Maduro bufanda

Maduro-in-China

After Richard Nixon went to China, historians began coining the phrase “Nixon in China” or “Nixon goes to China” to signal an unexpected shift by an ideological politician who decides to embrace and engage a foe. After this week’s calamitous visit to China, where he came away empty handed, we should coin the term “Maduro in China”…

Maduro Xi

A threat, but only in theory

The US Congress has passed a law asking for sanctions against Venezuelan human rights violators. President Obama is expected to sign it. So you will hear a lot in the coming days about “imperialism,” about how the US is looking to overthrow the Venezuelan revolution, and about how our number one trading partner will “never get their hands on…

Maduro Xi Jinping

Blame it on Beijing

When readers suggested I explore the relationship between Venezuela and China on the blog, I was less than enthralled. After all, pretty much all you need to know about these two countries can be summed up in this headline: That pretty much sums it up: China bankrolls the revolution, and in exchange Venezuela gives it what…

Oferta 2

The pain from the China loans

One of the more interesting angles of the China financing story is the way it is hampering Venezuela’s ability to weather the current slump in the oil prices. Here is the lowdown on the renegotiation with China: “The MOFCOM article goes on to explain that the declining oil price requires Venezuela to export more oil, but that…

That's tiny!

Dude, Your Strategic Fund Has Less than a Week’s Worth of Imports In It

For years – literally years – we’ve been wondering exactly how much money the Venezuelan government had squirrelled away in its “parafiscal funds”: Fonden- and Fondo Chino-style unaudited, unreported, wholly discretionary accounting black boxes. Finally, yesterday, Maduro let the cat out of the bag: announcing he would finally unite all of these different pots into a…

Cuartel de la montana

The “4” that matters

The official press in Venezuela is full of details on the state visit of Chinese leader Xi Jinping. As part of his Caracas tour, agreements will be signed, swords will be passed around, sashes will be worn, tombs will be visited, oil will be traded, and a full-blown one-directional slobber-fest will take place. But the only thing, the…