Chavez left for Cuba Saturday. We must wonder about his disease induced insanity. He has been accumulating all sorts of mistakes and has not been dealing quite well with political adversity. He is letting his emotions rule and that can only complicate his political fights. One has a sense that he stopped caring and that he just wants what he wants. A little bit as the old Far West saying "let's see how many I can bring down with me". Or something to that effect.
First there is that insistence in supporting Gaddafi against all logic even as the guy is AWOL and even as the last main backer, China, dropped him by recognizing the Libyan rebels. To this, Chavez can only manage to convoke an ALBA summit of his cronies and issue a common support declaration that has no echo anywhere, and even less at the UN. The only thing it manages is that the hubris of Chavez is forcing other countries into further international humiliation and discredit. They may be sensing that as they only sent their foreign ministers to the Chavez presided summit. This "summit" is not a matter of foreign policy, it is a matter of Chavez personal bond with Gaddafi. As such he has no qualm in bringing down Venezuela and the ALBA in this farce. More than ever we are confronted to the fact that Venezuela has long ago ceased to have a foreign policy and that this one has been replaced by a Chavez likes and dislikes policy.
On the internal front Chavez is aware of his personal weakness, even if he acts at it as if he were not seeing the white elephant in the living room. He knows he could get really sick suddenly and he is trying to secure his hold on power. But his problem is whom to trust. From what we see it does not seem there is anyone he can trust, even in sickness. People are pushed on and off from the front scene while he retains Jaua as his vice president. But the latest promotion of his foreign minister Maduro who has started doing all sorts of things except foreign-ministering seems to point out that he will be the next Vice President and thus the one in charge shall Chavez weaken further. This is strange, that a civilian may get the nod, because on the other hand Chavez keeps increasing the military hold in public administration. Venezuela looks and works like a military regime now and that Maduro might be the next in line were Chavez to falter is curious to say the least, almost as if Maduro was his own less bad choice.
The Maduro/Military possible contradiction is an example where Chavez should make a choice and does not. But when he makes a choice it might even be worse for him. The very latest one was him declaring Saturday that the Inter American Court is worth nothing. That can only mean that legally or illegally Chavez will bar Leopoldo Lopez from running in the 2012 elections. Politcally one cannot understand his motivation.
Capriles Radosnki is leading high in polls for the February primary. The second one is Pablo Perez. And Lopez is a distant thrid. Even if that distant third could be improved readily if Lopez were to be allowed to run, it still does not imply that Capriles will lose in February. It is in Chavez political interest that whomever wins in February does so with less than 50% of the vote and the best way to do that is to let Leopoldo run. I doubt that he could go above 50% by February even if he were to win as either Perez or Capriles are bound to make further alliances to push away any challenge to their now established leadership, even if theirs is rather locally based. A Lopez banned from election will be forced to support either Perez or Capriles, become the king maker and ensure that whomever he picks up will win handsomely in February. Does Chavez needs a real unity candidate? Can Chavez personal hatred of Lopez blind him so much? In fact I will go as far as suggesting that Chavez would have an easier time to beat Leopoldo than Capriles or Perez in October 2012 as these ones can probably rally better the left overs of AD or COPEI around their names than Leopoldo can.
And thus we must conclude that Chavez is adrift, hitting here or there, depending on whatever medication or treatment he is receiving at a given time. While the country crumbles without him worrying much. And him worrying even less about the well being of Venezuelans who as far as he is concerned have betrayed him.