It is my interpretation that the first Maduro speech was the result of not having reached a decision as to how to proceed forward once Chavez’ death ocurred. You don’t have a gathering of the Cabinet, twenty Governors, the military high command and the high ranking members of Chavez’ PSUV party, to discuss spelling some US Air Force attache to Venezuela or talk about discipline in this tough moment. We may never know the truth, but I suspect that the meeting at 11 AM was to discuss how to proceed and there was not a unanimous agreement.
While one can be concerned about Diosdado Cabello’s absence, it is also true that his mother died on Sunday and was buried yesterday. However, under the Constitution it should be him that assumes the Presidency until the election is held within the next thirty days, which I think will likely be stretched until April 7th. or 14th. because clearly, there could be logistic problems and within thirty days involves holding elections on Easter Sunday, when most of Venezuela is likely returning from vacation.
But the two key decisions are precisely that, that Diosdado Cabello assumes the Presidency until the elections and the announcement that, at least, there will be quick elections. In this manner the Constitutional order will be preserved, which still matters.
Any other path, will signify a bad start for the post-Chavez era, which will likely irreversibly mark the future of Venezuela.
While it was offensive for the military high command to use the word comrade and socialism and political slogans, I found two positives in their words: First, they said the Constitution will be enforced by them and then they sent a message of support for Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello. Given Maduro’s leading role in all this, the second part had to contain a message to all. I do hope that I am not reading too much into this, but that is my interpretation.
Because in the end, I think all of the secrecy and moves of the last two months have been motivated by the desire to have Chavez be sworn in so that Maduro could be President and candidate at the same time. Things did not work out Maduro’s way, let us then hope the Constitution is followed and the post-Chavez era begins on the right foot for Venezuela.