One thing quite remarkable, in a perverse way, is that since we are told that Maduro has assumed power last December, no major decision has been taken by the regime, outside of a devaluation that came without any de rigueur measures to try to make the best of it. If it is clear that the regime is practicing some form of macroeconomic adjustment while trying to hide it, and thus we know little of its details, less of its scope while on any regards it is not working. The reason behind that secrecy is that the power struggle to replace Chavez is far from resolved so no one among his heirs wants to be seen as responsible from the bad news even though by not taking charge or attempting some form of coherence they are making things worse.
And thus violence seems the last option for the regime.
I suppose that the threats made by Maduro yesterday against the autonomous universities students and faculties march of tomorrow were a foretold conclusion after what was said last week end. It was a long week end because on Monday we commemorated Carabobo, our Yorktown for those who know US history. The ceremonies take place at the battle field shrine and used to be Chavez favorite. Maduro tried to look the big leader with little success; however he announced that corruption would devour the revolution and that some were trying the ridicule the fatherland concept as understood by chavismo.
The meta message was elsewhere. What the regime announced was that it was loosing patience with two groups: those inside chavismo that had other interests than those of the leadership, and the opposition who refuses to recognize Maduro, a fortuitous coincidence that is making Maduro's life quite unbearable.
The corruption salvo was to convince us that Chavez was the first president that managed scrupulously the moneys of the nation and thus any corrupt person is anti chavista. I am not going to insult the intelligence of the readers by reminding them why the chavista regime has been the most corrupt in Venezuela's history. We are not Maduro's audience. What Maduro is doing here is trying to shed away from him a corruption that cannot be hidden anymore, by either putting it on the opposition or making the corrupt faction that opposes him (Cabello et al.) as an opposition by themselves. The veracity of the charges is inconsequential here, as we were reminded again this week with yet another piped hearing for Lara's governor Falcon alleged corruption. No, the corruption charges mean that the regime faction around Maduro is prepared to play dirty to get rid of his opposition, and dirty here means illegality and violence and massive lies.
The fatherland salvo was in large part forced upon Maduro because of the idiotic and yet purposeful words the prior day of Jaua in his revenge seeking quest against Capriles for beating him in December elections. Jaua under pressure by his own chavista audience told them that it did not matter that they were out of toilet paper because now we have fatherland. That is right, besides saying that Capriles could f***k himself with a roll of missing toilet paper he told his audience that the fatherland of the revolution could not be measured against empty shelves. You can watch a video here if you doubt me (in Spanish, sorry). Certainly this P.R. disaster had to be recovered and Maduro who claimed that an opposition fascist and corrupt was ridiculing the notion of fatherland that Chavez left the country with.
In other words last week end we were told clearly that those who continue to oppose Maduro are traitors tot eh fatherland, fascists and corrupt, amen that Maduro and his people are the ones acting like fascist and corrupt by the mere way in which they proffer those accusations. The rest of the week has been a confirmation of this, from a cadena by Maduro to a pathetic scene on Globovision airwaves where a minster of Maduro attacked in an hysterical way governor Falcon insulting him of many things and fascists proffered several times. In any normal country a minister that behaves like Izarra is IMMEDIATELY fired but in Venezuela we wonder up to what point the hysterics were not planed to carry the point that the regime is about to pass on the offensive.
The escalation went as high as Maduro threatening the striking universities tomorrow if they dared march in protest. He went as far as singling out Leopoldo Lopez as the leader behind the university strike, as if he had such power. Of course an undaunted Lopez not only called all to go Saturday to protest, but went as far as telling Maduro to stop being such a coward.
It seems that the regime is starting to get really nervous. Maduro gets no respect from any quarter and we can genuinely wonder how can he rule for 5 more years when he is covered in such a pile of ridicule. Also, after what happened in Brazil the regime certainly understands that probably Venezuela is tinder that has yet to find its match. Something has to be done and in the current situation, with no dollars, with no will to announce the measures to be taken, with a protest that grows by the way around real grievances, from lack of toilet paper to the asphyxia of autonomous universities the regime must feel cornered enough to feel ready to use violence.
But Maduro has boxed himself. If he represses the protest tomorrow he will become an instant pariah world wide. If he does not repress he risks to have chavismo look for one who will get the job done. I guess we will find out soon if that renewed fascist posturing of the regime means business.