It Was The Worst Of Times For Nicolas Maduro This Week

September 28, 2013


Nicolas Maduro had a bad week. A terrible week. He had gone to China for a week to sign agreements, do some tourism and be toasted as the leader of all Venezuelans. But instead of receiving the full Chávez treatment, he got the quickie tour.

Yes, he got US$ 5 billion as an extension to the Heavy Chinese Fund in which Venezuela sends oil, the Chinese send us trinkets. Yes, he signed a bunch of agreements, most of them giving the Chinese rights to exploit, explore or sell Venezuela something. But when it came time to ask for US$ 5 billion in cash, there was nothing doing. Los chinos se hicieron el chino. *

Even worse, the Chinese leaders did not even consider Maduro’s proposal. Not even looked at the papers, meeting was over. Trip was over, as far as the Chinese leaders were concerned. Maduro and his hundred-plus entourage could continue touring, buying high quality fakes and eating dim sum, but the visit was finita. There would be no long talks with Nicolas and the Chinese leaders like there were with Hugo, no more banquets, no more grand strategy sessions. It was 再见 (zai jian, goodbye) time.

It was unclear who goofed, who or what made Maduro believe that there could be a cash loan, given the reluctance of the Chinese to even extend the loan for trinkets Heavy Fund US$ 5 billion loan. It’s a new leadership in China and a new leadership in Venezuela.

And after one more day of sightseeing, Maduro said, let’s go home.

It has been downhill since then.

First there was a stop in Canada, Vancouver to be more precise, where there was a refusal to sell jet fuel to Maduro’s plane because it was Cuban. Maduro had to wait for six hours for PDVSA planes to come and refuel his Cubana plane. It was during that time that they realized that there could be legal problems in New York with the Cuban plane. Maduro decided to cancel the UN visit, despite the fact that, once again, the ugly Americans had speedily approved the change of plans.

In his first public statement arriving in Venezuela, Maduro said he had canceled the UN visit because it would be dangerous for him, suggesting some Republicans were plotting against him.  The story later was changed to suggesting the Cuban plane could be impounded.

Maduro  thus arrived in Caracas barely five days after leaving for a twelve day trip and even worse, the refusal of the Chinese to lend more money was leaked and Maduro tried to make it look as if the trip was a success. Except the money for the Junin 1 heavy crude field was not new either, nor would it come anytime soon. So, Maduro began hailing all of the agreements with CITIC, the Chinese investment firm, which Maduro kept saying was the technology branch of the Chinese Government. So, after signing thirteen agreements with CITIC, Maduro did no get it that CITIC is out to make a profit and is no high tech powerhouse.

Then Maduro and his VP made everyone laugh, saying that the Chinese financing was not debt, but part of a strategic alliance between China and Venezuela.

Maduro then tried to get his Unasur buddies condemn the US for boycotting his visit to the United Nations, which was not done, as the US showed some countries proof that the Venezuelan Government had fumbled all flight requests, despite which all had been approved in record time. I guess when you are giving less money away, you lose some formerly unconditional friends.

And as news of the gigantic drug catch in Paris on the Air France plane were disseminated, which showed high level and extensive involvement by the Venezuelan military, Maduro tried to make a big deal of suing french-British consortium Airbus for faulty repair of his Presidential plane, suggesting there was something ominous behind it. But Airbus noted it does not perform the repair or maintenance on the planes.

The week was finally closed with Foreign Minister Jaua intervening in the UN Assembly in Maduro’s place. Jaua made his speech all about Maduro´s trip difficulties, not before recreating Chavez’ statement seven years ago by saying “It still smells like sulfur here”. Never mind that Chávez was referring to George W. Bush at the time, who had spoken the day before and that on the same day. But additionaly, hours earlier Obama was talking to Iranian President Rouhani in the first direct talks between the two Presidents since 1979.  Talk about Jaua being out of touch, he is no Chávez, has no historical understanding and by the time he was done, most leaders had left. His was the last speech of the 68th. Assembly.

It was indeed the worst of times for Maduro this week, as by now he appears to believe his own speech that his policies are fine and is all part of a conspiracy to “Snatch the Fatherland”.

Except the snatchers are those around him and not those he is accusing. And the lack of action, to say nothing of the lack of a birth certificate, is hurting his cause.

Y ahora a ver si en la India no se hacen los chinos.

*Hacerse el chino (make yourself Chinese) is a saying in Venezuela and other Latin American countries in which a person makes it appear as if it does not understand or ignores you. The phrase is also used with Swedish, instead of Chinese.

45 Responses to “It Was The Worst Of Times For Nicolas Maduro This Week”

  1. The announcement that ‘with a heavy heart I feel this is the right decision’
    will come as a bitter blow to Fulham fans who must feel like they are
    reliving history as these were the same words Hodgson used
    upon his ill-fated arrival at Liverpool. Concerning their rosters, they are totally stacked.
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  2. xp Says:

    More stripes to our paper tiger …

    according to Ruben Vargas ·
    Comentarista destacado
    Si el estado es responsable de la gestión del
    Ministerio del Poder Popular para Ciencia, Tecnología e Industrias Intermedias,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular de Agricultura y Tierras,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular para el Comercio,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular de Energía y Petróleo,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular para las Finanzas,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular para las Industrias Básicas y la Minería,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Planificación y Desarrollo,
    Ministerio del Poder Popular del Trabajo y Seguridad Social y la
    Contraloría General de la República,
    por que coño de la madre tiene que crear otra vaina cuando ningún ministerio, ninguna decisión ni ninguna actuación de estos entes o la presidencia han funcionado. más paja, más burocracia y más razones para robarse el dinero del estado.

  3. Bill S. Says:

    Seems like those Chinese only need friends with potentially big regional influence. Once Chavez, the mouth, died, it became, “Don’t call us. We’ll call you,” Now if Venezuela was next to Mongolia, they might be friendlier, with all your oil. Maybe when they get their Nicaraguan Canal finished that their supertankers can transit, they will show your leader a better time in Beijing.

    • Ira Says:

      I read the blog about the overflight controversy and wanted to post, now that the FACTS are all in.

      But no way was I going to authorize a website called “Russia Today” to link to my Twitter or Facebook accounts, as required to post on that site.

      At least they’re better than, who totally gave up on allowing any reader interaction at all, because so much of it came out against their Chavista line.

      • m_astera Says:

        That sounded unlikely, so I looked. You can register directly at to comment, or use a gmail account. The same choices this blog gives you.

        • Ira Says:

          You don’t have to register here–just supply an email address, which may or may not have to even be valid.

          But I’ll check the direct RT registration again.

  4. Kepler Says:

    Miguel, tu amigo Ojos Bonitos (alias Diosdado) está ahora en Moscú para hablar de “inteligencia” y defensa.
    Recuérdoos que Venezuela tiene una deuda de 4,4 “millarditos” (equivalente a 2,2 millarditos y 2,2 millarditas) de dólares con los mercaderes rusos de la Muerte. Hemos gastado hasta el día de hoy 11 mil millones de dólares en armas rusas.

    It would be interesting to plot the activity of both Maduro and Cabello and see some patterns…shadow boxing?

  5. Tom ODonnell Says:

    Excelent sumary of the events. You brought a lot together!

  6. Bruni Says:

    I protest Miguel. It is really “hacerse el sueco” or “hacerse el suizo”…you are stretching it a little bit.

    What we say in Venezuela is “me está hablando en chino”, or “eso es chino para mi”.

  7. m_astera Says:

    I give thanks every day for the ignorance, stupidity, and incompetence of these pretenders. Just think how dangerous they could be if they were educated, intelligent, and competent.

  8. Noel Says:

    I find it extraordinary that there is not widespread protest in Venezuela that the president need to fly in a Cuban airplane, and when his personal jet is being repaired he cannot fall back on a plane from a domestic airline.

  9. Lee Says:

    The final decision to cancel came from Cuba (Raul) to my understanding. Dilma did a fine job representing the anti-Yankee sentiment. Maduro could only screw that up. He was in condition to give a speech IMO

  10. Lee Says:

    Keep in mind the Venezuelan delegation is going to be under surveillance by their Chinese hosts. Particularly the key folks meaning they cannot talk about problems or anything for the matter. Confidential communications have to be in writing with precautions for hidden cameras. It’s nuts. They cannot communicate with back home either. Tienen q mantener apariencias. Maduro was pissed flying back and probably blew a fuse in Vancouver once they could talk free of prying eyes and ears.

    • Lee Says:

      They cannot talk about anything confidential electronically or in person. When the Americans are abroad, they open tents inside the hotel room to view documents and they talk in the presidential limo to avoid electronic eavesdropping. It’s that bad.

  11. HalfEmpty Says:

    I am thinking Maduro is acquainting himself with the ejector seat directions, just in case.

  12. Hurts to be ripe Says:

    Maduro quickly came back to lick his wounds.

    And as for Jaua and his ridiculous presentation, Pena ajena that this moron is our foreign minister.

  13. shrillary clinton Says:

    explain something please? why was numb nuts flying a cuban plane to China in the first place? of all the money El Mucho Macho Hefe Grande pissed away in Russia he didnt get a single reliable passenger airplane?

    • Kepler Says:

      He had an Airbus but it is not working. Chavistas claimed it was bad quality but most likely the guys didn’t have any idea about maintenance.

      • Pedrop Says:

        More to do with the commie view that maintenance is a capitalist ploy. Anyway there isn’t the engineering capacity in Venezuela to maintain Airbus technology.

        • HalfEmpty Says:

          Exactly, maintenance is a trick to drain the vital blood out of honest comrades and comrade-planes. Really, Henry Ford invented it with the oil change. Cars don’t really need oil or gas, it’s just an imperialist trick.

      • Lee Says:

        I think they hard landed the A319CJ FAV001 causing serious damage. Remember Maduro met with Airbus returning from Russia gas summit. I think the repair may exceed the value of the aircraft meaning write-off. The Cubana Bird is a problem why don’t they charter, lease or buy a Boeing 767 for example. These people look for problems.

        • Lee Says:

          Heard the Conviasa A340 was scrapped the one that had the wing clipped,a new Conviasa Bombardier hard-landed and is getting written off. These folks are hard and careless on their aircraft!

          • NorskeDiv Says:

            The hard landing theory makes a lot of sense, such a long overhaul for a plane implies a large amount of it is being rebuilt.

    • Ira Says:

      Nothing surprising:

      It’s always been a Chavista tactic to instigate, and create problems (actually invent imaginary ones) in order to play the victim.

  14. Virginia Laffitte Says:



  15. Jeffry house Says:

    The one element of this which does not make sense to me is the suggestion that the Cuban plane was refused gas in Canada. canada does not participate in the US boycott of Cuba, and in fact Cubana de Aviacion flies weekly out of Toronto and Montreal. There may have been another reason for the delay.

    • Pwilson Says:

      Yes I found this explanation curious as Canada and Cuba have had both diplomatic and economic ties for years.

      • glenn Says:

        The story has changed to now the cuban plane could not go to new york for fear of impoundment or there were cuban spies or venezuelan drug lords facing arrest. All probably have some level of validity

        • Jeffry house Says:

          I’d go with the impoundment theory. That is actually quite likely; it happens to Air Zimbabwe all the time. That explanation leads to another question, though: How incompetent are Maduro’s people that they would fly him around in an impoundable plane?

        • Lee Says:

          The impoundment theory would require a federal judge to sign off on that. No way, that action would require approval from Obama and Holder due to the sensitivity and possible ramifications. This is about US Foreign Policy interests trumping claims against Cuba (with Venezuela in the middle).

          • Jeffry house Says:

            A Federal Judge would have to impound. But if Nicolas thought that it MIGHT happen, he’d stay away. A Federal Judge might choose to defer to Obama, but might not.

      • Pwilson: I agree, it must have been a credit problem then.

    • Lee Says:

      I think it has to do with the fuel bill. Citgo had to fly to Vancouver to settle the bill. They had th Falcons with US approved flight pans to NYC on standby for Maduro. WSJ has something on this

  16. Arco Says:

    The chinese are lending land in Brasil and Argentina and this week they lend 3 million acres in the Ukraine for 2 billion euro a year.

    so maduro can lend Venezuela to the chinese and recieve 50 billion euros a year. problem solved.

  17. Island Canuck Says:

    I just love to see them on the defensive all the time.
    This almost never happened with Chavez.
    And they keep getting caught in so many lies.

    What does a bully do who’s backed into a corner?
    He threatens:

    Maduro threatens with a new level of the Revolution if the economic war continues.

    And yes, he says we are creating the economic problems, not them.

    Even the brain dead would have trouble believing that.

  18. Graciela Pantin Says:

    Mi querido Miguel, te adjunto una mínima contribución para tratar de entender el fenómeno venezolano Un abrazo, Graciela

  19. captainccs Says:

    The refusal of the $5 billion loan should not come as a surprise as China has been experiencing liquidity problems. I think it was last May that bank rates went up in China and loans to speculators (non-essential investments) were curtailed. By now the Chinese must realize that Venezuela is not a very fruitful partner and certainly not a strategic one.

    BTW, it would not surprise me if the Chinese preferred buying American LNG instead of Venezuelan heavy crude.

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