Saturday, January 05, 2013

Saturday January 5, when the chips start falling

OK, so I will be on the road tomorrow and I will not be able to follow what will happen in the all important installation of the National Assembly. Thus I figure out I should write my best possible educated guest before I take off.

What will happen tomorrow will depend on one thing only, whether Chavez can return to Venezuela at some point to take office. However the decisions are taken in large part in Cuba as it befits the head of the colonial empire that the Castros have established through the exploitation of Venezuela. That explains a lot of the trips made to Cuba by a lot of people who went there not necessarily to visit Chavez.  Brazil needs Chavez  and Venezuela as it scarecrow while it keeps building its empire quietly elsewhere. The ALBA clowns are too afraid of a post Chavez era when they may not have access anymore to political money which ensures their reelection. In short, with Chavez out there is no guarantee that the anti US crusade in Latin America can keep flourishing (as a matter of speaking if you forgive my choice of words).  Because in the end this is all that is, and anti US crusade that explains even why some government that should have known better did not condemn the Chavez regime when there was still time to do so. You know who you are.

This was not a digression if you forgive me: there is a well orchestrated plan by many in South America to ensure that a Venezuela without Chavez keeps being run by Chavez "heirs". Brazil needs its bill in Venezuela paid. The ALBA needs still financing. Cuba is of course in a survival struggle where Venezuela is it lone hope. The US could not care less, Venezuela will keep sending oil and its best professionals as cheap immigrant labor. The Chinese just want their bill paid and some raw material insured. In the lot they may even be more honest brokers than Colombia which wants Chavez out more to take over us than to create a new stable democracy.

We have no friends. Thus the decisions that will unfold as of tomorrow, decided in Havana, probably long ago. That they may not work out in the end is another discussion.

The first case is that Chavez will not come back, period. Besides the shame of dying in another country with the immense psychological consequences that this will give to the country, the death of Chavez in Havana is scheduled to support the Castro's interests. They are not long range, they are until Fidel and Raul die or find a place to hide safely. 2 years? 5? As such the objective is to ensure that the 6 year term that Chavez collected last October is "respected" and fuck the constitution if needed.

In this scenario it is important to secure a political climate that ensures an electoral victory when convenient, if indispensable. Note that the regime as been sending signs that it is not going to respect the Constitution which is strict on at least one crucial point: if January 10 Chavez does not show up the new president is the head of the National Assembly at the time.  We are thus headed toward a bi-cephalus system where Maduro will be the visible head of state while Cabello will remain at the head of the National Assembly with some kind of secret deal that insures he will hold a significant portion of the on paper powers of "president" Maduro. It is convenient for him as he can have Maduro take the nasty economical decisions that need to be taken without suffering as much of the political consequences.

In this case expect tomorrow a surprise winner for the leadership of the National Assembly, someone that within a week will be propelled to the presidency of Venezuela while Cabello having been named vice president of the Assembly will recover his chair without any trouble. Within 30 to 50 days new elections will have been held where a victory of Maduro is 99% certain as of thus typing (Capriles went on vacation, let's hope that to recover and get ready for a new campaign).

The second case is that Chavez actually may come back, if anything to hand down himself power to someone else (supporting that person openly from his death bed would do).  This becomes quite complicated because the constitutional violations that chavismo is planning in Cuba probably include some artifact to justify the return of Chavez at a later date for his swearing in. So many hypotheses are possible that there is no point speculating on those. Let's just say that if Cabello remains as the chair of the National Assembly tomorrow it is because either he knows he will hold to it for a while or because he knows that becoming president on January 10 is important for him to retain office through some form of, well, something.  That something depends on the possible date of Chavez return.  Let's not forget that whoever is sworn in to replace Chavez on January 11 will have one of the shortest presidency of Venezuelan history and then nothing else to do for quite a while.

You need to understand one thing: if chavismo falls a lot of people will be in judicial trouble. If chavismo does not fall quite yet, the economic problems coming real soon could do it in. Thus, in my very humble opinion, the Castros and chavismo have only two options: elections ASAP or no elections at all.  The opposition knows that very well and that explains why, for example, Aveledo was saying tonight that one could explore ways to postpone the searing in of Chavez......

In a few hours we will start having some serious hints.


  1. Excellent post. Another possibility is that Chavez is kept in an induced coma-as he is said to be now-while Cabello and Maduro substitute themselves for Chavez. If elections were held and Maduro elected, this would signal the relative eclipse of Cabello. It is in his interest to prolong the period of waiting for Chavez. He serves as acting President during this time.

  2. Dr. Faustus10:43 AM

    I always enjoy reading Daniel's post, especially on a day like today with a Zeitgeist wafting in the air.

    First, great quote:

    "the Castros and chavismo have only two options: elections ASAP or no elections at all."

    Exactly right! That's the dilemma.

    Second, another important point:

    "Besides the shame of dying in another country with the immense psychological consequences that this will give to the country..."

    Cuba is playing a central role in the death of Chavez, yet Daniel is "99% sure" that Maduro would win upcoming election? I disagree with his analysis here. MUD can/must make a clear distinction between their candidate, most likely Capriles, being 'Venezuelan,' and Maduro being 'Cuban.' It's simple to understand, but will resonate among the electorate. Powerful stuff.

    Third, I still can't get over how 'useless' Chavez has become in his hospital bed in Havana. I have little doubt, that right now, as I am scratching this stuff out on a blog, there is a political writer somewhere, someplace who sees the amazing conspiracy possibilities with an essentially useless Hugo laying in a hospital bed in Havana. The core of the upcoming book, a best seller no doubt, will be WHO pulled the plugged on Hugo Chavez? I've already placed my order for the yet~to~be~named best seller on!

    1. Well, thank you for the Zeitgeist :)

      The more so that I have a je ne sais quoi Weltschmerz feel...

    2. Charly10:12 AM

      I can just imagine the scene, Chavez in his CIMEQ bed with his latest lung problems, Maduro on his knees crying profusely: "Oh my President who is leading us to paradise on Earth, please do not leave us, What can I do that you recover your vigor.

      And Chavez: "Aaaargh, pleeeeaaaase take you foot off the oxygen hose"

  3. Great post Daniel. I side with the "no elections at all" due to statements already that "Chavez can be sworn in by the supreme court, there is not timeline, he has the right to recover, he is the choice of the people." I truly believe all of these statements are from the mouth of Castros machine and that Chavez could be dead now or in 6 months without uttering a word and no one would no.

    One exception that I take to your post: Venezuelan immigrants are not being treated as cheap labor, at least not in the oil and gas industry. The ones I know are paid professional competitive wages. Their skills are in high demand. Many work in my company.

  4. Fausta has a few links to articles addressing the Cuban design of the political transition in Venezuela:

    Paste in browser

  5. Dr. Faustus12:42 PM


    Were I seated at the conference table today at MUD headquarters (and nobody invited me ;)), I would suggest the following game plan for the upcoming election. Print hundreds of thousands of little leaflets entitled, "Who killed our beloved Hugo Chavez?" Fill the text of said leaflet with Cuba this, Cuba that, rumors galore, and isn't this outrageous! But, most importantly, at the bottom of the page post a photograph of Fidel and Raul standing next to,(fill in the blank). Then you go out and find some people to hand em out on street corners. Everywhere! Rumor mongering 101. Unseemly? You betcha. Dirty? Yeah, kinda. But, what's good for the goose,....

  6. Today, Cabello said that Chavez should take as long as he needs to be cured. Meanwhile, Cabello himself will rule without calling elections. He is in no hurry for Chavez to return.

    1. I suspect the Cubans have every intention of keeping Chávez alive for as long as possible, by way of ventilator-assisted breathing, or other artificial means, no matter how distressing it is, physically, for the patient.

      It's in the Cubans' best interest to have Chávez as a figurehead president on Jan 10th, and for however long possible, after that date, so as ensure that the Cuban-appointed government in Vz can still count on the affections of el pueblo chavista. All this, while Maduro and Cabello transition to a higher level of governmental control, in Vz, not before they pay secret homage to the Cubans.

  7. I used to live in Venezuela. I dearly love that country--and have once been back. I write a blog as well and wrote a piece on Chavez. I wrote this piece here

    I oppose Chavez with everything that I am. I'm glad to have found your blog and to know that there are many others out there who feel the same way.


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