Former bus driver and union agitator Nicholas Maduro faces many problems as the new president of Venezuela. First, he must struggle to consolidate his claimed victory amidst allegations of an unfair election process. Next, with leadership qualities that amount to no more than the personal endorsement made by his socialist predecessor Hugo Chavez, Maduro finds himself wallowing in the quagmire of failed socialist policy. To make matters worse, he now has to overcome a split in the Chavista movement that consists of his own Cuban-backed faction and another based in the military.
Rather than abandon those policies, Maduro announced that he stands ready to radicalize Venezuela’s revolution. His remarks set off a selloff of Venezuelan bonds that are due in 2027, which was the sharpest decline in 15 years. The market turmoil in turn sparked large violent protests demanding a recount of the election that left seven dead.
His solution: blame everything on the opposition and seek advice from those who helped bring about much of his country’s misery—the Castro brothers. Thus, Venezuela and Cuba have signed cooperation agreements for 51 projects upon Maduro’s first trip to the prison island after his election. He has pledged to maintain the close alliance forged by Chavez. Maduro stated that the two socialist nations would spend $2 billion jointly this year on “social development” with sketchy details as to what this really means.
Currently Venezuela sends Cuba an estimated 110,000 barrels a day of oil in exchange for money and the services of 44,000 Cubans who work in Venezuela. As of now, Venezuelan money and oil help keep the Communist Island’s failed economy alive and in return Cuba is teaching Venezuela how to manage their healthcare, education, culture and economics according to Communist principles.
One wonders exactly what the Castro brothers have to offer Venezuela, or for that matter, anyone at all. The Cuban healthcare, education, culture and economic systems under Communism have been an utter failure. Maduro claims, with absolutely no proof, that “Cuban doctors visit the homes of the humblest people needing medical services, such as senior citizens who cannot walk out of their places. And they cure their patients with the most powerful medication in the world, which is love.”1 Is this love he refers to a new type of charity that no one knows about? Exactly what are its characteristics? Did Communism develop this love that somehow the Church has missed for the last 2,000 years?
If the Castro brothers earnestly desire to help anyone, perhaps they should start with a serious apology to the Cuban people that they have persecuted, enslaved and impoverished since they usurped power. Then they can begin to amend their lives and make public restitution for their crimes. Until then, this is nothing more than a charade where the crippled pretends to be helping the lame.