The reason there cannot be a peaceful transition you can find it in the most recent and devastating moment for the upper chavismo: the flight of Leamsy Salazar to the US and his rattling about Diosdado Cabello as a capo de drug mafia. "Cartel de los Soles" they call it, for the "suns" that mark the Venezuelan generals' uniforms.
Before I continue, the dictatorial nature of the regime is fully acknowledged in the foreign press as the word "defection" is used instead of, say, escape, surrender, exile.... Cold war memories....
Now, a smart observer would point out "so, what else is new?". Indeed. It has been years that Venezuela is accused of having become a narco state, or becoming one. There are lists from the DEA, people almost arrested outside of Venezuela, people that already defected to the USA, etc. We all know that Diosdado Cabello, even without Leamsy, richly deserves to rot in jail for the rest of his life. So what else is new?
The thing that changes here is that the number 2 of the regime is touched (and for some accounts he could even be número 1). This is not just a mere general that wants to buy a nice manse in Florida with pool and servants and dabbles in white stuff shipments to reach that simple goal of life. This is about the guy that makes the sun shine and the rain falls in Venezuela. This is the guy who along Maduro shoulders the biggest political responsibility. And Cabello has had that heavy burden of guilt way before Chavez death.
In practical terms this means that people like Cabello are now on their way to get a free plane ticket to The Hague. Next year. In ten, it does not matter. Even fool proof transitions eventually failed. Ask Pinochet in Chile, Videla in Argentina. No matter what amnesty arrangement may be reached, a victim will always be able to have at some point this one overturned in some international court, perhaps even forcing Venezuelan courts to send Cabello (and many others) on trial. This is not the XX century anymore, Toto!
Thus, I speculate, at least a couple of hundreds of chavistas have realized once and for all this month that they are in trouble. They have now no other choice but to find a way to stay in Venezuela, power firmly in hand. They have no other choice even if the opposition were to offer them a "deal". Such deal would last only for a while, as times changes, as the victims become stronger in a post chavismo Venezuela, as the signatories of that deal retire or are voted out of office.
This, more than anything else explains the sudden shift into a repression gear that we have experienced these past two weeks. But more on that later.
What observers need to understand is that out of their sheer arrogance, their idiotic belief on the eternity of Chavez, their belief that oil would keep going up and up, a bunch of chavistas never thought about stopping while they were ahead. Now they are cornered and the stupidity that drove them there must make them even angrier, even more dangerous.
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