With the "acceleration" of the revolution it is noteworthy how many of the faithful have been happily discarded by Chavez. Today, on the occasion of yet anther Carabobo commemoration it is the turn of Baduel and Acosta Carles, the Carabobo governor, to be thrown to the wolves (1). I mean, we all knew that they were out of the revolution, in disgrace, but today it was their official vilification, the official start for the rewriting of the history manuals as Chavez used a state occasion to settle his accounts with two people to whom he owes so much, who he displayed as great heroes of the revolution (2).
Baduel was the guy who helped enormously to Chavez recovery on the April 2002 days of fright. On Sunday 14 April 2002, the first outing of Chavez outside of Caracas since his return to power, was to visit Baduel at the military base of Maracay. Since then the man became chief of the armed forces, defense minister, got his three suns and what not. But unfortunately he had the temerity to say that he did not agree with the post December 2006 Chavez and well, the rest was only to predictable. Now he has all sorts of state agencies after him, he is monitored constantly, he is attacked all the time and today Chavez opened his bilious heart on the subject. Of course, that Baduel was a major player int he failure of the 2007 constitutional referendum is something that a vindictive Chavez not only will not forgive but he will punish it. Thus is the nature of the beast.
The surprise today was that Acosta Carles, Carabobo Governor, was also thrown to the wolves. We already knew that the had not received the nod to run again for the Carabobo house, this honor now going to the vilest of chavismo rats, Mario Silva. But the recriminations of Chavez were surprisingly strong, and perhaps unnecessary unless he has other ulterior motives. See, Acosta Carles was the general who during the 2002-2003 strike looted private deposits to pretend that there was hoarding taking place, the general who personally jumped on gas trucks to force them to deliver gas to gasoline stations. His image of vulgar burping is etched into our collective memory when he was drinking warm beer that he had seized as a hoard when truth was that they could not deliver it because there was no gas anywhere. As a reward he got the nod for Carabobo state house in 2004. But even though he has been a lousy governor, that is not his major sin: he had the audacity to believe that he actually had legitimacy in his rule, and he had ideas of his own. It is irrelevant whether ideas of your own are good: within chavismo you cannot have any other ideas than those approved by the big boss. Period.
But there is more to it than these two spectacular public curses. First, we can see the personal anger of Chavez, whop having had to ditch the FARC and swallow hard has been looking for any scapegoat. His inner ugliness was for all to see today.
Second, that Baduel and Acosta Carles come form the soldiers that were considered faithful is not alien to Chavez anger. As he trusts less and less the army realizing that no matter how many free bees he gives them, there is enough professionalism left in many generals that they will only go so far in their support. This make shim very bitter towards them. Today outburst was a warning to the armed forces forced to parade in front of him. It is part of his growing campaign to replace the army with a militia directed by political hacks under control of the Cuban intelligence (let's not forget that it is the dream of Chavez, to create in Venezuela as many similarities as possible with Cuba, the only way he could pretend to remain in office forever).
But that was not all today: Chavez went out of his way to congratulate Clodosvaldo Russian for creating the latest apartheid instrument at his service. This is not accidental and reminds, for starter, the original endorsement that Chavez made about he Tascon list. Transforming citizens into second class citizens because they do not agree with Chavez is definitively a state policy under Chavez and he reminded all of that, in particular his PSUV underlings and his alleged allies at the PSUV and other minor players. See, there is a problem with the electoral campaign: the PSUV primaries have turned out to be a bust as half of the nominees are strongly challenged or are tanking at polls. And the list of nominees in trouble seems to be growing, without the opposition even having announced its final candidates. The Russian list which was designed to block from running for office notable opposition candidates was today glorified by Chavez as an instrument to fight corruption, even though the scandalous corruption under chavismo does not seem to be a matter of worth of inquiry for Russian the ruffian. The obvious implication is that anyone within the PSUV that would want to run in spite of not getting the nod by Chavez would be barred by Russian or public blame from Chavez. The immediate target of course is Acosta Carles who will be blocked from running as independent for reelection. Not that he would win, that is not the point, but because he would defy Chavez orders. (3)
And to round it all up with a flourish, a Chavez increasingly out of control stated that the opposition will never come back to power, a classic outdated "no volveran". That the majority of the opposition today had only minor positions at best in 1998, if any, that chavez after ten years of rule is now the establishment, that his regime is equally corrupt, equally egotistical as the pre 1998 situation does not seem to register with him. His Mugabization is taking place at a fast rate and today he told us, maybe not in direct terms, but certainly in direct implications, that he will not be removed from office through democratic ways.
Whoever refuses to understand that does so at its own risk.
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1) Carabobo battle is our Yorktown equivalent, the battle that sealed the independence of Venezuela.
2) They just join in the dumpster of the revolution notable figures such as Miquilena or recent arrivals such as PODEMOS. The list grows everyday campaign one wonder who will remain when all is said and done...
3) The discretion of the state media deserves t be noted. RNV at this point chose to illustrate only the part where Chavez mentions that socialism is the only way for Venezuela. ABN is a little bit more forward but still shies for a full disclosure of Chavez word today. All underline that Chavez is goign to buy yet more weapons from Russia just as all is starting to collapse around us.