cannot find a decent chocolate bar in Venezuela!)
In any case Leo is a great tour guide, speaks great English and has a sense of fun and adventure. It was an incredible trip.