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A new Venezuelan Game: Where is Chavez?

By Jorge Arena | Venezuela News and Views

10.02.05 | One of the unsolved mysteries in these days of emergency in Venezuela is where the President is. I called my family yesterday and asked if anybody had seen him on TV and nobody has. A close friend, who has very definite opinions, commented: “he will do as usual, he disappears and, in a few days, he will be shown dressed in a military outfit saving people from the floods”.

To me, Chavez absence is a real mystery. In fact, the first time around, when the Constitutional Referendum took place, there was at least a plausible reason for his disappearance. First he had asked the Venezuelan people to keep on voting despite the bad weather and the warnings of the civil defense. He could not just appear right there and say “I should have stopped the whole thing, please forgive me, I am in charge”. Second, after the win, he reportedly was in La Orchila celebrating and giving orders on how to take advantage of the newly voted Constitution to grab as much power as possible and as soon as possible. He needed that time away from the public eye to take some strategic and illegal decisions that could have been much more difficult to take in normal times. Chavez being one of the luckiest men alive, he had the incredible luck that a major tragic event took place just at the moment when he needed public attention to be deflected. After a few days, when the magnitude of the disaster was clear and people did not even remember that there had been a referendum, Chavez re-appeared as described by my friend: dressed in a military uniform and saving people.

Now, this time around, where can he possibly be that he could not even send an e-mail message? This is similar to the “where is Waldo?” game, in which we have to find Chavez in very different scenarios. Here are my candidates:

1.-Chavez is in Colombia. He decided to secretly visit Uribe, to make some deals off-camera.

2.-Chavez is in Colombia, but visiting the FARC rather the Colombian government.

3. - Chavez is in some place far away, like Korea (why not?) contacting people that should not be contacted

4. - Chavez is actually in the US, reassuring the Americans that they’ll keep on having their oil barrels despite what he says in Alo President.

5. - Chavez decided to take advantage of the Carnival holidays to have some plastic surgery and he is all wrapped up in bandages and cannot appear on-camera.

6.- Chavez is in Miraflores but does not want to face the responsability of not having done the right thing the first time around (see the article in Union Radio where a geologist states that the current situation is due to goverment negligency)

Minister Izarra has done an excellent job covering up for Chavez. He appears in all tribunes and looks like the man in control. A picture that says a thousand words is the one supposedly taken yesterday during the ministers’ council in which the focus is on Izarra , and one can appreciate a line of Ministers but no president in view. BTW, the MINCI guys keep changing the date of old news. If you get to the aforementioned link, you'll find it as today's news, whereas it was published yesterday.

Well, the good news is that we may never know where Chavez is but we now know where Daniel is:

In Yaracuy!

Welcome back Daniel!

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