The Cubanization of Venezuela: From bad to worse
As the Cubanization of Venezuela continues, things are moving quickly from bad to worse. The Castro dictatorship is strengthening its grip on its newest colony: Venezuela.
Comedy and Tragedy, Venezuelan-Style
Next up on the world’s stage of Theater of the Absurd: Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro. Like his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, Maduro has as his mentors—in things big and small—Fidel and Raul Castro of Cuba. Always the masters of deception, the Castro brothers were caught red-handed this summer trying to ship weapons to North Korea. Now it is Maduro whom might have been caught red-handed, or should we say “red-faced,” trying to sneak Cuban intelligence agents into the United States.
Maduro had planned a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. He never made it. Traveling on Cubana Airlines with a Venezuelan delegation that included his wife, son and daughter-in-law, a hair dresser and a bevy of Cuban security experts carrying Venezuelan passports, his plane landed in Canada for refueling, on a return flight from China. ABC, Madrid’s daily broke the story reporting that the United States denied visas to the Cubans, part of Maduro’s entourage. But according to U.S. government sources, what happened was that Maduro ordered his aircraft “to turn away when the US wouldn’t give them assurances that they would not be denied entry.” The State Department spokesman said that “No visas have been denied for the Venezuelan delegation to this year’s UN General Assembly.”
Maduro left in a fury vowing retaliation and “drastic actions.” Caracas’ El Universal quoted Maduro saying that “he dropped his trip to New York in order to safeguard his physical integrity.” El Universal also reported that the Venezuelan president “fingered former US officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich for allegedly planning ‘a provocation’”. The possibility of Noriega and Reich, two Republican political appointees, directing any initiative of any kind by the Obama administration is zilch.
There was also some speculation that the Venezuelans feared the Cuban 767 would be seized, as Cuban vessels have been detained in various foreign countries in the past due to Havana’s failures to fulfill financial obligations.
Be that as it may, Madrid’s ABC reported that there were 120 people in Maduro’s entourage: “12 security agents, Cuban physicians, an expert on explosives, an expert on ‘food security,’ an epidemiologist, the son and bodyguard of the president, his daughter-in-law, grandkids, two friends, stylist and a hair dresser for the First Lady, as well as several personnel identified as medical security.” The group had booked reservations at New York’s Hyatt Grand Central hotel at a reported cost of $800,000.
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Nicolás Maduro’s Strengthened Alliance With the Castro Regime
Totalitarian Birds of a Feather Flock Together
The diplomatic relationship between the United States and Venezuela is in a disastrous state, and the tension has only heightened recently. First, the United States banned flying over Puerto Rican territory for the Venezuelan president’s plane, and then the United States rejected a visa for an official member of the presidential entourage.
Although perhaps under the radar, this impasse is indicative of and reveals the extent to which the Castro brothers and Nicolás Maduro governments have reinforced their collusion — which has taken a priority over any relationship with the United States.
The airline incident has made it public that the Venezuelan president travels the world on Cubana de Aviación, the national airline of Cuba. Maduro even surrounds himself with Cuban security and intelligence agents when he attends the UN Assembly. According to the renowned Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda, he arrived with six Cubans with foreign IDs and Venezuelan passports. Not surprisingly, then, the Cuban minister of foreign affairs recently rushed to Maduro’s defense against the “new attack from the Empire” on Venezuela, Cuba, and the region as a whole.
Many analysts thought the alliance hatched between Cuba and Venezuela in the last 14 years would weaken with Chávez’s death and Maduro’s arrival. The analysts claimed that the divisions and conflicts within Chavismo, the rough economic situation in Venezuela, and the Cuban pragmatism would chill the relationship.
But what actually happened was the exact opposite. Chávez’s successor had been trained by the Cubans since the 1990s, and they chose him as the best successor for the late Bolivarian leader. Both administrations, each weakened for their own reasons, have clung to one another to better survive politically and economically the difficult current scenario.
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