The PSUV outsources to China

As part of their training in China, PSUV members will learn the fine art of syncronized clapping

The recently named Vice-President of China Li Yuanchao visited Venezuela and met with Nicolás Maduro in Miraflores Palace to sign a new batch of deals between both governments.

Instead of focusing only on the economic front, it looks like our new overlords want to get involved in our partisan politics too: Yuanchao announced that the Communist Party of China (CPC) agreed to train the PSUV in “socio-political formation”.

Aside from learning some ideology and doing some sight-seeing in the process, I wonder if the CPC leaders will exchange with their PSUV counterparts their experiences regarding political scandals. Because, in recent years, the political ruling class over there has shown to the world in multiple opportunities… that they’re getting really good on that.

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  1. One major difference with China is that you routinely read about people involved in corruption being jailed and sometimes even sentenced to death. Not gonna happen in Venezuela.

    • Don’t take that too literally. The entire upper party is corrupt in China, and everybody knows it. People prosecuted for corruption are also corrupt, but that is a pretext. It’s political.

  2. What in the world? This is getting ridiculous. One major question on my mind is how is the MUD/Capriles/future opposition winner (whenever that may be) going to undo all of these horrible foreign policy decisions. Combined with disrespect for the Constitution and terrible public policy, what is the playbook they will have to follow? This could be an interesting post to explore.

  3. We think of China as a mongrel model combining political hegemony by a communist party ruled by a ruling clique of cadres and an economic structure that includes lots of market economy elements . Actually those cadres are not just political hacks , they are judged based on their performance as promoters of economic growth , if they fail this last test then they are second rank cadres and dont rise to the top. This model combining ideological and technocratic merits is not new in China, way back in time they had Mandarinate rule which was partly meritocratic and partly ideological ( worship of confucian ideals). They ve gone back to an old model in their culture , one which was very succesful for centuries . There is a western liberal version of this mandarinate model and its called Singapore .Because party cadres must go through a meritocratic career those that are purely ideological hacks are weeded out . This not the worst model to follow if you ignore the authoritarian implications of the model ( which to us in the west is a real problem) . Its true the system tolerates a lot of corruption ( interspersed with ocassional shows of draconian punishment tof heineously corrupt officials to make people believe they care about corruption) , but the corruption will not save the official from banishment from the top ranks if he is absolutely lacking in technocratic talents. !!

    • That is largely true, although there is an elite ruling clique who look out for each other. The Red Princelings, or whatever they are called, who’s grandfathers or fathers were all revolutionary comrades of Mao.

      They are absolutely destroying the environment, and creating social unrest in their quest for growth at all costs. Seems to be working for now though.

      • Rory O, totally agree , All ruling cliques protect their members from critical exposure because publicizing their failures hurts the cliques public image and that hurts everyone , at most if there are divisions among its members a delinquent member will be either quietly banished or ostracized but almost never publicly punished . The ideological credentials can be establishment through blood pedigree conection with one of the ‘founders’ , thus the existence of many ‘princelings’ among the Ruling Party Clique in China. Also right that they care hoot about the enviroment , they care for it only as public relations exercise , nothing more . The concern with growth is a recognition that purely ideological merits wont gain them legitimacy , that legitimacy is won by lifting the quality of life of the maximum of people and growth they know is the only way of achieving that.

  4. I guess PSUV has not been satisfied with their Cuban ‘socio-political formation’ lessons. They are looking elsewhere.

    • Their Cuban advisors have a limited lifespan left and their advice has been a failure for Maduro. China can give long term support and influence US policies, However, China may take Venezuela back to a free market system.

  5. Looking to foreign powers for advice and support in nothing new since “overlords want to get involved in our partisan politics” happens over and over again. Isn’t the US a strong supporter of the opposition. The US plays partisan politics in Latin America and the rest of the world all of the time in the form of support for coups, assassinations, and military interventions. Let’s be fair. If you don’t want foreign powers meddling in party politics it has to apply to everyone. It’s a reality of our global economy and the ongoing power struggle. By the way the US has always led the pack in environmental pollution. It’s only recently that China and India have caught up.

    • ” Isn’t the US a strong supporter of the opposition.” I’m sure the Obama administration would prefer a Venezuela who doesn’t use the US as the boogeyman for every ill, including power outages, food shortages, crime, etc.,one who isn’t letting PDSVA decay into a bloated mess, one who isn’t letting drug traffic flow almost unimpeded, etc.

      But a ‘strong supporter of the opposition’? They won’t waste valuable resources or energy on Venezuela until the day the Maduro government threatens to cut off trade with the US (which will never happen). Too many far more pressing concerns for the yanquis

    • Strong supporter of the opposition? You mean a few million dollars from the national endowment for democracy going to few non-partisan NGOs? Oh yes, what “strong” support. The days of Iran-Contra are long gone in the US, the best Eva Golinger has been able to come up with are some small grants – compare this with Maduro openly encouraging military coups in other countries.

      • My bad. Should’t use subjective adjectives like strong, but see Wikileaks article:

        The US infiltrating, supporting, or even creating opposition movements in order to cause upheaval in a country is nothing new. That’s only one mechanism. Going back to post WW II it started with creating dissension in Iran in the mid ‘50s in order to overthrow democratically elected President Mossadeq, and installing the Shah as a dictator (we’re still seeing the blowback from that one). It worked so well they’ve been using the same methods over and over again.

        Check out the John Perkins book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man – a first hand account of US foreign policy. US intervention in foreign countries is not even debatable any more – it’s a given. For the US, the word democracy has little meaning if the leader of a country is not in alignment with US policies or even speaks out against them. Coups are recognized (Honduras), election results are not (Venezuela). If Capriles had won by a narrow margin do you think the US would have supported claims of fraud and called for a recount? Democracy and freedom just become buzz words when it comes to favoritism.

        Having said that the US is not alone. As I mentioned in the previous comment, foreign intervention is common practice in power struggles around the world, but the US has it down to a fine art, including here in Venezuela.

        • Confessions of an economic hitman is a nice fiction book, I will give you that. The author never even worked in the field he claimed to, and besides, why be a economic hitman when people like chavez will run up a huge debt at credit card interest rates?

          As to the cable, its exactly, and I do mean exactly, like I said. A few million dollars to non partisan NGOs focused on human rights, safety and political discourse. That is only support for the opposition in so far as Chavez failed to address those issues!

          Contrast that to china promising to train one political party, which is a different animal entirely.

  6. NorskeDiv,

    I don’t know where you got the idea that John Perkins never worked in the field. I’ve met him personally. He has written several books based on his experiences, which are a good primary source. After turning his life around he has worked to make this a better world, rather than tearing it apart. He is a co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, which works with the indigenous tribes in Ecuador to protect their homes and the rain forest from exploitation and devastation by petrol companies. Google Pachamama Alliance for more info. It’s a great organization.

    I wouldn’t consider the NGOs you mention as being non partisan. USAID, NED, and other supposed non partisan NGOs are often merely fronts to promote US policy and corporate interests. The attempts to disrupt the Chavez government as mentioned in the cables was hardly non partisan.

    By the way, Capriles and other opposition leaders traveling to the States seeking support and advice could also be construed as training a political party. Works both ways.

    Anyway it’s good kicking things around. More to follow I’m sure.

    • I read the book, I wasn’t impressed at all. Perkins claims are tall and lack evidence. Great for him if he’s doing something he finds fulfilling. You meeting him personally has nothing to do with anything. By the way, any rebuttal to the point that it’s been HUGO CHAVEZ who has run up more debt at a higher interest rate from international bankers than any other Venezuelan leader? Kinda destroys the “economic hit-man” theory if the US is now working to “disrupt” leaders who are passing the largest profits in South American history into the pockets of western banks!

      As to the NGO’s, they are not designed to “disrupt” the Chavez government. Unless reporting on violence is “disruptive,” then I suppose you could say Google is designed to “disrupt” the US government because it allows people to search for negative news stories regarding the US government. Or perhaps you mean promoting dialogue – is that “disruptive?” Or perhaps reporting on judicial impunity, i.e. Judge Afuini, is that “disruptive?” Sure, these are not examples of non-interference, but they are perfectly in line with the official US position, hardly the overthrow of Mosaddegh, even if you construe to two to make them somehow seem related. Contrast this with China, which is explicitly training and backing one political party in Venezuela.

      Capriles travelling to the states could be construed as training a political party? Are you intentionally making a mockery of yourself? Chavistas travel the states all the time are they getting training as well? The fact you’d even stoop to make such an illogical point makes me wonder if arguing with you is an utter waste of time.

  7. NorskeDiv,

    Point well taken about the opposition traveling to the US not being a training of a political party. Wrong use of the word. I merely meant that the opposition gets support and undoubtedly guidance from the US. Chavistas can’t even expect dialog with Washington. Too bad it’s come to the point that diplomatic relations are nearly defunct.

    What I meant by disruptive was the “strategy to guide embassy activities” stated in the cable:

    2. (S) In August of 2004, Ambassador outlined the country
    team’s 5 point strategy to guide embassy activities in
    Venezuela for the period 2004 ) 2006 (specifically, from the
    referendum to the 2006 presidential elections). The
    strategy’s focus is: 1) Strengthening Democratic
    Institutions, 2) Penetrating Chavez’ Political Base, 3)
    Dividing Chavismo, 4) Protecting Vital US business, and 5)
    Isolating Chavez internationally.

    Imagine how Bush or Obama would react if a foreign country operating out of its embassy in Washington had a specific strategy to fund NGOs to penetrate their party’s political base, divide the party, and isolate it internationally.

    I would say disruptive would be a fair term to use. It’s not uncommon for the US to “disrupt” democratically elected governments in a variety of ways if that country’s government is not in agreement with US policies.

    In any case, as you said perhaps arguing is a waste of time. Sparring back and forth accomplishes little and just becomes emotional.
    I have had some good feedback in the exchanges on this website so it’s not all a waste of time for me.
    With all due respect thanks for your comments.


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