Who would have thought that once ostracized Diosdado Cabello would all of a sudden become again one of the most powerful men in the country? Diosdado was once Chavez’ buddy and ūber-Minister. Vice-President during the 2002 “coup”, but whose ambitions and mercantile interests and questionable relations brought him down. He was banished to the Miranda Governorship, where he failed to hold on to the position, giving way to none other than opposition front runner Henrique Capriles Radonsky.
But all of a sudden Diosdado has resurrected or is being resurrected. Last month he was elected first Vice-President of Chavez’ political party PSUV, and today he was anointed as President of the Venezuelan National Assembly. He replaced former guerrilla member Fernando Soto Rojas, who did a more credible job than anyone expected, trying to clean up the corruption in the National Assembly and a man who proved to be more open to talking to anyone than could be expected.
But clearly, this was a victory for the “mercantile-anti-Cuban-military” side of Chavismo, led by Diosdado, over the “bolsas-loyal ideologues” of the Miranda front led by Jaua and the “pro-Cuban front” led by brother Adan and some military and the “suck-up to Hugo” group led by Maduro.
And it is hard for me to believe that Hugo wanted it this way. There is clearly some serious dissension and tension within the military about the current Cuban role in the country. And as I noted when Hugo got sick, the successor would likely be chosen between Maduro and Diosdado, favoring Diosdado because of his military connections. He is the one that can hold all the sides together, except for the Cubans, who will play a role to the last minute, so don’t count them out, I still think they may rise again with Ronald Blanco La Cruz as their candidate. Maduro apparently believed he was the one and Chavez did not like it.
And it has everything to do with Chavez being sick. Some military may feel comfortable with the Cubans as long as Hugo is around, but get edgy thinking he may not be around and the Cubans might decide to stay. And Godgiven is their man. Never mind his troubled past, his connections to the failed revolutionary banks, he is their choice and was forced on Chavez, despite Cuban protestations.