The Chinese are also boliburgueses


A couple of articles to make your head spin.

Charlie Devereux has a terrific piece for Bloomberg on China’s influence on Venezuela. Charlie, perhaps motivated by our little trip to Parapara, went to Guárico to check out the train to nowhere and got to talk to the workers. The money quote:

“As with Chinese projects in Africa and elsewhere, tensions have surfaced between Venezuelan workers and their foreign managers. At three construction sites in different states visited by Bloomberg News over five days in August, dozens of workers described being forced by Chinese managers to work long hours, with little concern for their safety, and being harassed by police for airing complaints.

Jose Perez, a 31-year-old machinist on the same project, said he’s frequently forced to work 15 hours straight without overtime. “They’re trying to impose Chinese labor laws on us,” he said, standing near a giant billboard of Chavez shaking hands with Chinese President Hu.”

The piece is rich in detail, well worth a read. Thanks to Alejandro Tarre – who is blogging the crap out of this election – for pointing this out to me.

A separate one appeared in yesterday’s edition of La Nación, a Buenos Aires newspaper. In it, Olga Wormat documents the boliburguesía and in their full, nouveau-riche extravagance. The money quote (and, boy, there are lots … article is in Spanish, sorry):

“Salazar Carreño (familiar de Rafael Ramírez) pasó de vendedor de polizas de seguro a convertirse en uno de los hombres más ricos de Venezuela, y todo gracias a su poderoso pariente, quien le otorgó el multimillonario contrato de la póliza de seguros y reaseguros de Petróleos de Venezuela. Al “Rojo de Oro” le encanta la fiesta, el derroche y los lujos. Vacaciona en Dubai, donde se traslada en su avión, con mucamas, chefs y custodios. Tiene mansiones en EE.UU. y Europa. En Caracas, adquirió un lujoso piso en la urbanización Campo Alegre, pero como le resultaba poco, compró el edificio. Aficionado al canto, creó una orquesta de cien músicos de salsa -con salarios en dólares- con los que ensaya tres veces por semana en el hotel Marriott, cuya planta baja se cierra para él y su banda.”


19 thoughts on “The Chinese are also boliburgueses

  1. The Marxists in Venezuela have been pointing this out about the Chinese for a very long time.
    Chinese capitalists are just as bad as the ones in the USA, Russia, Iran et al.

    As for me I say cut off the oil to the USA, China, Iran, Syria…

    Rojo Rojito



  2. I wonder if the Venezuelan workers were made to work for a “bowl of rice a day.” Let me explain the generalization. In 1985, I applied to a Canadian bank start-up. The Asian Veep in charge interviewed me. His philosophy on workers was based on why the North Vietnamese soldiers won the war. (“They had a burning mission and were willing to fight for a bowl of rice a day.”) Needless to say, I smelled cheeeep, and bowed out. The company went bankrupt a few years later.


  3. The picture is remarkable really. That guy next to Hu bankrupted a canteen! And there are people that think we are not mad.


    • “And there are people that think we are not mad.”-There you go again!
      Speak for yourself. I’m not mad, just a little bit crazy sometimes-ha


  4. There are a number of memorable vignettes of the Hugo Chavez road show in all its five star extravagance in Wornat’s Chronicas Malditas, including a presidential tantrum about the delay in getting hallacas from his personal chef while staying at a first class hotel in Beijing. And Nestor Kirchner’s loathing of the guy, for not being able to shut up. The book is a little dated now, but then the interviews with the Chavez ex girlfriends make for timeless enjoyment. As Deng Xiopeng said, “to be rich is glorious!”


    • thank you and Juan for the heads up. I’m reading the article in LaNación, now. Great stuff. Wornat churns out magnificent descriptions! Takes you right there.


    • As Deng Xiopeng said, “to be rich is glorious!” -Yes, I think he said that @1980( or early 80’s)-It was I believe when or after President Reagan visited and I guess it is secret stuff-but, the context here is important. Supposedly the Chinese “humiliated’ the US delegation
      on several fronts: 1. A Chinese general stood up and laughed and said “US, a superpower?” Ha Ha. What is your population-@200 mil- look at China over 1 bil…
      and 2. Maybe this was not made public but China decided to get on the road of capitalism and open up and absorb technology, etc. right then and there and the goal was to become more economically powerful than the US-and looks like they will achieve that within next ?5-10 years. Not bad, considering where they came from-30 years to overtake US…
      THis is the context for Deng’s statement “to be rich is glorious”- many opposed Deng.


      • Interesting. Looking around me, it can now be said that the slogan has been updated: “To be rich is glorious, and to have it stashed in safe offshore real estate for when things fall apart is even more glorious!”


  5. That would apply well to the rich in China, who are driving up property prices all around the world. To be rich is glorious, unless you fear for your property, in which case a prudent person keeps a backup plan. The rich in China fear some new Maoist movement. the newly rich in Venezuela fear a corruption trial.


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