Socialist Venezuela signed several military and technology agreements with North Korea this week, dictator Nicolás Maduro announced on Tuesday.
In an address broadcast on Twitter, Maduro revealed that his close ally and senior United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) official, Diosdado Cabello, had reached the agreements during a tour of the Far East.
“Diosdado has just informed me of agreements concluded in all areas — technology, industry, military cooperation,” Maduro said. He also confirmed the two sides already have cooperation agreements in place for food and agriculture.
Cabello, who is under U.S. sanctions for intercontinental narcotics trafficking, led a delegation to Pyongyang from September 24-27 and held talks with senior North Korean officials, including Choe Ryong-hae, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea. He is not believed to have met dictator Kim Jong-un himself.
According to the Venezuelan propaganda outlet TeleSUR, Cabello also “paid tribute to former presidents Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il by offering a floral arrangement in front of their bronze statues in Mansudae Hill.” He visited their tombs at the Sun Palace where both are laid to rest. This worship is compulsory for visiting guests in the country.
The delegation also traveled to Vietnam and China, where they took part in celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China communist revolutionary under Mao Zedong, who went on to kill between 40 and 50 million people as part of his starvation policy known as “The Great Leap Forward.”
“Back in the sacred soil of the Bolivarian Homeland, after fulfilling extraordinary meetings with governments, parties, people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Vietnam,” Cabello wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “We will defeat them!”
Ya en el suelo sagrado de la Patria Bolivariana, después de cumplir un extraordinario encuentro con los gobiernos, partidos, pueblo de la República Popular Democrática de Corea y Vietnam, aprovecho para invitarlos a su programa @ConElMazoDando, a las 7 pm. Nosotros Venceremos!!
— Diosdado Cabello R (@dcabellor) October 2, 2019
The new agreements come as the two countries face increasing international isolation and the weight of economic sanctions against their respective industries. Last month, the Maduro regime opened an embassy in the capital Pyongyang.
Friendly relations between the two countries date back to the days of Hugo Chávez, who refused to condemn North Korea’s aggressive nuclear program and even planned to meet with former leader Kim Jong-il, although the meeting never materialized.
Meanwhile, the “vice-attorney general of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Cuba,” Alina Montesino Li, also visited Pyongyang on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of increasing legal cooperation between the two countries.