It is always necessary for the leader of a political party to try to comfort a little bit the troops by promises of keeping up the good fight. If this cannot be done by the harshness of the score or the temperament of the leader then there is always resigning your position. What Maduro did tonight was resigning his subordinates and through Cabello announce open season on the new Assembly.
For those who were hoping for a dialogue between thugs and democrats, there you are.
It all started with a TV show where a bitter Maduro let it be known clearly that he felt betrayed by those who did not vote for him. He went, like a brat, to say that his social plans were now in doubt and that he was hurt that after all his gifts during the campaign (apartment, tablets, taxis,...) he did not get the support he deserved. He did not realize of course that he was also admitting to a crime, of buying votes. But I digress.
Then at some point Cabello joined him (I did not watch, I am just summarizing Twitter, the only open media of Venezuela). It was for Cabello to announce the new battle plans against the incoming Assembly. They include a series of new laws and appointments to be made before normal sessions end on December 15. Yes, the assembly can call a lame duck session and sit as far as January 4 I guess, but already some of the decisions announced would be illegal if they were to be approved in that delay. For example, laws need a certain numbers of discussion sessions. Naming new High Court (TSJ) judges must include a nomination process that requires weeks.
Thus even if the defeated chavista representatives went along, whose motivation remains to be seen as they are less threatened than Cabello by the courts, most of Cabello's legislative program would be illegal and I, for one, doubt that the TSJ would dare to annul an Assembly vote to revoke those lame duck decisions. Were the TSJ do so the new National Assembly would have no other choice but to call for a constituent assembly to remove ALL judges from their job.
Of course all of this bravado is the result of a bitter deception, the more so that in spite of all maneuvering the CNE finally recognized today that the National Assembly will have a 2/3 majority. To add insult to injury, that majority is due to the 3 elected representatives of the indigenous people. When Chavez wrote his 1999 constitution he included a provision that 3 representatives should be included just for indigenous people. That never worked out because if the candidates had to be named by the natives, too many non natives could affect the election. But that was not the point. The point was that in eternal gratitude for what came to be an empty gesture chavismo would have a lock on those three seats. Guess what? The natives are as fed up with scarcity than the invaders.
The bravado nature is confirmed with the latest on ANTV (our dim C-Span). Now Cabello has decided that it would go to its workers and thus the new leadership of the Assembly will not be able to direct its own TV Channel. This is of course idiotic because the new Assembly would now be forced to revoke the CONATEL law to control media and return TVes to its old owners Radio Caracas TV (and I also doubt that no matter how packed the TSJ is it would annul such decisions).
I, for one, think that Maduro and Cabello tonight are digging fast their own hole. Alone.
Note: Maduro asked for the resignation of his cabinet when he is the one who should resign. Some already suggest that it is to remove from office those that are the more compromised by shady finances and to thus delay their eventual exam by New Assembly. The real question though is who will dare to accpet the new jobs at a collapsing presidency.