Diosdado IS chavismo

My take on the Mario Silva recording, over at the Transitions blog. The value added: The way that [the scandal] plays out will reflect who holds the key to power within chavismo: either the heavily corrupt, nationalist military wing headed by Cabello or the radical, pro-Cuban wing that Silva represents. Early indications are that Silva…

Reading the god-given tea leaves

Let’s recap Monday’s events: A conversation is leaked between Mario Silva and a Cuban intelligence operative, in which it is made clear that the Maduro faction in this government is heavily influenced by the Cubans. In it, Silva suggests that the military – at the prodding of Diosdado Cabello – is plotting against Maduro. In…

A house divided

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…

“Juan Cristobal is exactly right.” -Diosdado Cabello

National Assembly chairman Diosdado Cabello’s bizarre rant yesterday baffled and amazed me. Diosdado expressly cedes Juan’s point – yup, we’re crazy – in language poised exquisitely between Trash Talk and a Kinsley Gaffe – the accidental utterance of an obvious but impolitic truth. Diosdado Cabello, presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, aseguró este sábado que la oposición debió “haber…

The Living Constitution

As a lector avispao put it to me, the problem with my critique of the Maduro Doctrine is that I’m looking for the constitutional law in the wrong place. The source of genuinely binding norms in Venezuela these days isn’t what’s written down in any little blue book, but rather The Living Consitution, a.k.a., Chávez…

El binomio de oro

An “inspection” to a coffee factory in Caracas was the perfect PR opportunity for the Chavernment to present an image of unity, specially between its two top men: Vice-President Nicolas Maduro and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello. The appointed succesor of the comandante presidente wasted no time attacking the opposition, accusing the MUD’s Secretary General Ramon…

The Saturday Shuffle

The next big date in the charade that has become the transition process in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela is January 5th. This is when the National Assembly reconvenes to select a new President for the year. The date is pivotal for several reasons. When Chávez dies (please excuse the bluntness, but this is no longer an…

First, do no harm

The current political/oncological drama shaking Venezuela presents a tricky situation for the opposition. On the one hand, they need to avoid the danger of appearing to gloat. Ultimately, even the most hard-hearted of us feels some sympathy for a man getting ready to meet his maker, and we must make that clear. This is a…