Saturday, November 23, 2013

Those regrettable moments

I know that Maxima is an habituée of hard core repressive regimes, but this....
The Netherlands King visits the naked emperor of chavismo

In the series of royalty mistakes Willem Alexander should bitch back at the Dutch government for forcing him to visit Venezuela. Certainly doing a Caribbean tour and not stopping by Caracas is a dangerous initiative as The Netherlands share an important maritime border with Venezuela (4 islands!). In addition the economy of three of these islands is quite dependent on Venezuela, from the oil they refine there to the fresh vegetables they ship regularly.  But from there to go and support such a contested figure like Maduro just when he is becoming a full blooded dictator...  Pleaaaaase...  I mean, even the French have manged not to send a president or a Prime Minister!

Of course, speculation is going good. Did they came for an oil concession? Is Venezuela holding some form of blackmail over Aruba?  What is the Dutch prime Minister snorting these days?  Can Timmermans be so incompetent?  Etc.  Whatever it is the opposition is shocked, and I include myself in this, having refused to believe that such a visit could take place, that Wilhelm would come down with the flu at the last moment or something.

We already know that chavismo has no friends and that no matter who do they smile at today, tomorrow they will stab in the back as needed. If the Dutch government does not know that they will learn it soon enough. What is graver for the Dutch is that an hypothetical but not uncertain post chavista administration may not be too forgiving. There is, oh, say, this tweet of Lopez:

While Maduro represses {the people} the kings of Holland come to ask for oil concessions. We got their number.

Needless to say that this visit is quite, quite regrettable and that the Dutch are going to regret it the most.
And to think that there are full gay rights in Amsterdam, freedom of the press, civility, etc. etc.

PS: and let's talk about a commie president kissing ass to royalty.  Chavismo is actually rather discrete about this visit, just enough to try to refurbish Maduro 's image overseas. But we gotta love the ideological incoherence.


  1. Wow, weird picture.
    Now.... one must admit the legs are just damn awesome.

    (sorry I am weak)

  2. I talked to Venezuelans in the Netherlands representing our opposition and they said they didn't want to do something because it was "difficult", a "delicate subject" and what not. It was silly. Even the Dutch were wondering why they hadn't received a complain from us. I blogged about it once and the Dutch visited that page a bit, but I think that's the only place where they found something.
    I commented on the blog of a Dutch journalist who reported on the event and he thanked me for my words.
    What's the matter with the opposition?
    Yes, there is protocol, but there is also timing.

    The Dutch were complaining about how they put the queen in such a tiny chair.

    1. Yeah right.... The chair was the real problem in that picture.....give me strength Lord!

    2. I see. So you like the chair?
      Tz,tz, Daniel, Daniel!

    3. No, I think dutch journalists are idiots.

    4. hahaha that's what they are complaining about!? that their Royal asses had to endure the pain of touching such small and ugly chair. I mean come on, I know that some Europeans can be so snobbish, but this is way too much.

      On the other hand I get it that they are misinformed, for all intend and purposes for them Maduro is the legitimate president of Venezuela, and that they don't have reasons to believe otherwise.

    5. Anonymous4:32 AM

      Kepler, I have no idea who you talked to in The Netherlands, because I am in the group of Venezuelans representing the opposition in The Netherlands, and the things you write are just not true. The opposition in the Netherlands is organized in two groups, one in charge of elections and one in charge of protesting. The group in charge of protesting did send a formal letter of complaint to the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs. No reply so far. Dutch journalist were also contacted and informed. We had the initiative to publish a letter of complaint in one newspaper in Holland, but we were asked to pay for it, and it was just too much, we could not afford it. We tried to gather money, but unfortunately only around 15 Venezuelans answered to our petition, even when our organization has direct contact with around 400 Venezuelans living in Holland. Conclusion, opposition did take action, unfortunately it was not perceived, and the apathy of Venezuelans in the Netherlands did not help. Blaming the people that is doing their work is too easy, start blaming the people who are not helping their own country. This is not a problem of leaders; this is a problem of the nature of people. If the majority would have a different mentality, Venezuela would have never reached this point.

    6. I truly regret that you did not sign with a name rather than anonymous to thank you better for this note.

      I am impressed that you could not get enough funds go pay for such an important letter. This indeed so pathetic. While blogger like me risk actual harm, people safely ensconced away in a liberal country like the Netherlands cannot be bothered. I do understand that most as immigrants may still be penny pinching but that was too big an occasion to miss making an impression.

      No matter the Dutch government sent the king over: it knew that it would not get more than a few blogger bitching with Leopoldo.

      Sometimes I am sooooo tired.....

  3. Bridge8:53 AM

    The trips of the Royal Couple are planned and organized by the Dutch Government, the King has to do what he is told - like also p.ex. the German Bundespräsident. De Dutch ministers at the moment starting with the PM Rutte to Plasterk to Zimmermans have more than weird ideas .... the Dutch Caribbean Islands have a big amount of problems with them. No idea really of what is going on in this part of the world, no idea about different cultures .... here on the islands they refer to the past of The Netherlands ... the Pirates .... the Traders ..... NL was great in the Slave Trade .....
    Diplomatic Talk and Action is unknown to these people. They have lost masses of support in The Netherland, if there would be elections now, no way they would be in power .... but there is one party winning support and that one is a really racist party ....

  4. Nothing wrong with the kings visit. Love the king for representing the Dutch islands interests. Finally the royal family is thinking more in terms of "kingdom of the Netherlands" instead of just "the netherlands". we got maxima to thank for that.

    1. What's the difference in the life of the average Dutch between "the Netherlands" and the "Kingdom of the Netherlands"?
      Come on! Royalty is completely irrelevant but for those who fancy reading HOLA!
      The misery of a banana republic dictatorship is another topic, though...whether the Netherlands has a queen or not is independent of that. The last anonymous has a point. I still believe the Venezuelans in the Netherlands should have been more vocal about how the king is meeting a government represented by mostly homophobes.
      The Dutch can meet whomever they want but we Venezuelans can also tell them whatever we think about that.

    2. how do you say HOLA! in Dutch?


    4. Anonymous12:11 AM


  5. Anonymous10:15 AM

    to all these complaints dutch govmt would reply: well we would support you in condemning and rejecting maduro BUT, you guys havent done much to take him out even with proof of electoral fraud. If you dont fix your own house why should we. they are betting that maduro is here to stay, and so they will do business with him.

    1. anonymous...

      I get so tired when I read strong objections from courageous anonymous that cannot be bothered figuring a handle like, say, Rutte.

      Nobody is asking Willem or Maxima of the Dutch equivalent of Marines land and solve our problems. However when a country pretends to be the epitome of freedom and progress it is enough to send the foreign minister to visit asshole regimes. If that asshole regime happens to have common borders with Dutchia you may want to upgrade the visit joining a prince or the prime ministers of the adjacent territories (which they did). But Willem Alexander as the representation of Dutch historical values should not visit Maduro and if he must visit Venezuela it should be because he is he is prepared to read a statement that implies its host should be less abusive of its people.

  6. There is a well funded Chavista party in Curacao that is growing in popularity and even though it is not close to being a majority, it is large enough that it is often included in the coalition governments that rule in Curacao due to its parliamentary system.This party is also anti -Dutch and wants Curacao to cut its ties with Holland and join the International Chavista club.

    The Dutch playing
    with Maduro could be a way of trying to diffuse the tensions on the island between Chavistas and non Chavistas.

    The Dutch would hate to be in a position like the UK was with the Falklands and be called upon to defend these islands against a possible future Venezuelan invasion.In fact they would likely prefer to throw in the towel.Playing along with the Chavez government would also be a way of avoiding this possible scenario in the future.

    All this of course means that they are betting on the Chavistas remaining in power in Venezuela.Hopefully they are wrong in this and will have to pay a price in the future.

    An invasion is unlikely in the sense that the Chavistas would prefer to take over the Islands in a peaceful by having the Chavista party triumph in the elections and then deliver them the goods.


  7. I like LLópez's astute observation, but I think it's a little hot-headed. And I doubt it's the only answer as to why Willem and Maxima came for tea. The islands have suffered greatly from the Vzln currency devaluation, there are divisions in Curaçao's parliament, and there's a disgruntled union of oil workers on the island. In other words, the makings of a tinderbox. More so with an even bigger saber-rattler in Maduro than was Chávez.

    Even though Curaçao has special status apart and political independence from the Netherlands, there are still enough social and economic reasons for the Dutch House of Orange to go a-calling and to protect those social and political interests in the islands.

    This article is just over 3 years old, but it does provide some relevant background.

  8. * to protect those social and economic interests in the islands (via politics).

  9. Nothing supports monarchy as much as viewing the ELEGANCE, especially that of Maxima's, churlishly made uncomfortable, against Cilia's shabby presence.

  10. Daniel,
    OK, to be fair, the Dutch who said that about the wee chair were not journalists. One of them was a woman who commented on a journalist's blog here:

    and someone else on twitter. The journalist was clearly explaining about our protest and other journalists have done so.

    You can use Google translations to get some idea about what he said.

    And there I also said the Dutch should be ashamed, the timing was very bad.

    The journalist covered our outrage.

    I still think the opposition should have coordinated this.
    They knew that in advance. I wrote to people from PJ and UNT and I suppose - hope - other people did that as well.
    An open letter to the government of the Netherlands with copy to the Dutch newspapers like Volkskrant and so on, showing our concern and telling the Dutch how Maduro is an autocrat and what he says and does about the opposition (we just need to show his star Youtube clips insulting us) would have been enough.

    I really think the people who sent these guys to Venezuela were really really really stupid or shameless bastards or both.

  11. Hi Daniel,

    First, Hola is just Hoi or Hallo in Dutch.
    Second, I shame myself deeply for the misbehavior of the Royal family.
    Third, not all the journalist are idiots.
    Fourth, is ¨consturas¨ not written wrong. I think that it has to be costuras.
    Fifth, Daniel you are a great writer and you are completely right with your blogpost.


    1. So I need to have your damned konïg in town to see you back commenting?

      What I meant HOLA! was the name of an equivalent magazine in the Netherlands. :)

    2. Do you really really need to know that, Daniel? :-)
      I didn't recall that myself but did a quick search. If you want the latest news not only on the Dutch clowns but also on those from abroad, you might want to look at Vorsten or Royalty. There is also Royal Extra
      (this information is taken from some silly Dutch site and I am not responsible for any neurological damage in case you do look at those things)

    3. Hi Kepler,

      There is a website ¨Blauw Bloed¨ Blue Blood. Yes there blood is blue :)
      And about silly spoken there is even a program on the TV called Blauw Bloed.

      Yes Daniel, can you imagine how embarrassed I am by these two nitwits, I even start to comment again.
      The real reason is that I moved from Venezuela to Tenerife and from Tenerife To Germany and in Germany moved to another place in Germany. No time for comments, I was to busy for everything. But... I always found some time to read about Venezuela.
      It is amazing how Venezuelans can learn German. My daughter speaks it better then I.


    4. Alpha

      you should team with Kepler for an all German blog on Venezuela :)

  12. OK, here they are saying there is still not a "state visit" but an "official visit" or "visit of getting to know":

    So, this thing was more like a safari visit (well, kennismakingsbezoeken or visit to get to know).
    In the language of God: "pero no puedo decir nada al respecto. Tampoco cuándo va a tener lugar, el próximo año o después".

    I really really really hope our opposition is better prepared for that and knows how to prepare this guy.

    I wonder if the Venezuelans in Ireland or Canada will have to do what the Venezuelans in the Netherlands or our deputies in Caracas should be doing, seriously (I don't think Capriles needs to be the do-it-all).

    They also talked here about the protests:

    I think it was a decent albeit short article.

  13. Hi Kepler,

    Kennismakingsbezoek or State/official visit is something different. Anyway I also think that those two nitwits never has to visit the Maduro/Chavez Venezuela.
    The Volkskrant is pretty good newspaper, but the news of Venezuela is for the most people not so interesting.
    Not even the 5 Island there is interesting for them. It is what we say ¨De ver van mijn bed show¨. The far from my bed Show. Ehh.... not for everybody!!

    I really hope that the minister of foreign affairs Timmermans will get enough knowledge to cancel any visit under the regime of those red idiots to Venezuela


    1. Well, this is what they say:

      "Een officieel bezoek en de kennismakingsbezoeken die het koningspaar tot nu toe aan negen landen hebben gebracht, kennen een vrijere invulling."
      An official visit and the get-to-know visits that the couple have done up to now to nine countries have/know a freer schedule (than the state visits)

      I think the Duque of Alba really screwed it when he let William the Silent run away. We keep paying for it. :-p

  14. Anonymous6:51 PM

    I think you have to look over the "Tellerand" here. There is quite some Dutch companies having seriouse problems with money. Just look at the airlines in Curacao or Aruba who sit on a mountain of Bolivars. I think this was kind of "high" level meeting to remind Maduro to pay the f.... bills. And of course why not talk about business too with him?
    Cheers Hans

    1. agree, Hans. The devaluation issue is very serious to the livelihood of the islands. Therefore 'taking care of business' trumps the internal politics of a country, whose government is causing those financial difficulties.

      I don't believe for a second that Holland's external affairs is not aware of the political temperature in Venezuela. I suspect the Dutch government knew they wouldn't get anywhere with its own suits. So instead they sent Wm and Máxima to do a charm offensive, perhaps as a precursor for others to do some arm-twisting...

    2. That was indeed one of the reasons, the money that Venezuela have to pay.

      But, just a question.
      Do you think that Maduro is impressed by this charm offensive and that he will pay the millions?

      He does not have enough money to buy food for next year for Venezuela.
      Believe me the oil-price will go down next year. The same with the oil production in Venezuela.
      And Venezuela needs more and more oil for themselves. And the import of oil products will be bigger.
      The situation is really bad for Venezuela.
      Maduro will never pay any dime.
      That means that this visit of these two was not necessary.


    3. I agree, Alpha. Maduro will never pay a dime. But can you imagine, given the difficult conditions on the islands, what would have happened if no one from the Netherlands had made the visit? Since it was unlikely that the Dutch suits would have brought any change, since I suspect they're well aware of Vz's precarious economy and inability to pay the piper, I figure they used Wm&Max as window dressing for the future (God willing) change in the Vz government (2016) and its presumed healing.

  15. It's good that at least some Dutch journalists are aware of the contradictions of the King of Holland praising Maduro while repression of the freedom of expression makes it impossible for the opposition to transmit its message.So much for freedom of the press and democracy.

    In reference to the "De ver van mijn bed show".How true with most humans all over the world.The only difference between the King and the rest is that the King pretends to care while hiding his real intentions.


  16. Bridge10:31 AM

    Does any of you really believe that the King makes the decision where to travel ? ... that the King writes his own speeches ?
    That is the primeminister and the minister of foreign affairs and the minister of commerce !

    1. Of course he doesn't, but even if he were an absolute puppet one addresses him and sees what the ministers do.
      If a whole community puts more and more pressure on this issue and makes it more and more embarrassing for a king to do that, the prime minister and the other ministers will have to recant. They cannot use the king as they can use a drone, in spite of all the similarities.

    2. Do not worry Bridge, we all know that. Which is what in the post I wrote that Willem should have bitched at the foreign minister. The King is ceremonial but that does not mean he is mute in private meetings. After all that is the only purpose of the king, to be aware of all major issues of the kingdom so that he can help smooth the transition when a new government is sworn in. and married to Maxima one would expect him to be better informed of what is going on in Venezuela: she surely knows what peronism is all about and should be able to draw some comparisons.....

  17. Many dutch people also do not understand why this visit was not prosponed or even canceld. I know a little about the situation in your beautiful country and do not understand why? I think there are some things on the agenda about the Antilles Isles or maybe about the oil or so because i see no other reasons to visit a dicatator. And it is also true that our King do not decide where to go, that does the foreign minister and also his speech are not his own words. Queen Maxima should know more about the gouvernment there is in Venezuela but even she does not have any influence about this visit. But i think many Dutch people do not agree this and are hoping things will change soon for the better in your country.

  18. The only reason why the royal couple visited Venezuela, was to prtect dutch interests.

    Think about oil concessions, investment in the poluting refinery of Curaçao which has been leased to PDVESA, export rights etc etc.

    And because Maduro is the one in charge, and he will be for some time, he is the one to talk to. Not really something weird or anything, it's just business.

    As for the political impact? I think it is close to zero. The dutch could not care less about what is happening in Venezuela. The average dutch citizen even thinks that everything in Venezuela is better than ever before. So all in all a good business meeting.

  19. Here's another reason the royal couple visted this part of the world: The Netherlands needs its monies!

    Netherlands Loses Triple-A Rating, Spain's Outlook Raised.
    S&P raised the outlook for Spain's sovereign-debt rating but cut the Netherlands' credit rating, in moves that reflect how parts of the crisis-hit Southern Europe are starting to stabilize, while some economies in Europe's stronger North are weakening... (WSJ)


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