Name: David Garcia
Date: August 2, 2018
Age at Time of Interview: 56
Circumstance of Call: Over the Phone. Mr. Garcia was at his office in Philadelphia, PA. I called from Silver Spring, MD.
Part One: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pUmZ0DXYYVkMpPN3toLsCPewkDYBGjeG/view?usp=sharing
Part Two: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wj-Du00SEQ2g0N_yEsS_NGvEDbKLVl_p/view?usp=sharing
Details: While most US citizens who spent their childhoods in Venezuela’s oil camps had parents who were engineers or otherwise worked directly in the oil fields, David Garcia offers a different perspective. His father was brought to Latin America as a director of security. I thank him again for his graciousness in making this interview happen, despite my scheduling shortcomings.
David Garcia (DG): What can I help you with?
Trent Kannegieter (TK): Yeah, so I know you’ve read what Ms. McAllister had posted about me. I’m interested in compiling as many stories as possible about people who lived in and around oil camp life in Venezuela. I’m interested in hearing about your experience both educationally and socially.
DG: Sure. Want me to start? Tell you how we got there?
TK: That would be great.
DG: Our experience was a little different. My father was not an engineer by trade. He was a former Green Beret. Myself and all my siblings were born at Fort Bragg. And my dad at the time, he had just come back from Indochina, and he was assigned to go to Panama. The Canal Zone was still there at that time, and it was either Fort Davis or Fort Bullock. My father was already in Panama when I was born at Fort Bragg, premature. I was supposed to be born in the Canal Zone, but that didn’t happen. So, my mother and my two older siblings. I guess in the next month or two we went to Panama. The reason my father was there in Panama in 1961-62, as a part of Special Forces, was to train National Guard officers in Caracas at their National Academy. Just prior to this, Venezuela had overthrown the dictatorship of President, Marcos Perez Jimenez. He was overthrown and there was a ruling Junta. Eventually there were elections. But this was also the time of Fidel Castro, Che Guevarra, internationalized revolutions. They had some guerillas in Venezuela that were blowing up oil installations, pipelines. The way the fields are set up, they had long pipelines that ran from the oil camps to the nearest port. They were blowing those things up and other installations. My father was training National Guard officers in methods of combat insurgency. That evolved into my father retiring and first working for Mobil in 1963-64.
We ended up moving to a town called Anaco, which is an hour south of Puerto La Cruz which had one of the large oil debarkation facilities. His job was providing security for oil installations at the oil camp and directing the local National Guard. My father used his connections with his former pupils to secure this position with Mobil. I never knew exactly what he did. I would try to pin him down on it. He’s passed away now. I