Full Confidence


Venezuela’s official condolences to the DPRK on the loss of their capital-L Leader were a bit underwhelming.

Sure, Chávez’s expression of “full confidence” that the tinpottiest of all the tinpot dictatorships will lead its people to prosperity is galling in its own way. But what we didn’t get is what I’ve been expecting for quite some time: for Chávez to extend the Full Gaddafi hero-worship treatment to the Kim dynasty.

My guess is that Chávez knows he can’t expect any adulatory backsheesh from the Kims, whose whole governing philosophy is centered on the aggressive disregard for the sovereignty and dignity of other nations, and stick doggedly to a policy of greedily accepting extravagant praise for its leader, but never reciprocating it.

Chávez will, of course, let lots of things slide…but the failure to suck up to him is not one of them.

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    • I posted before reading your article Mr.Kepler. But, it is my understanding that
      the article by BBC is rather misleading. I think really Chavez wanted to visit and meet
      with Kim-yet, they (N.Koreans)” never worked out the details”-?didn’t trust Chavez or did not
      see any value with overt friendship. Maybe Chavez did have some secret business with N. Korea?

      • I co-wrote two papers on Venezuela and DPRK back then and my audience included US gov, military and intelligence. DPRK is a red flag and the Bolivarians seemed aware of this.

    • rapprochement with DPRK was set aside when DRPK did missile tests. True, they did mention intent to meet and greet. During and after missile tests, there where three (or more) official announcements in support (of missile tests). Heard DRPK special forces trainers where in Venezuela prior to this but that probably fizzled too

  1. As I previously posted:
    I am sure that Mr.Chavez is in mourning over Kim’s death. I heard that Chavez had been trying to visit for four years with Kim.(Chavez wanted to do business-trade oil for missiles I guess.. like his friends in Iran)
    Chavez probably had a replica of Bolivar’s sword to give to Kim..

    • Charles, not possible thanks to John Bolton, architect of the Proliferation Security Initiative. Want to ad that Bolton kept Chavez at bay (whipped his ass) with UN Security Council (and barely got recognized for it). There is nothing DPRK has that Bolivarians need. Now Syria is a different story…

  2. I see your point, Mr. Toro. Maybe that is why N. Korea never agreed to Chavez visit- (Chavez claims
    they invited him)because Kim does not show love -but he does to Russia and China??
    You would agree- if N.Korea allowed Chavez to visit -Chavez would have gone there.And, of course, Kim would never come to Venezuela.
    How on earth can Chavez claim that “the people of Venezuela mourn for Kim”-that is BS.
    WHy doesn’t Chavez send Maduro -and maybe Maduro will stay there-ha…

  3. In other words: “mapurite sabe a quién pée”…

    There is a video of mourners lining up and crying out loud the departure of their Beloved Leader. It is anybody’s guess to call those tears real or faked (for all I know many could be bureaucrats crying the changes to come and the possible loss of their jobs); yet, there is something rather ancient in the entire scene that makes me wonder if the government will bottle up those tears and set them next to their stellas as lachrymatories, sell them as colorful souvenirs or give them away to heads of State.

    [In all I think that not so deep down I wish the lachrymose scene were a few degrees of lattitude south and in another hemisphere.]

  4. Giordani must be in mourning. He has said he admires the way North Korea solved the food problem. This was in 1994, a year before the worst famine the country has faced. But Giordani does not pay attention to such detail. He still thinks Pol Pot is his hero.

    • I heard once that Jorge Valero admires North Korea too and have a Kim-Il Sung portrait in his office. I don’t remember the source, but it was written in a printed interview.

    • Are you like Santa, in the sense that, you know, if one has been a good boy or girl all year long, and one writes a letter with a list and whatnot……………………….

  5. Is there anyone NOT in Venezuelan government mourning the death of KIm?
    I don’t know anyone.
    from Miami Herald Dec. 17 – US Preparing to send food aid to N. Korea (also re. UN Plea
    for International Assistance after year of drought and floods..)
    “The U.S. would provide 240,000 tons of high-protein biscuits and vitamins – 20,000 tons a month for a year – but not much-wanted rice, according to reports in the South Korean media. It would be the first food aid from the U.S. in nearly three years.” (The US hoped the aid would be given to starving women and children, not to feed the 1 1/2 man military..)
    Another note- the average N. Korean is 5 inches shorter than the average S. Korean.
    Why will nobody in the Press in Venezuela “call Chavez out” on this pure fiction he and his gang are spouting about N. Korea?

  6. The Communist Party of Venezuela´s elegy was somewhat more eloquent, albeit prudently reticent re. the (apparent) heir apparent::
    El camarada Oscar Figuera, dice: ““A los trabajadores y trabajadoras, al pueblo de la República Popular Democrática de Corea y al Partido del Trabajo de Corea nuestro mensaje de solidaridad y afecto con motivo del reciente fallecimiento de uno de sus líderes fundamentales, Kim Jong Il. Estamos convencidos que la dirección colectiva de los trabajadores y las trabajadoras, del pueblo y de su clase obrera, del ejército y de su Partido está en condiciones de continuar defendiendo los intereses del pueblo coreano, la lucha contra el imperialismo y la reunificación de la Península de Corea”.
    (I´ll have to find the source; the above was copied from a comment on Elias Santana´s post on Facebook.)

    • Communism might be for the idealistic… A scam and a con for the idealistic and the gullible.

      I mean, you cannot miss that. Egalitarian society and all that.

      Kim the First, Kim the Second, Kim the Third? Fidel Castro I, Raul Castro I, and watch out for Fidel Castro II.

      At least at some point the Church left all pretensions of egalitarianism and poverty and set out to become one with the Empire (the Roman!).

  7. J.R. Nuñez Tenorio, who was an important marxist philosophy professor at UCV, and as a former communist, was a known promoter of North Korea’s “Juche Idea” and of Kim Il Sung’s socialism. Also, he was one of the ideological heads of Hugo Chavez’s campaign in 1998, and as such he became Senator-elect (Distrito Federal) in the November election. Alas, he died before he could be sworn in.

    His wake was in the UCV’s Plaza Cubierta -not in the Paraninfo, but still, a pretty prestigious place- and then his coffin was draped with the North Korean colours.

    I don’t have my files here, but Nuñez Tenorio’s contribution to Criollo Marxism -beyond theoretical and methodological works on historical dialectics, not to be snuffed at- were quite important. He developed a theory linking Bolivar’s “guerra a muerte” with revolutionary guerilla warfare in the late sixties (this text was retitled and reprinted in 1998), and he proposed a theory establishing a direct connection between the Army, the people and Hugo Chavez (just like Ceresole’s much touted “Caudillo+Ejercito+Pueblo”, only that it was written two years before), and he was one of the few spokesmen of the MVR who mentioned that the Constituyente would not only sweep away with AD+Copei, but with the whole of the bourgeois system. And the “Three-rooted Tree (Bolivar+Zamora+Rodriguez)” has often been attributed to him (sometimes as a collaboration with Chavez, sometimes as a hack job).

    How is this relevant now? I don’t know. Apart from his relationship with Castro, Hugo Chavez seems to be pretty much his own man.

    • Aveledo,

      Thanks for those details.
      You know…as an expert it’s normal you know many more about this topic, but I am amazed at how little attention our (let’s Dr Evil a bit) “politicians” and “journalists” pay to such matters, to that history. They are not interested in finding out the background of these people, tracing back their roots and analyzing their tactics. I think it’s important to do so: in order to prevent such people from getting to power again, but also in order to counter-attack their propaganda efforts.
      It is not all about education, and definitely not about formal education. But it has a lot to do with what images and principles different people use to compose their realities.

      The military have since always (even since Páez in the early 1830′) used the Bolívar cult to promote themselves. Later the commies very metodically infiltrated the military. They also knew they needed to associate our ahistorical Bolívar with socialist ideas.

      Do we want to penetrate in Punto Fijo? In the Sierra of Falcón? Do we want to take over Maturín?

      • Kepler: I’m unsure whether the Bolivar cult is a conscious one (although it has professional and quite elaborate manifestations…); we’re taught it in a stronger way than religion. My daughter, who is a smart almost four-year-old, knows the name, and every time she sees a portrait she says “BOLIVAR”. How does she know this? She’s in preschool, and they mentioned Bolivar as they taught them about the flag and the rest.

        Moreover, Bolivar is complex enough to be both liberal and authoritarian… So much so that we’ll all use it as reference (see the 2009 referendum as a prime example; both the opposition and the government use true quotes of Bolivar to push ahead their agenda).

        But I agree with you: we need to bring Bolivar to its proper context and level, and to add a number of things to our school curriculum.

        As for the press, well, you have guys like Elias Pino and German Carrera being interviewed avery now and then, and Manuel Caballero was, among other things, a noted opinion columnist. Alberto Garrido made his late career on the origins of chavismo, as have Agustin Blanco and Alberto Barrera and Cristina Marcano -to different mean and extents-. So journalists and the media are interested in this; the crux of the matter is whether the population cares about it.

        • The populations cares. Otherwise the guerrillas and military and politicians wouldn’t have been using the Bolivar cult at all. The thing is how to bring to the average citizen the message. I repeat it: the idolatry for Bolivar is one of most pernicious things we have had.
          Mexico doesn’t need such a cult, Argentina doesn’t. Chile doesn’t. Their Higgins and Martins are humans. The thing is: Bolivar himself promoted his cult as no one in the Americas has ever done. As I mentioned earlier: proclaiming himself “libertador” in 1813
          was way over the top.

          He had an easy task. Humboldt himself remarked how we had lost our roots – European, native American, African.

          We need to define our identity away from personalism and around something new.

          I tell you: when I hear “historia” and “historiador venezolano” I usually think of “naftalina”,
          but for some exceptions as the ones you mentioned.

          Venezuelan kids know when the supposed “Libertador” was born and when he died.
          That’s mental.
          They don’t know a fig about world history and what most know about 300 of years of
          Spanish-Venezuelan history can be put in two lines. What they know about the previous part fits one line and this is more serious than in the US or Canada, as our roots are more native American than that of the bulk of North Americans.

          We know shit about history, even modern history. That’s how the military and the guerrilleros in parliament declare themselves “perseguidos” and say Machado and Capriles are “perseguidores”, even if
          Freddy Bernal was a high ranking member of the worst of Caracas police during the IV Republic, even if PSUV deputy Roger Cordero was a military with blood in his hands because of the masacre de Cantaura and even if landowner, former Chavez minister Rodriguez Chacín, was responsible for the Masacre del Amparo.

          As I said: about 1 third of our over 300 municipios are called after military caudillos. I haven’t found any country in the Americas (Colombia has a couple of things like Santander and one Bolivar, Argentina something similar, USA Washington), no country in Europe and as far as I have seen, no country in Africa or Asia where the military have managed to “ponerse hasta en la sopa”…even if we haven’t been involved in a war with someone else sincen independence.
          Perhaps we should have had one instead of one of our civil wars. Perhaps in that way our military would have been put in their place.

  8. Iran traded with N. Korea for many years. Saddam Hussein did as well. So, why was CHavez not able to? I am sure Chavez would have gotten on his knees for Kim. It must have been that CHavez never came up with enough money which is hard to believe in a way. As nuts as Kim was, I think he realized
    simply that Chavez was/is plain stupid.

  9. What happens when Castro dies?What happens when Chavez dies?
    Lots of celebrations!!!!! Tears of joy!! For days and nights!!! Guaranteed.

  10. “The Council of State (Executive) of Cuba has decreed official mourning for the death of Comrade Kim Jong-Il, Chairman of the Committee of national defence, and Secretary General of the Party of the work of the people’s Democratic Republic of Korea, during December 20, 21 and 22 “, according to the official text. AFP
    I’m not all that sure that Chavez is his own man but clearly this time he did’t follow lead.

  11. “The Cuban government has decreed three days of mourning for the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.” -re Babalu blog.
    Chavez will follow-today. I bet

  12. Yes, I am posting much here. I have deep animosity for dictatorships worldwide for
    a very long time..Here’s a quote from Dan Miller-PJMedia:
    “Venezuela, another highly regarded bastion of freedom and democracy, has expressed “sincere sorrow” about the untimely death of the Dear Leader.
    Venezuela is confident that the North Koreans will move toward a prosperous and peaceful future, the ministry said in the e-mailed statement.
    The government expressed its “solidarity” with North Korea and said that Venezuela is willing to “continue fighting along with sovereign nations for the auto-determination of countries and world peace.”

    When el Thugo passes to his own communistic reward, will the Great Successor to Kim Jong-il express similar condolences?”
    Chavez called Kim “mi comrade”-yuck! I am surprised-but, apparantly few Venezuelans give a care
    nor are they surprised.
    Don’t forget to pass the word to all the Cubans in Venezuela- you are supposed to be in mourning.
    Does that order from Cuba apply to all Venezuelans too? Where’s the box of kleenex, sorry I gotta
    stop now…

  13. Chavez is on “elections mode.” He is less radical and has more careful in his actions, thus he is unlikely to give Kim a hero-worship treatment.

    If Kim only died by this time next year…

  14. OT but Obama opens his mouth on Venezuela. This note worthy:
    Obama said that most Latin American countries “have gone from living under dictatorships to living in democracies” but that in Venezuela, “we have been deeply concerned to see action taken to restrict the freedom of the press and to erode the separation of powers that is necessary for democracy to thrive.”

    • that statement opened the Obama White House to the same harsh treatment that President Bush received from Chavez! Welcome to the ‘W’ zone!

  15. A lot of people from Barinas, particularly of Chavez’s generation, have a visceral and pronounced dislike of people from Asia. Like the successful small businesses run by chinese families in the area, llaneros will grudgingly patronize them, but reserve accepting their owners as countrymen or equals.

  16. Bad-mouthing President Hugo Chavez Frias President of Venezuela will not deter the Bolivarian Revolution that he brought in to give his people a better standard of living. Chavez did this in spite of attempts to by a foreign power to overthrow and kill him. That foreign power even had the gall to get to freeze the $7.8 billion in British banks, because of the nationaliztion of a certain American Oil Company. That move was countered by a British judge who unfroze the account and returned the money to the Chavez government.

    Long Live Chavez and the Bolivarian revolucion`


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