|Esto es lo que hay (this is all there is)|
Today, in a normal country where the elected president is more dead than alive the powers in place would have started preparing for a transition, consulted around, etc.. Here in Venezuela the opposition is accused of all evils, is told that never shall chavismo speak to them, while we are told the constitutional provisions are optional, mere formalities.
In short, we are told that chavismo is starting a coup d'état. Or rather, is deepening the coup d'etat that started in Funerary 1999 when Chavez called for an illegal constituent assembly. Or rather, is a culmination of sorts of the coup of February 1992 when again, since 1958, it was thought OK that a small group of people decide what does goes on in Venezuela according to their personal will and interests. See, on this regard today offers no surprise for those watching Venezuela's involution since 1992. It is just more crass, more open, more frontal, more f**k you.
I am not going into details because I did not watch the proceedings and I have just been checking late tonight what happened this Saturday in Caracas when Diosdado Cabello was sworn in president of the National Assembly for the 2013 session. By the way, should I go back to name it Nazional Assembly since the opposition is shut almost as effectively than it was in the previous monochromatic 2005-2010 assembly? suffice to say that there was a lot of hot air, a lot of insults, a lot of posturing and the opposition wisely decided to be heard but keeping it rather low profile compared to the zealous overexertion of chavismo in a deliberate ploy to provoke the opposition. Again, what else is new?
Yesterday I wrote that the reelection of Cabello meant that we would not likely have elections before March at the earliest, maybe as late as June or July. Or that actually there was an off chance that Chavez could survive and come back even on a wheel chair. And that it also meant that chavismo was getting ready to commit some constitutional violation as there is no indication whatsoever that Chavez will be in Caracas on January 10 (if he were to show up, which in an odd way would not totally surprising for me, it would confirm that chavismo is all about smoke and mirrors since they are unable to rule and solve people's problems. But I digress).
Thus today degradation at the Assembly means that indeed chavismo has started to violate the Constitution and that the rule of law was never intended in the 1999 constitutional draft. How they are going to do that to make it look "legal" is something that to tell you the truth I care not to speculate on, sticking to my decision as of October 7 to become more of a bystander cum Cassandra. At any rate, newspaper headlines will be informing us within days of the modality.
However there is one thing that I can tell you for sure already: today's disgraceful display is the classical, poster boy case of the insecure bully in the school yard. That is, the bully and its gang think that by screaming louder than all they may get to avoid challenge or sanctions.
It is clear to me that chavismo is at the same time very divided and very united.
Since it is very divided and the succession is not settled for all practical purposes, regardless of Chavez parting words, they have decided to gamble on a possible return of Chavez, postponing eventual elections, which favors the opposition more than it favors chavismo. The real post Chavez candidate will be decided later, and meanwhile Diosdado will become an illegal provisional president that will last as long as it takes while Maduro will be named vice-president again on January 10. Or some arrangement of the sort.
But chavismo is also very unified because too many have too much to loose in a post chavismo era (and they know that the death of Chavez means an immediate loss of at least 5% of their electoral base that cannot be recovered no matter how many washers are distributed for free). Thus it is quite possible that the military and the civilian sectors are having at the present a more solid alliance than one would think, no matter what are the different appetites from each side. What follows will be shaped by how solid this alliance remains.
Stay tuned, it will get nuttier and battier while we wait for the hypothetical return of Chavez. Becket would have had it so easy....