Venezuela's military president ended his autumn tour in Portugal. There, he met with José Socrates, the only head of state of Western Europe who will still meet the Venezuelan caudillo outside international everybody-must-go meetings. The Venezuelan ordered 2 transport boats, a ferry, the construction of 12500 houses Venezuelans are apparently incapable of building themselves and 1.5 million laptops for a children's project. You can read the official version here (Spanish) and a half official one here. The government of the Azores Islands had initially ordered one of the boats but it then rejected the ship when it saw its speed was slower than agreed. Unlike the Azores administration, though, the Venezuelan strongman just said "I want two!". No kidding: he said just that, exactly as the Venezuelan caricature tourists portrayed on a Venezuelan TV comedy in the late seventies and early eighties during Venezuela's last oil boom.
The laptops have been announced as a tool to become independent from "the Empire". In reality the Iberians are basically reselling the technology...a new tale of broken glass for gold.
Portuguese newspaper O Journal de Noticias has a couple of interesting articles about the visit, articles that give a glimpse into the caudillo's set of mind. If you read Portuguese, you can take a look here. There is more interesting data here.
The comment about preferring women to do the protocol because he respects them actually shows his usual preference for just a special kind of women: those he can control. And in this framework of mind he again ignored the protocol: He drove in Portugal without license because he is president, he walked where he pleased and the Venezuelan journalists -state media employees- came firstly. He was three hours late, but that is nothing unusual with him. He reckons that is the norm for every head of state. Don't forget: jefe es jefe.
The caudillo was happy to see so many people waving Portuguese and Venezuelan flags at the Portuguese company. Apparently they were almost all company employees.
I just hope for the sake of Venezuela that the flats Portugal is supposed to build in the Land of Grace are cheaper than the flats we have or haven't got from Belarus and that they are better than the buildings for which Mr Socrates was responsible many years ago before his permit as civil "engineer" was revoked.
And now the caudillo will announce big things for Venezuela. I wonder if the alternative forces will reveal exactly what they are. The Venezuelan people will have to pay over 1.1 billion euros for this.