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What is it like to live in North Korea, Venezuela, China, Cuba and Soviet Union

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

Trained in the ranks of the communist party, this Venezuelan physicist knew communism inside in North Korea, in Cuba and in the Soviet Union itself. He managed to get out of the tentacles of the red ideology when he began to reflect on the effect that a system of this nature has on society and on the individual. A fascinating story told by an insightful character that I share with you below.


Maibort Petit


In North Korea, "People don't show the emotions to avoid being punished.

- Could it be that we Venezuelans can reach that state of lethargy?" he asked in horror.


Talking about the subject, I asked him if he wanted to meet the enigmatic Venezuelan who had awakened his critical conscience during his visit to the North Korean capital and who today was one of the few who see in Venezuela an optimistic future full of changes. Jesus arranged for me a conversation—via Skype—with Heli Arrieta, a physicist who speaks as a political scientist, and who learned to fray the essence of communism until he presented it to converts as the basis of an unwanted society.


Arrieta is 57 years old. His speech speaks volumes. With slow speech, rich vocabulary and reflections that denote experience and knowledge, he explained how it is possible to get rid of the manipulation and control of red ideology. He lives in Maracaibo and says he is part of the group that decided to stay in the country.


"I am in love with these lands and their people and I refuse to be part of the diaspora," he clarified once we connected.


We began by talking about his years of militancy in the communist party of Venezuela and his wanderings through countries that have been the icon of the failed socialist model, such as the defunct Soviet Union, Cuba and North Korea.


Youth groups for communist
Venezuela Communist youth

It makes the human being just an aggregate to the supreme leader Kim Jong Un's idea of his subjects. Arrieta was a member of the communist youth. In those years of militancy, relationships and commitments were forged that led him to participate in one of the festivals held in Pyongyang.


"Yes, obviously as a young man I was excited when I was part of a delegation that left Caracas for Pyongyang. The reason for these activities was to increase our experience and knowledge of communism. The participants were people who linked to the left from several countries of the world in these meetings," he recalls with some disdain.


Arrieta explains that during the festivals, the young attendees carried out cultural, sports, recreational activities and discussions framed within the framework of the communist ideology.


There were many Venezuelans who were encouraged to participate in these international events. In fact, for the XIII festival of world communist youth, the delegation of Venezuela was made up of about 50 people, he said.


In those years, Arrieta was studying physical sciences at the University of Zulia. That meeting — which was attended by people from all over the world — was very interesting from a human point of view, he said.