It was supposed to be a hushed affair – so much so, the arriving delegation, to avoid attention, did not use the VIP gate at Tribhuvan International Airport. Till date, the entire united press has not been able to get a single photo of the visit – however, word of mouth is around, and Nepal’s press is all over the visit of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s son visit to Nepal.
The hushed arrival of the delegation consisting of Nicolas Ernesto Maduro Guerra, son of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and a team of youths (representing the Venezuelan government) arrived in Nepal on Saturday. Guerra, along side being the son of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is also the head of Corps of Special Inspectors of the Presidency and coordinator of the National Film School of Venezuela. He is also a member of the Constituent National Assembly of Venezuela. He is also among Maduro’s family members facing US sanctions. The other members consist of Venezuelan non-resident ambassador to Nepal Coromoto Godoy Calderon, and three Cabinet ministers, among others.
According to news reports, the Venezuelans are here in Nepal upon the request of NCP – affiliated youth association. The delegation has met with top brass leaders of the ruling party – including party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Jhalanath Khanal, Bam Dev Gautam and Narayan Kaji Shrestha. The delegation is also trying to meet with PM Oli and President Bhandari, however, that has not been realised.
According to NCP, the delegation is here to improve bilateral ties with the two nations, and also to discuss how Venezuela can improve international ties – Venezuela currently is under a political crisis – the brunt of it borne directly by its citizens.
Veneuzuela political crisis:
Maduro, the successor to President Hugo Chavez has led the country to its downfall – the country owing to crippling US led sanctions is on the verge of bankruptcy – and being a communist nation, at the same time has one of the highest ‘class-differences’ in the world. Its public suffer acute shortage of basic necessities and Maduro despite tremendous external pressure is unrelenting to give power.
In January, after Maduro yet again claimed victory after the general elections, several protests led by the opposition erupted. In the same month, the United States declared Juan Gaido, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly and a vehement critic of Maduro’s government, as the country’s interim president – and then the presidential crisis began.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s statement:
In the same month, Nepal’s ruling party released a statement in ‘support’ of Venezuela. The statement was signed by party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and when questioned, he reiterated his party’s support. Meanwhile, PM Oli was questioned by the US to clarify the party’s position – therefore exposing one of the many crack lines between the co-chairs of the same party.