A Wall Street strategist named Byron Wein, started a tradition a few years ago of making a list of “thinking out of the box” predictions for the New Year, which he called his list of surprises. This has become quite popular and by now I know of at least three such lists (One, Two and Three no yet out). The idea is to suggest events that go against the consensus and help you be prepared for it. The remarkable thing is how good these lists have turned out to be, with 50-60% of these unlikely events happening.
Ever since we learned about Chavez’ illness, I have been bothered by the question about his succession. Basically, none of the suggested names has ever satisfied me. They all have weak points from the point of view of Chavez, the military and the Cubans. Maduro may be loyal and have a good image, but he is no radical. Diosdado may be acceptable to many groups, but I don’t think he buys the Cuba angle, nor is his an real ideologue. Jaua is not liked, period.
So, in the spirit of thinking out of the box, I have identified someone who is not as well-known, is loyal, ideologically on the right side, former military, democratically elected Governor, acceptable to the Cubans and, more importantly, a man who has more influence on Chavez than many people understand.
Blanco La Cruz is a well educated, former military officer, founder of MVR, member of the Constituent Assembly, former Governor of Tachira, Ambassador to Cuba and more importantly, the man that crushed the Chavista bankers from Cuba, saving his brother in law’s position as Superintendent of Banks. (He is also the cousin of a high ranking General)
A powerful man indeed. Not very well-known, but Chavez has never wanted anyone to be well-known. Cabello may be well known, but he lost the Gubernatorial race to Capriles. Maduro may be popular among the powerful Chavistas, but is not a proven candidate. Rangel may be radical, loyal and a good strategist, but he has the charisma of a dead turtle.
But Ronald is buddy-buddy with Hugo, with the military, he believes in all this, trusted by the Cubans, has been a candidate.
Not well known?
Nothing that a few months as VP and a few billion Bolivars can’t fix.
So, I am going with Ronald Mac Blanco as my 2012 surprise.
It may not be obvious or probable, but it makes sense…
Would he be President Blanco or President La Cruz?