When Hugo Chávez went to the UN, it used to be an event. The outlandish comandante garnered the world’s attention thanks to the deep pockets he had, and let’s face it, to his God-given talent for hogging the limelight and seizing the media’s attention.
Nicolás Maduro? Not so much.
Aside from a sparsely-attended speech in which the most noteworthy thing he said was that capitalism “has ignored the laws of thermodynamics and entropy” (bringing this little post by Quico to memory), Maduro’s visit has been a bust. No bluster. No brimstone. Even a meeting with chavistas in the South Bronx is barely worth writing about. And let’s not even discuss the fact that the one of the world’s dirtiest gas stations is lecturing people about climate change.
Maduro’s lackluster performance on the world stage mirrors the country’s horrendously downbeat mood. The good times are over. Nobody cares about Venezuela any more, so much so that we’ll make our way to the Security Council and nobody will bother contesting this. We don’t have the deep pockets we used to have. In fact, we may even have to borrow some cash for the cab fare home.
The world is looking at us with a mix of embarassment and contempt, like one does with alcoholic waking up with an 11 am hangover, wondering “did I really have a good time with this person last night?” Frankly, the world simply wishes we would just go away, that the socialist experiment dies its inevitable death already so they can all move on.
When Chávez spoke at the UN, he made history. When Maduro speaks, it’s just one more selfie for Cilia.