Mitchell Reports | March 08, 2013
>>> in venezuela hundreds of thousands of people are crowding the streets of car auk yeahs for hugo chavez ' state funeral still going on at this hour. iran's president mau humid ahmadinejad arrived today, and the reverend jesse jackson delivered racks during the funeral. actor sean penn is there with a front row seat. joining me now jose diaz bolart. it's difficult to get a grip around what chavez means to his own people and around the word as well as, of course, the very difficult relationship with u.s. presidents .
>> andrea, it is really difficult to explain what is going on in venezuela . what we're seeing right now is part state funeral , part political rally. part creation of a myth. hugo chavez died last tuesday, but since then.
>> maybe what we saw in late 1950s in argentina when the death of eva perrone, the famous musical evita don't cry for me argentina. all we're seeing is now cry for me. cry for hugo chavez that was described just minutes ago by the vice president as christ-like.
>> thank you very much. will chavez 's successor change course? diana from the brookings institute , thank you very much. you study all of this, and let's talk about his movement and what it represents and whether maduro, if he is the successor, as he has been des egg natured, rather than the opposition leader who failed in the october elections, but if he is the successor, will he continue with the same philosophy and the same policies?
>> chavez is a clear ideology. there is direct democracy which means every man and woman citizen votes directly for leaders. the leader is glorified, and the leader exercises a power because only he understands the needs of his people. is he supported by a militia, which report directly to him, not to the congress, and communication is blast out in support of the leader. now that, works when you have a very charismatic leader , such as hugo chavez . nicolas moduro is a hard line socialist, but he has no charisma, so the question now is can modero hold on to this ideology?
>> what about the economic impact? we now have a $50 billion trade relationship with venezuela . they are among our biggest oil exporters . they are the largest in the hemisphere. the oil industry has really suffered since chavez took over. it's down 30%. he has brought up the corporate payrolls with 90,000 extra workers, many of them unnecessary and not experienced, so they're really degrading the technical skill of the oil industry there.
>> the energy sector is in shambles in venezuela . when chavez came to power in 1998 , they produced 3.4 million barrels a day. today it's 1 million barrels less each day, and, yet, they got to pay their debts. they have to do international purchases. they have to buy from us light quality oil for use in their economies. meantime, equipment, parts are all in short supply. so the progrenostics for the future are grim.
>> which is the main support of the system. can they continue to subsidyize cuba , for instance. that cuban relationship between the castros and chavez was so close, but it was also built on the fact of charity that cuba was completely reliant on free oil and free energy from venezuela .
>> i anticipated continuing. the relationship between moduro and the cuban leadership is tight, and, remember, it isn't all generosity. there are exchanges. there are cuban doctors in remote areas, poor areas of cities in venezuela . there are teachers. there are intelligence workers. so there is a symbiotic relationship between cuba and venezuela . moduro will seek to maintain that.
>> do you see finally and briefly any opening on the horizon with a new secretary of state, any opening between the u.s. and cuba if only it to take cuba off of the terror list, which many believe is a completely antiquated symptom of the politics rather than the policy?
>> you are right. if the united states could show some flexibility towards cuba , it would enabling both cuba and venezuela to be less ob stin ant in our relationship with where yous, moduro was the man seeking to re-established diplomatic relations . let us give a little bit via our relations with cuba by taking cuba off the terrorist list.
>> diana, thank you very much. thanks for your expertise. good to see you.