The thread at the N.A. is simple. Chavismo could not find a way to stop its coming Götterdämmerung. So they came, saw and left. They could not avoid their first encounter with a free press in about a decade. Some of the questions were truly embarrassing like when a journalist was finally able to stand on the way of Cilia Flores and ask her about her narco-nephews. Not her nephews in jail in the US awaiting trial, but her NARCO-nephews, straight. This is what happens when you ignore and insult the press for so many years: they get so frustrated that they lose any sense of measure or respect. And poor Cilia, the "first fighter", the wife of president Maduro, had to pick up her pace to escape.
But this bringing down of Cilia was just the beginning of an iconoclastic binge. In the early morning next day the new chair of the N.A. Ramos Allup brought down all the portraits of Chavez that overwhelmed the decor. For good measure he also had brought down the computer created image of Bolivar out of his 200 year old remains. This necrophiliac endeavor from Chavez had become the new official portrait of Bolivar although there is a an existing portrait which was approved by Bolivar himself.
This carefully orchestrated act of Ramos Allup had the desired effect, an overreaction of chavismo which will cost it dearly. It included a lengthy military show in cadena (forced simultaneous broadcast on ALL networks and radios) to "desagravio" redress/repair the insult made to Bolivar even though the bulk of the actions was in defense of Chavez who is, apparently, more insulted than Bolivar.
It is hard to imagine that the totalitarian mentality of these people could be exposed so well in such short notice. General Padrino wanted to impress on us that the computer Bolivar was now encrusted deep into the heart of all of us. How could it be otherwise, he implied. And this meant that Bolivar was insulted through insults to Chavez as the favorite "insigne" son of Bolivar (even if he never got 50% of the electorate to vote for him, even with his higher scores in votes cast). That there is no food or medicine after Chavez is not making a dent in these people who keep their idols up. Hence the brilliant move of Ramos Allup, starting to tear down that mental construct that is blocking any progress for the country.
More details emerged to confirm that need. The mayor of Caracas announced that the whole city will be papered over with copies of the discarded portraits. Funds for that will apparently not be a problem. As to where will he find the paper and ink for that endeavour remains to be explained. Other chavistas suggested that all chavista households should have well displayed Bolivar and Chavez, a new version of the yellow star I suppose for those who do not harbor the "insigne" badge.
Meanwhile Ramos Allup forges ahead and went alone to Quinta Crespo market for his week's groceries, to the great wonderment of el pueblo not used to see chavista nomenklatura shop on their own (even if he had to leave in a hurry after red storm troopers arrived). Whatever criticism people throw at Ramos, and many are from the opposition itslef, we must thank him for breaking a taboo. The idolization of Chavez will never be the same.
The government thread is briefer: they have lost the capacity to set the political agenda and their race is to keep up with what the MUD and R.A. do. I am not going into the expected Greek chorus that want already to nullify the N.A. and jail R.A. I am just going to look at what happened at Miraflores. There Maduro named a new cabinet which kept military in the main positions, and the ones that move the most money. Some cryptic moderates under the guise of people with experience in the private sector were appointed. And to balance it all a social sciences major with nebulous ideas on economy and zero experience is the alleged new star.
But the new cabinet is more interesting through what is missing: some of Cabello heavy weights even though he still has his wife as tourism minister. Some see in that a real weakening of Cabello who, stripped of his power base at the N.A. and the refusal by the army to follow him in a coup on December 6, may be just on his way out. Perhaps even as a token offering to the DEA in a near future? All is possible but I also concur that Cabello's day are counted unless he finds new support that these days could only come from forgiveness of an opposition that he has brutalized for too long. In a way Cabello aura of invincibility is another icon that was brought down this week. After all since December 6 he was threatening and threatening and yet in the end he had to surrender the N.A. seat and could not stop its first measures, ridiculing himself by threatening the N.A. to leave it without funding.
As the first true week of the Assembly looms we may expect more surprises, the more so that it seems resolved in promoting first an amnesty law which could be the final showdown into forcing the regime to compromise,or to surrender. The final release of Leopoldo Lopez in the streets maybe too much for the regime to endure without breaking down. We will see.