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Venezuela: Political Earthquake in the Works


[ 2004-06-01 09:00 ] Earthquake. That's what it is. The signatures blew up in their faces. The result of the reppairs have been like a knife through the heart of chavismo. Now they are debating among themselves. Last Night. The previous night. Yesterday. At Fuerte tiuna. At Habana. In the Miraflores Palace. ¿How to get out of this jail? ¿How to escape this problem? ¿How to overcome this weekend defeat? That's what they are arguing. And that's what they have to solve in the next few hours. Meanwhile, what has happened.

1- It's been proved. Not even through fear, did the chavismo manage that the thousand of government workers, employees from private contractos and social security beneficiaries, retired their signatures. The democratic conscience of the citizen was stronger. The blackmail of job, salary, or payment, only got 90 thousand people to withdraw their signatures. The Comando Ayacucho came from a weekend of failure in its own reppairs for the recall of the opposition deputies to the National Assembly. It didn't succeed in those reppairs, without obstacles, less was it going to be able with the reppairs for the presidential recall, where the whole opposition was single minded moved for this cause.

2- With such strength, from the people, it's impossible for the chavismo to advance any further.

3- This behaviour broke down the Chavez' chieftans and commanders. This explains the following events, the following divisions.

4- That explains the forgetfulness of José Vicente Rangel friday at noon. When he looked nervous and forgetful in the press conference of the CNE, that was the evidence that the government was fearful already of a defeat.

5- That explains the quarrel between Jorge Rodríguez and Francisco Carrasquero. The former said it wasn't necessary so much ID checking, while the later warned on sunday that they had to be checked fully. Carrasquero contradicted Rodríguez. And they fought, they fought behind closed doors. Indications of the defeat. As a matter of fact, yesterday the radicals where looking for a escape goat for the beating, and they pointed to Rodríguez for not doing his job to avoid the reppairs.

6- That explains why saturday noon, Diosdado Cabello, Ismael García and José Albornoz were already speechless to explain what was a fact. Intelligence flew from Diosdado. Words failed Ismael García. Albornoz lost what he didn't have. In victory a lot are intelligent and talkative. In defeat, few are those that can overcome it.

7- That, perhaps, explains Chavez' soft talking from sunday morning. Maybe he was trying to calm the radicals. Maybe he was trying to encourage his people. Maybe he didn't want to show his losing face just yet. But those three perhaps explained that the chavismo was already divided. And that division was going to increase with the pass of minutes and hours. It wasn't the same Chavez from the Reafirmazo, when mid sunday stood at Bolivar Avenue and yell: Fraud. This time he didn't do that. This time he knew the situation was delicate. This time he even understood that the armed forces had gotten what happened at the reppairs, and the military unconditional to the regime were outed on the three days of work of the Plan República.

8- That explained the three branches. The radical of Diosdado, Freddy Bernal and García Carneiro. That's the one that planed the steal. The middle ground of Rangel, Carrasquero and Rodríguez, that score points by clinging to the ropes and forcing the opposition into a negotiation. The third of Alí Rodríguez, that the day before the reppairs, was arguing in favor of acknowledging the results, a position that he ratified to his people on monday morning. Rumor has it that Ali's position is inspired in Habana, he is also a friend of Fidel Castro, but has simpaties in the US, since he has the oil faucet and his pawn Bernardo Alvarez, has the contact in Washington. But this position is favored by an ample number of venezuelan entrepreneurs.

9- That explains the delay at the CNE. And that in turn explains the international red alert. The pressure of Jimmy Carter. The pressure of OAS and Gaviria. The threat last night of President Lula to talk to the press to finally remover Chavez' chair. The threat of a declaration by Fox in Mexico. In a dinner last night, three very important diplomats indicated their doubts that the government would renounced the results, because the number of signatures have already gone around the world, and those are the numbers that Carter, Gaviria, Lula, Bush, Rodríguez Zapatero and the rest of the international community has. The matrix of opinion in insurmountable at this time.

10- That explains why Chaves told Carter and Gaviria on Sunday that if the signatures were there he would accept the recall vote. A way of winning a few hours. A way to calm the tempers and win time to solve the internal conflict.

11- That explains the declaration by the president of the supreme court: respect the votes, that are the signatures, and tone down the discussion, the confrontation. The country is the most important thing.

12- That explains, perhaps, why some from Chavez' side, on monday morning started to play the information that the government was going to inform that it would recognize the signatures. And Chavez, like no one else, felt the international pressure. And Chavez, liek no one else, knows that he is the leader of the chavismo and that Diosdado, Bernal, García Carneiro and his other allies, have no political future without him. Maybe the time has come for Chavez to think What to do? Stay with the radicals? Or wait for a new opportunity? On April 11 he had that new oppostunity. Maybe now he is thinking the same.

13- That explains why it is said this time that the opportunity is not in Diosdado's option, but in Ali Rodríguez'.

14- And that explains why the recall vote after august escenario is being played, so that a vicepresident can be named to cover the retreat. But not only Chavez' retreat. But everyones. And that vicepresident can be no other but Alí Rodríguez, with friends at Washington, at Habana, at the oil companies, with some powerhouses in Venezuela and, of course, with a big part of the chavismo and the government.

15- What remains to be seen is if the escenario of Vicepresident Alí, and then President, is a sustainable one. Depends on the negotiation.

*My translation of Juan Carlos Zapata's article for Descifrado by Your Friendly Ghost Blogger

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