The Puzzling Case Of Chávez Naming A Temporary Replacement For His VP

December 2, 2012

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Given the total disregard for formalities and the letter of the law of the Bolivarian Goverment, people are still puzzling over Chávez even bothering to name a temporary replacement for Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, during the Foreign Minister’s two day absence to be present at the Unasur meeting in Lima. Given that Chávez has never even bothered to name his own replacement, even when he has been in intensive care, why did he bothered with such a minutia in the whole scheme of things? And the choice of the Minister for Electricity Hector Navarro was even more surprising, given his minor role in the overall scheme of things, even if he has proven to be a loyal ally of the Venezuelan President.

To some, this is simply Chávez sending a message that he is still very much in charge. Some think it was even extravagant, given that it should have been Maduro who named his own successor and not the Venezuelan President.

Others suggest that this was actually an act of paranoia, guaranteeing that the Presidency would not fall into the wrong hands should something happen to Chávez while Maduro was away. In fact, some even think that this indicates or even proves that all is not well with the Venezuelan President, if he has to worry about such convoluted scenarios.

But the remarkable thing is that the act would never hold water legally in any scenario, however convoluted it may be. The decree was signed by Chávez in Caracas, on a day that it was well known that Chávez was already in Cuba, from where it is simply illegal for him to issue the decree. Thus, even if a worst case scenario occurred, it would have been difficult to show the legality of the whole thing.

By now, the whole question is moot, Maduro is already back and order has been restored into this possible bifurcation into chaos. But the head scratching continues over the rationale behind the act.

17 Responses to “The Puzzling Case Of Chávez Naming A Temporary Replacement For His VP”

  1. m_astera Says:

    Well, cancer therapy isn’t known to enhance brain function. Guess it’s safe to assume that the Castro faction had some input on this too.

  2. loroferoz Says:

    Of course, I hope that this signal from the corridors of Bolivarian Power is to be of some use towards the objective of making an end for such power, once the Leader shuffles his mortal coil. Which, then?

    Does it mean that Hugo does not want Nicolas to hold all the power from the word go? Or is Hugo reminding Diosdado not to order any presidential bands yet?

    Otherwise, a sad sign this is, that we have to analyse an opaque, arbitrary and obviously unconstitutional decision, in the manner of an autocratic Banana Republic or of a failed socialist experiment. Of civic and political degeneracy in Venezuela.

  3. Dr. Faustus Says:

    There is so much about this silly article:

    http://links.org.au/node/3084

    that is a crock~a~$^$#T that it’s difficult to know where to begin. Let’s start with the obvious, shall we?

    “In the Orinoco tar sands area, for instance, “the PDVSA capped the royalties to be paid by these projects at 1 percent” (McNew 2008, 153). An elite in PDVSA and the Venezuelan government became wealthy, but the economy remained in bad shape, poverty grew, and the oil wealth flowed out of the country.”

    First, the writer leaves the impression that prior to Chavez coming on the scene ‘all’ revenue from the production of ‘all’ oil production in Venezuela was capped at 1%. Then the clouds from heaven parted, Chavez came down from above (er, no, …below) to take control of the government, and immediately DEMANDED that royalties be increased to 30%! What a guy! What isn’t explained is that there was NO interest in developing the Faja for many decades because of the enormous costs involved. 1% was an enticement. Only big oil corporations had the financial ability to make such an investment. Previous governments had tried to entice investors to the Faja by capping royalty payments (1%) while still demanding a nice percentage of the profits when oil did in fact begin to flow, i.e. through PDVSA. The writer ignores this part. When large corporations were finally persuaded to make an investment in bringing Orinoco oil to the market, Exxon and Conoco, their investments in oil upgraders were promptly STOLEN by the Chavez government. 20 billion? Furthermore, now that royalties are at 30%, (30 %!), and only a small trickle of oil is currently coming out of the Orinoco, the writer ignores the very basic fact that 30% of bupkis, …is still bupkis. But economics for this guy was never his strong suit.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      Sorry, I was commenting on the Rudy’s silly posting which was removed.

      • NorskeDiv Says:

        No need to leave Rudy’s comment, anyone with any remote interest in Venezuela has heard all of his arguments before. It remains only to consistently point out why they are wrong (as if daily life in Venezuela does not do that enough already).

    • NorskeDiv Says:

      Chavistas live in a world of a few selective facts and mostly lies. They forget one of the reasons stated for the oil strike was the destruction of PDVSA’s ability to make long term investments. They fail to mention that the strikers were born out as correct, as PDVSA’s production has dropped while Venezuela’s refining capacity has been decimated under Chavez.

      They pretend that the strikers resented PDVSA’s income being spent on social programs, but why then did they not strike under previous governments which used oil revenues to fund assorted social programs? The strikers were right, Chavez was wrong. It’s time for PSFs to face the facts.


  4. I added the link to your comment, sent you an email

  5. Morpheous Says:

    In Venezuela, Chavez has lined up a likely successor in his new vice president and foreign minister, Nicolas Maduro, but an orderly and constitutional succession will require new elections, discipline within Chavez’s Venezuelan Socialist Party, and the filling of the charismatic void that Chavez’s passing would leave.

    Both Chavez and the Castros are banking on the second Obama Administration’s inclination not to champion democracy in the Americas or create unnecessary diplomatic waves, as they attempt to engineer political successions with a maximum of closed-door dealings and a minimum of transparency and genuine democracy.

  6. NET Says:

    I believe, and from informed sources, that Chavez is so very sick that he was worried that should he die, even for the short time Maduro was out of the Country, there would be a power vacuum at the top, which could have been filled by a non-approved opportunist; If this is true, then it should auger (hopefully) well for the future….

    • NorskeDiv Says:

      If that’s true, it means Chavez is at least not in total denial about the power struggle which will commence following his complete exit from politics. Different factions of Chavistadom will be at each others throats, even die hard international socialist PSF types admit this.

  7. LD Says:

    A new Chávez clip, hmmm…

    no más pa’lante?

    • Bruni Says:

      Whatever it is, the lady has 110 years!!!! And she looks great and in great shape.

      I think it is a very good clip. It makes us associate longevity with Chávez.


      • Which may be an oxymoron in a few days …

      • LD Says:

        Well, that is really impressive, but I get more a feeling of “I lived enough, time to say good bye”. Something like “Chávez would live in the memory of us”. Slow music, a static iconic picture of him, not actual footage… nothing like the Pa’lante clips.

  8. Sergio Says:

    HCF in deep depression. Cubans are calling the shots IMO.


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