For almost a week, since Hugo Chavez cut short his visit to South Africa, reportedly because polls came out saying that his party’s standing in the polls in the face of the November regional elections was dropping fast, Chavez has been increasing the level of shrillness.
It all began with his usual accusations that people were plotting to murder him, the US and the CIA were looking for someone to bomb his palace or his Sunday TV program (weird, since it moves each Sunday) and/or collaborating with the local oligarchy or “pitiyankees” in the effort.
Then two Russian bombers arrive in Venezuela, bringing the cold war to the Caribbean and Chavez threatens us with something people thought actually was good news: He was going to pilot one of the bombers himself, but so far, no such luck. The next day, former comrades in arms, including his former buddy Raul Baduel) recall on radio how Chavez was such a coward that he would jump out of the airplane with his parachute with his eyes closed.
Then in a real bizarre turn, Mario Silva, Chavista candidate for Governor in Carabobo State, plays an audio tape in his illegal TV program in the Government’s TV channel VTV, in which he purportedly plays the voices of three high ranking military officials conspiring to bomb, get rid or dispose of Chavez.
Thus, rather than the military going and detaining these officials, the tape is leaked to a pro-Chavez radical/TV announcer/candidate for Governor, just because…
Then, the President of the National Assembly comes out on TV playing the tape from the TV program, which somehow somebody has conveniently turned over to her, including the original audiotapes.
But wait, at this point, somebody notices that the date of the audiotape in the PC label is 2005, making everyone wonder whether this was a staged coup/murder plot staged then but never used…
The husband of the President of the National Assembly, who happens to be the Foreign Minister, also denounces the US and every sucker up of the autocrat comes out of the woodwork to scream bloody murderers and coupsters. Of curse the oligarchs are named again, then the media, then the groupasking for the voiding of the 26 Bills illegally passed by Chavez and then everyone that went to the Presidential Palace on April 2002, when Chavez voluntarily departed the Presidency only to come back, is threatened with jail. Nice going!
Then tonight, during a rally for the Chavista Mayor for the city of Puerto Cabello, with Chavez in attendance, which is legal, he orders all TV stations to broadcast his speech in which with foul language, illegal in Venezuela at such times, Chavez kicks out the US Ambassador Patrick Duddy.
But everything is actually confusing and it is not quite clear if he is doing so because of the plot against his life or in solidarity with Bolivia’s President Evo Morales kicking out the US Ambassador yesterday.
But hey, this is a Government in which Chavez told his new Minister of the Interior today during a TV broadcast, that he was not interim, that he had to meet with him to clarify that he had been appointed as permanent Minister. Go figure. Is this the way to run any Nation?
And then we hear the Military Prosecutor tell us that two people have been detained (A first in the 487 attempts on Chavez’ life). And rumors are flying that Chavez’ former Minister of Defense Raul Baduel, his long time buddy who departed from him last November, is going to be detained. Curiously, Baduel has been saying for months that Chavez was going to create disturbances that would allow him to justify the postponement of the upcoming November 23 regional elections.
Even more interesting by the time Chavez came back from Puerto Cabello, there was a “spontaneous” gathering right outside the Presidential Palace, posters and platform and all, ready to stage a rally for the President. (Isn’t it dangerous to hold a rally right where the conspirators are targeting to drop the bomb?)
I have no doubt that some of Chavez’ military colleagues are likely plotting against him, after all they learned this from him., who staged one coup in February 1992 and supported another one in November 1992, supposedly to overthrow corruption and the lack of democracy in Venezuela. It would seem that conditions are indeed much worse today, just witness the Miami trial, than then justifying in the minds of these toy soldiers the need for overthrowing the Government, simply following Chavez’ playbook.
But these military officers are likely not to be pro-American and would not want to be even in contact with American officials. But the shoddiness of the presentation today. The coordinated effort, the mistakes and the way in which the “plot” was revealed, lead me to believe that this is part of the “situation room” that has come up with so many previous attempts on Chavez’ life that led to no arrests.
The only thing missing this time around was the old bazooka. I guess they decided to use different props in order to improve the choreography of a conspiracy foretold.