President Chávez laments the death of Kim Jong Il
Trade between the two countries plunged since 2007
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez sent condolences to North Korean authorities expressing the "most sincere sorrow" for the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, on behalf of "all Venezuelans," after learning about the death of his "comrade."
President Chávez said that he has full confidence that North Koreans will move "toward a prosperous and peaceful future," according to a Venezuelan foreign ministry statement.
In the text, the government expressed its willingness to "keep walking along with sovereign nations for the auto-determination of countries and world peace."
Trade between Caracas and Pyongyang significantly increased when President Chávez took office in 1999, but it has dwindled since 2007, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE).
President Nicolás Maduro is not only the heir to the throne, but also to an economic crisis which demanded urgent measures to rectify the course. The crisis showed up in two aspects: a 50% inflation estimate, and shortage of staples ranging between 70% and 98%. These issues might hit the President's poor popularity; considering his feeble electoral victory of 1% over his challenger.