Last January we were wondering about the return of Diosdado Cabello in favor. And it seems to be confirmed as he has started crisscrossing the country as if he were candidate for something.
There is not much that I can add to what I wrote then. Cabello is the one holding the more cards within chavismo right now and Chavez has no choice but to let him fly on his own as long as he is not certain he can come back with enough health to campaign himself. Chavismo and the Cuban counsel must have realized that a plan B is a must and, well, Diosdado is the lone plan B left.
How does this affect the election? We already saw the renewed tension when Capriles march in the popular sector of Cotiza in Caracas was attacked last Sunday and someone even got a shot wound standing next to him. The bad rap for the regime has been terrible since Sunday but that is not what should worry us: those are the kind of scare tactics that Diosdado is willing to use with more ease than Chavez himself. And more is yet to come. Let me remind you that for example 7 years ago when Diosdado was elected Miranda governor he had no problem pointing out that the state deserved a governor with a wife, a first lady, deliberately casting doubts on Mendoza then running for reelection. Considering that Capriles, who beat him 4 years later, is running for president you can imagine the grudge that Diosdado must have against that nice young polite man who is all that he is not (he is even rich from birth, not like Diosdado that had to steal it all).
How this did happen? I think that the military are in large part responsible for that. Whether they are chavistas, they are first military and after enduring 13 years of prosperity with one of them in Miraflores they are certainly not looking kindly on a chavista Taliban replacing Chavez. Diosdado is not well liked but at least he is a known value for them who know full well all the misdeeds he has in his judicial drawer and thus think they can control him. At this point they probably do not care who of Diosdado or Capriles will win: they will be able to rein either one, at least in the early part of their eventual term. If what I just wrote is true, then we know that Chavez indeed has no control of the army in spite of everything he tried: it was just a matter of how much he could give them, how credible a provider he appeared.
Now, weak, a double liar from promising he was cured and that the opposition would never be able to field a unity candidate, Chavez simply is fading in the military eyes, even were he to miraculously recover in Havana. Times are changing.
Meanwhile, brace yourself even more than you thought you should have for what promises to be a campaign from hell.