Mariela Castro, daughter of General Raul Castro "Moreover, at a pep rally in Caracas last week, General Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela, took the microphones to proclaim: "¡Cuba y Venezuela, una sola bandera" ("Cuba and Venezuela, joined by one flag!")..." It is amateur hour at ole Foggy Bottom (the US State Dept.) but Raul's daughter apparently said what Latin American observers had long noted, namely that Cuba is all but running Venezuela under the weakling Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro. Obama's opening towards Cuba has been rebuffed by the Castros, and Obama has actually made the situation worse. Repression has become so open and widespread in Venezuela that Obama has actually publically denounced Venezuela as Maduro has order that the number of people in the American embassy in Caracas reduced to the number of people in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC. Meanwhile both Cubans and Venezuelans face severe shortages of food and consumer goods and widespread arrests.