Taking the Measure of Celestially-Bestowed Follicle

I’m always slightly alarmed when I find out that Alejandro Tarre disagrees with me, because that’s usually a pretty reliable indicator that I got it wrong.

For Tarre, the key bit in the Mario Silva Tape isn’t that funny but ultimately trivial story about Maduro’s Sai Bobo side that I picked out, but rather the part about the coup Maduro came to believe – wrongly – that the Defence Minister, Diego Molero, was planning against him.

The relevant bit starts at 12:16…

For Alejandro, the takeaway here is that Maduro must have been convinced a coup was imminent if he refused to even meet with his own defence minister. But that’s not quite what I get from it.

Now, as Tarre says, Silva comes across as a bit of a hay-talking blowhard. The guy’s all over the place, so interpretation is always problematic. But for me, the point of the coup story is what it says about Diosdado Cabello’s mastery of palace intrigue as a political weapon.

Let’s take it bit by bit. For Mario Silva, Admiral Molero is firmly one of the good-guys (which, coming from him, means that Molero is slavishly pro-Cuban). “Por algo el Comandante Chávez lo puso allí, y no puso a otro,” y’know?

For Diosdado, head of the anti-Cuban faction, having a Havana Club man sitting as defense minister is a problem. So Diosdado decides if he can’t have control of the armed forces he can at least hobble the occupant’s ability to work effectively with Maduro. And so, going through the first lady’s personal assistant, he puts about rumors that Molero’s planning a coup.

The kicker is that Diosdado does it so effectively, he manages to stop a twosome at that level – we’re talking the president of the republic and his defense minister, ferchrissake! – from even meeting each other!

Chávez clearly intended Molero and Maduro to work as a team, placing them at the center of the Cubans’ operational plan for running their big southern Puppet State. But Diosdado’s just good at this game: he doesn’t have to claim either of their scalps to keep these natural allies from cooperating effectively.

Where Tarre gets it right is in saying that, if you bracket all your values and suppress your gag reflex for a second, you almost have to admire the chutzpah Diosdado has taken to the task of resisting the complete Cuban takeover of the Venezuelan state.

It’s clearly, in fact evidently, not what Chávez wanted – which in itself makes it risky given the atmosphere of drooling founder-worship that chavismo has fostered. But Diosdado doesn’t care. He knows whatever power the Cubans have is, by definition, power he doesn’t have. And he’s not going to take that sitting down.

20 thoughts on “Taking the Measure of Celestially-Bestowed Follicle

  1. Yeah, baby.
    Greek drama at its finest.
    Now let’s have part one of the tape that is in imminent release mode.
    Talk to us, Nagel.


  2. “Diosdado has taken to the task of resisting the complete Cuban takeover of the Venezuelan state.”

    Agreed. Diosdado is the worst, heck I can’t even stand the guy, but I will acknowledge his effort to stop the Cuban takeover of the country, to prevent the country for ever becoming a communist paradise with no free press, scarcity, inflation, high rate of crime, all the wonders that Venezuelan people can get courtesy of socialism/communism.

    While Capriles is doing the necessary to claims what he rightfully earned, I wish the success of Diosdado ONLY in this regard.


  3. I think this tale about the coup from MS for the most part does not make sense, I will believe this if were living back in 1950 when there were no cellphones, no emails, no sms.

    I mean, if those two were named by Chavez, for a reason, the reason for being extremely loyal to the Cuban regime, then those two should be meeting practically on a daily basis, or at least once per week.

    I mean, we are talking about Mario Silvam, student of Castro, the same person that claims that he successfully eluded at least 1000 assassination attempts on his character from the CIA, MOSAD, Navy Seals, flu, malaria and stupidity. Some record that Chavez were trying to break.


  4. Dear God! We are so utterly screwed that we are cheering for Diosdado… Never thought I’d see the day, but GO GODGIVEN GO!


  5. Now the true question is: what is Diosdado after? what moves him? Money? He got it all. The presidency? He doesnt seem to want it. No ideology, no ideals, just power for the sake of power?
    even he can realize that can’t last. So, what does he want?


    • “So, what does he want”

      Last I heard he’s working on bringing the people free speech, prosperity and security.


    • Safety ?

      It’s certainly nice to have money and some power but what worth is it if you need to spend your life looking over your shoulder for fear of your enemies?

      Diosdado needs it all, for the sake of his own safety. He can’t tolerate any serious opponent or competitor for power.


      • His safety might also include the continuing covering up his crimes vis-a-vis abuse of power, corruption, theft of public resources, and who knows what else.


  6. I think we should take a lot of the MS tape claims with a grain of salt. He was trying to: curry favor with his handlers by rumor mongering; show he was much more important in Chavismo than he really was; warn against Diosdado’s anti-Cuban influence. A Diosdado “coup” makes no sense at this time when the economy is sinking fast. inflation is sinking the poor, Maduro is sinking himself, and Diosdado/friendsare still raking in the scarcer/scarcer divisas still available. There will be a time for military action or deal-making some time in the future. Diosdado needs above all immunity to enjoy his ill-gotten gains (hopefully this won’t be necessary/forthcoming)….


    • Agree with your description of MS as a gossipy rumor mongering show off happily inventing conspiracies to impress his Cuban controllers where there are none. No doubt there are cabals and factions within the ranks of Chavismo and some undercurrent of tension between them, perhaps seasoned with a whole tangle of personal animosities and suspicions but certainly no specific conspiracy by Cabellos people to dethrone Maduro , Cabello;s interest is in keeping his piece of the pie intact and well protected , there is no reason at this time for him to attempt a coup against Maduro. Cabello is probably comfortable with Cuban interests in Venezuela provided they dont threaten the Power and wealth he has,accumulated Cuban intelligence knows this . If Maduros hold on power falters and his political weakness is seen as a threat to the Cuban faction or to their future agenda then they will move to remove him in which event they either will also attempt to remove Cabello from power (to leave the door open for Jaua to become president ) or find a way of accommodating his presence inside the regime !! but that would be in the future not now!!


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