"Ready for what will be a historic visit to strengthen ties of cooperation and the construction of a new global geopolitics. Good news will rain for the Venezuelan people," said Nicolás Maduro after landing yesterday in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. The "son of Chávez", who has limited his international travel to the maximum since the 2019 opposition challenge, began with this prediction a visit that seeks to "strengthen his ties with the illiberal axis, not only for its survival, but to remove Venezuela from of their isolation," María Puerta Riera, a professor of American government in Florida, explained to EL MUNDO.
Maduro returns to China five years later, precisely when world leaders have gathered in the other Asian giant, India, for a G20 Summit in which the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, will not participate. The Chinese Foreign Ministry assured that Maduro's stay will last until the 14th.
"China and Venezuela have formed an unbreakable iron relationship. They firmly support Venezuela to safeguard its national independence and dignity," said Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, who has previously traveled to Shanghai and Beijing to meet with Xi Jinping's foreign minister. "A brotherhood that is proof against everything," certified Nicolasito Maduro, son of the president, who is part of the Venezuelan delegation.
The Asian government also made it clear for its part, ensuring that it is willing to climb a "new step" in its bilateral relations. The support of the largest autocratic regimes on the planet (China, Russia, Iran, Cuba) was essential for Maduro to survive the international pressure led by the United States.
"Taking advantage of the fact that Russia is immersed in an atrocious war that weakens the Putin regime, Xi is positioning himself as the leader of an anti-Western and anti-liberal alliance. Maduro will take advantage of the platform to show that he is defeating his enemies," added Puerta Riera .
"The geopolitical calculation due to competition between China and the US is relevant. Until now, in the relationship with Venezuela, it has deprived Chinese economic pragmatism, aware and disappointed of the terrible management of Maduro, who seeks from Xi a vote of confidence and money (money)", determined internationalist Mariano de Alba, senior advisor to the Crisis Group, who estimates the "substantial support" that Chavismo needs for next year's presidential elections at at least $5 billion.
Maduro faces next year's presidential elections determined to continue in power until 2030, despite the fact that 85% of Venezuelans want immediate change in their country. The revolution prepares day by day the best electoral scenario, which has already forced the imposition of a new National Electoral Council (CNE), more maduro than ever. Chavismo has also disqualified its main electoral rivals, including the liberal María Corina Machado, who leads all polls ahead of next month's opposition primaries.
Political support is one thing, but "money" is quite another. "China is not going through its best moment, not only because of its economic challenges, but because of the characteristics of its model and how they are affecting its ambitions as a world power. China is not going to release resources as it did before. They know a lot about corruption, and they know first-hand about Chavista corruption," political scientist Puerta Riera told this newspaper, knowing that China has set its eyes on other regions, such as Africa, and has been decreasing its investment in Venezuela.
Renegotiating debt and energy investment are in principle the big factors to consider. And the money? "It will be enough for Maduro to make announcements about promises, as part of his electoral strategy," Puerta said.
"China has been very reluctant to give a lifeline to the Maduro government, insisting on timely payment of the debt with the shipment of oil and committing low but relevant amounts of investment tied to energy projects. (However, China could bet on it) to a stability that ensures that they continue collecting the debt, but also access to investments and resources in Venezuela," De Alba predicted.