I do not know about you but I have the strange feeling that Chavez is slowing down slightly his amendment drive for his eternal reelection. Or if not slowing down he seems to be considering an escape route. See, if one thing is certain is that the Venezuelan tax payer is shelling for lots of polls reaching Miraflores Palace. If there is a Venezuelan president that has waltzed to the tune of polls it is Chavez. And the polls we know of are not good for the amendment.
Today we learned that the National Assembly will give its second discussion on the amedement on January 5. The N.A. could have done its second discussion earlier but that it is on January 5 seems to me odd. To begin with, that there is a discussion on the 5th does not mean at all it will be voted that week. In other words we know now for sure that the referendum will be in the second half of February since it has to take place 30 days after the final vote of N.A. and formal submission to the CNE. There are already many voices within chavismo (CNE) who mention that a reasonable date is the second half of March. Interesting, no?
I do not know about you, but these extensions sound to me like gaining time to see if polls numbers get any better. If they do not, well, through January there will be plenty of time to find an "elegant" way out, such as the TSJ ruling the amendment invalid for any arcane reason and letting thus Chavez off the hook for what could be a very damaging defeat. A simple cadena postponing the redaction and/or vote will suffice to save Chavez face. Or so he will chose to think.
Note: I am writing this note knowing full well that it will take a lot to make Chavez desist, but there is such a thing as reality and on occasion Chavez offers glimpses of grasping it, even for such a messianic cult practitioner.