What has happened this week with Defense minister Padrino and the nation's general prosecutor Luisa Ortega shows how far advanced is the decomposition of the regime. And it is starting to smell really bad.
Let's start with the ultimate question: who is really in charge in Venezuela?
Yes, this was a trick question. The one in charge is in Havana but apparently the transmissions between Havana and and Caracas are having pebbles in the cogwheels.
The repression ordered by Cuba, with Cuban methods, has not worked in spite of more than 60 people killed after 60 days of near continuous protest. The regime launched its life boat called "constitutional assembly" which, besides being illegal and promised a chavista packed majority with less, maybe much less, than 30% of the "vote", seems to be going nowhere fast. Oh, yes, it may end up being pushed down our throats but after one month of its announcement, the regime has been unable to get support beyond its inner circle and its entourage of sycophants. In fact the preliminary list of the avowed candidates reads like the list of all of those that need to change the laws and judicial system through a new constitution in order not to end up in jail, if not extradited for the unforgivable crimes committed.
The Nazional Guard has been increasing its repression more and more to levels that can be now compared to what happened routinely in totalitarian states (or happens in Cuba or North Korea for that matter). The international backlash has been such that eventually two days ago the defense minister in a speech said that he did not want to see anymore of those crimes from the Nazional Guard. Unfortunately for him the protests of yesterday went a notch above the earlier ones. Besides seeing videos of people dragged behind motorbikes, in the best souvenances of medieval times, we saw whole neighborhoods gassed and a 17 year old kid killed by a frontal hit of a tear gas grenade. In this last detail the regime in a hurry said that he had a grenade that exploded in his hand and had its father say on TV that the kid was paid by the opposition. Too bad that not only a video showed that just before the hit the kid had NOTHING in his hands, but that the father did turn out NOT being the father. Goes to tell you how far the regime is willing to go in its outrageous lies.
But I digress. The point here is that Padrino was disowned the very next day by worse repression directed by military that supposedly should obey to him.
So, who is in charge of repression in Venezuela? Why has not Padrino resigned? Why has he not fired generals Reverol, Savarce and Benavides?
Meanwhile for good measure the National Assembly today voted a motion of censorship against the interior minister, Reverol by the way. In other words Reverol is not in charge anymore and if Maduro retains him then he is doing it so in violation of the laws and anyone that does business with Reverol will violate the law of the land and can be called upon. Well, in a future government anyway.
Now, I shall let you wonder as to whom is truly in charge.
But today chavismo got a new blow, and one that makes you wonder if not who is in charge within chavismo who wants to get in charge. The chief prosecutor of the nation, Fiscal General, a 7 year position held by Luisa Ortega, went to the high court and basically said that people should rise up to defend the 1999 constitution. She even invoked article 333 of the cosntitution that reads
Article 333: This Constitution shall not cease to be in effect if it ceases to be observed due to acts of force or because of repeal in any manner other than as provided for herein.
In such eventuality, every citizen, whether or not vested with official authority, has a duty to assist in bringing it back into actual effect.
CNN among others thought that the words of Ortega were worth of international news merits and posted the video of part of her words.
Now, there is no love lost between Ortega and me but I have to admit that she is, well, risking her life with such a direct break with the regime (who hurriedly called for a treasonous conspiration though not naming her directly).
Why is she risking it? For one thing she is a true believer of Chavez and what she sees now is not Chavez. Even I can see that and did I hate the guy. The second is that she realizes that they want to make of her office the instrument to justify the repression they are doing. She is not going to sink with the regime since as far as we know she has not dabbled in drug traffic, nor has she robbed egregiously (yes, like all of them she has cashed in, but compared to them she apparently just took enough to secure her future). And third, for her to do that it is because she does not speak for her alone, she has support. In other words, she is part of the game of thrones currently going on.
So, taking it all together, who is truly running Venezuela? Who is ascending? Who is going?
Amazingly it is not only too early to say, but we probably cannot say it. However we can say the machine is moving and a result could happen fast.
PS; I use Cuba interchangeably with Castro power. After all, the agents from Cuba are holding this shit hostage.