The decomposition of the regime goes apace. These last couple of days we peeled off yet another myth: that Maduro had an inkling on diplomacy. After all, he had been Chavez foreign secretary for more than half a decade before been anointed. Surely he must have learned something. But after having clashed, unnecessarily with Spain, he clashed with even less reason and potentially more damage with Peru, ending today with a special cadena trying to clash with Obama and linking him to the Devil. (1)
In other words, Maduro was not a foreign minister, he was Chavez's errands boy. And this leaves us in a very dangerous situation. See, in serious countries, foreign policy is a state matter, directed by those in charge certainly, but always with a modicum of consult with the opposition since they could well assume the burden if they reach office. You certainly do not want to give them an extra blame against you, when they can claim to be cleaning your overseas mess, and you now in the opposition. Thus, the US president usually takes along a ranking Senator from the other side of the aisle in official state visits. And in parliamentary Europe, foreign minister go frequently to their parliament to account and explain. Even France's Sarkozy named a socialist foreign minister!
But in Venezuela foreign policy ceased to be a state policy around 2000-2002 and became strictly a policy to serve the interests of Chavez, in his dreams of continental grandeur and world epic. Foreign ministers came and went with a certain frequency until Chavez assumed it all in his hand, naming what was a mere errand boy for visits he could skip, Maduro. From then on there was no need to change foreign minsters anymore.
The problem is that now that Chavez is gone, nobody around Maduro remembers that Venezuela foreign policy should be a state matter, and nobody knows what to do with a system geared for Chavez interests when this one is not interested anymore. Maduro which was thought by many, never by yours truly by the way, to be a negotiating man, a polite and affable one, has revealed that he was a mere thug all along, to the point of being unable to call on Cabello after this one has had beaten up the opposition in Venezuela's National Assembly. No matter what power struggle may be going inside chavismo, Cabello offered a great opportunity for Maduro to score a point and this one instead decided to sink further in world opinion.
I have been watching this week the first season of Games of Thrones and there was a line from the Varys character that seemed appropriate When Ned Stark asked him who he served he replied that he served the Realm, "someone had to do it". And today I thought of it because truly, I wonder if anyone in office today is serving the Realm of Venezuela. I would even settle for knowing that at least someone has the sense to feel the need to do it.
I am at a loss since Chavez left (I am not going to discuss the before here) to find any action inside chavismo which goes beyond personal interest, personal ambition, personal preservation. From Maduro to Cabello, from Tibisay to Luisa Estela, all rule against the state, the law, the tradition, the people, the whatever. All have in mind, strictly, the "what's in for me?" No decisive economic measure has been taken besides a devastating devaluation done on the run to secure election funding. No new law has been offered except for a ruling on the work law which is going to slow down economy even further. No attempt at finding stability, any stability, has been done; unless you count repression as a road to stability. Nothing but pet projects and posturing.
And after the latest Maduro outburst to make enemies when what we need are friends, I truly wonder if anyone inside the regime is minding the country, if at least one of them is going to say "enough!". I suppose they all know what the Cuban masters did to Eddard Stark.
1) No need to go into details. Maduro reacted to a mere statement from Obama where this one said it was ridiculous to detain as a "spy" a mere naive movie maker. Same exaggeration with Peru where the foreign minster, provisional head of UNASUR, asked for peace and tolerance and was insulted, ambassador to Lima recalled, just to call it over within hours as if nothing. And to make sure he would make Santos further uncomfortable with him, he accused Uribe to want to kill him.