Venezuela’s opposition revealed today a recording of a conversation between influential Chavista broadcaster Mario Silva and (presumably) a member of Cuba’s intelligence. In the recording, Silva is overheard blasting Diosdado Cabello as corrupt, and saying that Cilia Flores is the power behind the Maduro presidency, that José Vicente Rangel is part of the power clique enriching themselves thanks to Venezuela’s Misión Cadivi, that the CNE can be manipulated, and a whole host of other things. The transcript (in Spanish) is here.
The important thing to keep in mind is that we are not the target audience for this recording.
Yes, we all knew that Cabello was a crook, Maduro a nincompoop, Silva a marxist Cuban mole, Rangel an evil power broker, and Flores a scheming Lady Macbeth. But the important thing is that rank-and-file chavistas … didn’t. Up until now, they have been immune from these facts because of the messenger.
Now? Well, it’s not Leopoldo Castillo making these claims. This is Mario Silva, Hugo Chávez’s favorite broadcaster, the host of a show Nicolás Maduro hailed for having “the greatest credibility” on TV.
The main takeaway from this recording is that there is a serious war under way between the Cabello and the pro-Cuban factions within chavismo. This recording was leaked (whether it was the Cubans or Silva himself, it does not matter since they are one and the same) to damage Cabello and break Maduro free from a particularly influential group of mafiosi hounding his administration.
Where we go from here I do not know. What I do know is that chavistas cannot continue pretending like everything is kumbaya within its ranks. That house is divided against itself, and it cannot stand. Sooner or later, either Silva or Cabello or Maduro will get thrown under the bus. We are mere spectators in this unfolding greek tragedy.