The Post describes Venezuela's Chavez as "mercurial" - a weak personality that cracks under stress - but one who is saved by the steady hand of his mentor, Fidel Castro. Once, when the military was conspiring (and when they are not?), Chavez was weeping while Castro personally "worked the phones" to create a consensus for his protege.
Chavez relies heavily on Cuban advisors to implement programs that are one of the keys to his political success. We assess there could be as many as 40,000 Cubans currently in Venezuela, managing, guiding, and implementing Chavez' social missions (e.g., Barrio Adentro medical program, Mision Robinson literacy program, Mercal state-owned grocery chain, etc.) Rumors swirl about Cubans taking central roles in sensitive government functions, including in Chavez' personal security, the military, the National Electoral Council, the national identification Office, even land titling offices. The Cubans are getting paid hard currency for it.Interestingly, the word "Communist" is not mentioned by the "Post", although what he is describing is classic "socialist solidarity". In fact, the concept of communism or even ideology is absent from the State Department verbiage. Maybe they feel that their bosses are socialists. Instead, they focus on personalities, on election chances. Their main fields of interests are arms and drugs smuggling. Maybe the real hard material is marked "Top Secret" that was not leaked.