Back from vacation in time to read the transcript of the purported conversation between Mario Silva and the Cuban intelligence General, in which Silva spews out a dense amount of gossip about a wide variety of Chavista/Madurista figures.
The first question one needs to ask is whether the tape is true or not. My impression is that it is a bit long and complex to be made up and the fact that Silva is the only one to deny its authenticity suggests it is real. In fact, Diosdado Cabello called it just gossip, which it is, but seems to be saying it is very realistic gossip coming from Silva’s mouth. The fact that Silva all of a sudden plans to leave his program “La Hojilla” also makes me suspect the tape is very real.
It is obvious that someone leaked the tape to damage someone’s credibility, what is not clear is who was the main target. While many think that it was Cabello, as he is blasted repeatedly, most of what Silva says about Cabello comes as no surprise to anyone that has been following this somewhat sinister figure of the revolution. Suffice to say that since Chávez left for Cuba in December, all of Cabello’s buddies that had been jailed by the former President have now been freed.
In fact, the most novel aspect of Silva’s gossip to me was the part about Maduro being looney and thinking that he had seen Chávez (again) in the military museum and claiming he even had a tape. I guess Maduro’s spiritual experience with Sai Baba has made him quite sensitive to having weird supernatural experiences.
Beyond that, the most significant thing about Silva’s tape is simply the fact that he is talking to the top Cuban General on intelligence matters. This alone should induce an investigation by the General Prosecutor and the National Assembly. While the opposition despises Silva, he is a mayor figure of Chavismo, whether Chavista/Maduristas like it or not. Silva rose from relative obscurity from aporrea and Chávez catapulted him to stardom by calling in to his daily program where Silva trashed just about anyone in the opposition, the same way he trashed Chavismo/Madurismo in this tape. Chávez would not only call in late at night to make announcements via La Hojilla, but Silva was the PSUV’s-Chávez backed-candidate for Governor of Carabobo, a race that fortunately he lost.
Beyond that, the main effect of the tape will be on Chavismo itself. Those that supported Chávez or his anointed heir have heard most of these accusations before, but always believed that they were opposition fabrications, now they will think twice about many of them. And that is the most important point of leaking the tape, it is not aimed at the opposition but at Chavismo/Madurismo. Its goal is to discredit the leaders of the Government, without it being clear who it was mainly aimed at. Cabello seems to be the main target, but there are very few stones left unturned.
In fact, Silva seems to defend only two people in the tape: Jorge Giordani and Admiral Molero. That’s it. He blasts the Vice President harshly, even suggesting that he may be the source of Bocaranda’s leaks about Chávez. He blasts Nicolas Maduro, Jose Vicente Rangel, Diosdado Cabello, Rafael Ramirez, Cabello’s brother, the former head of Cadivi Barroso, the Alcala Cordones brothers, Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, Maduro’s confidant Temir Porras and the CNE ladies. So, its unclear what the objective of being divisive is, but the tape is very divisive for Chavismo.
For the opposition, nothing new in the tape. Maybe some juicy and explicit details of what we all know and knew has been happening in Chavismo. But nothing that surprises anyone reading this blog for the last few years. Just a very explicit confirmation from a very Chavista source.
Very divisive for Chavismo and another contribution to the erosion of the credibility of the Maduro Government and those near him.
Nothing less and nothing more.