ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Tuesday December 20, 2011 | Update
 
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President Chávez laments the death of Kim Jong Il

Trade between the two countries plunged since 2007

FRANK LÓPEZ BALLESTEROS |  EL UNIVERSAL
Tuesday December 20, 2011  11:30 AM


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).

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Is protest over?

That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending  in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.

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