Not since the 16 and 1700's has privacy dogged the Caribbean in the way it does now. The Islands of Trinidad and Tobago have seen an increased spike in pirate attacks on various vessels. Many of these pirates are Venezuelan in origin turning to piracy as the economic situation in the country gets worse.
One study estimated that between 2016 and 2017 there have been 163 attacks on vessels operating in the Caribbean and off the coast of Venezuela. Many pirates as has been mentioned are people turning to piracy to make a living. Others are established criminals using piracy as a way to make more money thus furthering their criminal empires.
Although Venezuela has a coast guard and is supposed to police its coast the coast guard itself is being accused of piracy. No doubt many do stop and board pirate vessels however it seems they are moonlighting and becoming part-time pirates themselves. Obviously, the coast guard is not getting paid the going rate for the job due to Venezuela's economic problems so this is unfortunately what they do.
Many have compared the acts of piracy in this vicinity of the world to what happened in Somalia. Due to war and the collapse of the fish stocks off the coast of Somalia, many turned to piracy to earn a living.
The Somalian model and the current Venezuelan model have two things in common that are leading to pirates taking to the high seas. Economic hardship for their peoples leading many to turn to a life of crime.
Of course, the Caribbean is famous for it being a den of pirates in the 16 and 1700's. One of the most feared was Blackbeard who some folk thought at the time was the incarnation of the devil himself. Other pirates struck fear into anyone taking to the seas in those days including women pirates.
In historical terms, its funny what goes around comes around. There was nothing romantic or chivalric about these pirates. Many were desperate and violent and did not care who they put to the sword or musket to get their ill-gotten gains. One island in the Caribbean actually became a pirate nation. Pirates were known to have a code of democracy that operated on board their ships. Any booty was believed to have been shared equally between the crews of these ships. The pirates themselves came from all trades, backgrounds, nationalities and race.
This situation lasted for many years until the Royal Navy finally started squaring up to the pirates. After this law and order were established often by force and the piracy trade died out.
Films about pirates are extremely popular such as 'Pirates of the Caribbean' starring Johnny Depp. These films often give a wrong image of pirates as likeable rogues and as has been stated earlier in most cases they were nothing of the kind.
The drugs trade plays a large part in the piracy of today. Especially in South America and the Carribean where the drugs are then exported to the rest of the world.
Pirates operating in the Caribbean today are using a plethora of different craft to practice their evil art. Some are speedboats, some are larger fishing vessels, some maybe coast guard craft ships captured by pirates or the coast guard themselves using these vessels to carry out piracy.
One wonders who will be the equivalent of the Royal Navy today to restore law and order to this troubled part of the world.
Bio of Blackbeard.
Born in Bristol, 1680.
Probably served as a legal pirate for the UK known as a privateer.
Settled in the Caribbean on New Providence.
Worked for a Captain Horgold as a pirate capturing several vessels.
Horngold retired and Blackbeard became the pirate leader.
Blackbeard was his nickname but his actual name was Edward Teach or Thatch.
Captured a French vessel and changed her name to 'Queen Annes Revenge' and armed her with 40 cannons. When working as a privateer took park in Queen Anne's war in the Caribbean.
Operated in the Caribbean and off the coast of North America. Did many acts of piracy and at one time blocked the North American coast?
Formed alliances with other pirates to make him a powerful pirate leader indeed.
Had slow burning fuses under his hat and beard to scare those who opposed him. Many thought he was Satan himself.
Was pardoned and settled in Bath North Carolina. However, the call of piracy was too strong and he returned to his previous occupation.
After a terrific battle with the Royal Navy, he and his men were killed in the engagement.