Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza met late last night with kim Yong Nam, the chief legislator from North Korea, in Caracas. The meeting was a precursor to an encounter between Kim and Maduro, which took place today in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

During yesterday’s meeting, Kim and Arreaza signed an agreement calling for “political understanding and cooperation” between the two nations.

Below, images of Kim’s meeting with Arreaza:

#NOW The Foreign Ministry meets his excellency Kim Yong Nam, President of the Supreme Assembly of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, with the goal of strengthening diplomatic, economic and commercial ties between the two countries #IBelieveInVenezuela

North Korea is arguably the most brutal dictatorship on the planet. There, the Kim regime–in power since 1948–operates a network of hellish concentration camps that house political dissidents, and force average North Koreans to live in medieval conditions while top officials enjoy extravagant luxuries.

Maduro’s naked drive towards authoritarianism in recent years has drawn him closer to dictators all over the world. He is scheduled to welcome Turkish President Recep Erdogan in Caracas next month.

Former National Treasurer Sentences to 10 Years in Prison

Alejandro Andrade, national treasurer from 2007 to 2011, was sentenced today to ten years in a federal U.S. prison for his role in a corruption scheme worth over $1 billion.

Andrade enjoyed the fruits of his crimes for years in Florida, where he

… owned jets, mansions, 17 show-jumping horses and a fleet of luxury vehicles.

Federal authorities seized 10 luxury vehicles, 19 horses and “the contents of nine bank accounts” belonging to Andrade as part of the investigation against him.

Andrade was convicted of receiving bribes from individuals in exchange for allowing them to access cheap U.S. dollars in the Venezuelan treasury. The dollars were destined for purchasing food, medicine and other basic necessities, but instead ended up in the pockets of corrupt individuals.

At his trial today, Andrade apologized for his crimes and admitted that he made “unwise decisions” as treasurer.

Andrade is scheduled to begin his prison sentence on February 25.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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