Chavismo Seems To Be Taking The Wrong And Unconstitutional Path In Venezuela

January 5, 2013


(In Spanish here)

A month ago, when Chávez designated Nicolás Maduro as his successor, I was thinking that Chavismo would seek a quick election, catch the opposition off guard and easily win, holding power for six or seven more years.

Now I am not so sure.

If we are to believe what Maduro said yesterday, Chavismo plans to take the most unconstitutional road possible: They have no plan to ask the Supreme Court to rule on anything and will delay the swearing in ceremony for the President elect until it is possible or his demise occurs. They say the swearing in of the President is a “formality” in a country where you need to apply with your ticket to get foreign currency to travel abroad and provide receipts and invoices when you come back. A country where my severance payment after I quit working for the Government after 24 years, was delayed six months because a staple perforated the copy of my ID card and only six of the seven digits could be identified as matching my number. Are these guys out of touch with Venezuela’s “formalities” or is it just a lack of scruples?

And while you could argue legally that Chávez can delay being sworn in, can be sworn by the Supreme Court, can be sworn in in Cuba, can be declared temporary unable to assume the Presidency, all of which are questionable from a legal point of view: About the only thing you can not possibly argue legally or in any other way, is that Nicolás Maduro can continue to be Vice-President on January 10th, but that seems to be what he is saying and how they plan to play it.

But this would be unconstitutional, because Maduro is named and removed by the President. There is no way to interpret or suggest that his nomination, or that of the Cabinet for that matter, can be extended beyond Jan. 10th. On Jan. 10th. a new Constitutional period begins, there is a reset. Reelection is not the continuation of a mandate, it is a new mandate and in Venezuela’s Constitution it has a new date for its beginning. Thus, for Nicolás Maduro to continue being Vice-President after Jan. 10th. unless Hugo Chávez is sworn in, would be absolutely illegal and a break in Venezuela’s Constitutional order. A coup, no matter how yo try to spin it. A very clear one at that.

And Chavismo will hear about it, both in Venezuela and abroad. And even Chávez’ friends around Latin America will be particularly appalled by this unconstitutional strategy.

Thus, in contrast with Chávez, who always managed to walk the grey line of the Constitution, by having the Supreme Court spin things his way or making decisions dense to understand, these guys, led by Maduro, are not starting very well. If they do break the Constitutional order, it will one day come back to haunt them.

Since Diosdado was reelected to be the President of the National Assembly today and seems to agree with Maduro that the swearing in can be delayed, he is in the end the person most affected by this strategy. He should have been President on Jan. 10th. until the issue of Chávez’ swearing in could be resolved legally or de facto. But now, Diosdado is following the party line, but he could easily one day come back and say he should be President, or even candidate, because Maduro broke the Constitution denying him the right to be President as stated by law.

I have never expected Diosdado to go on his own or try anything as long as Chávez is alive, but he has now been given a huge opening, should he desire at some point to grab power away from Maduro, whenever Chávez is no longer around: If the Constitutional order was already broken, why can’t I do it now, when asking for the right I had under the law and the Constitution?

But Maduro seems to be giving Diosdado a second huge opening with his bland interviews, in which he tries to imitate Chávez but comes across as very boring, very forced and showing the charisma of a rock. Even his diction is bad. Furthermore, things like boasting that he has no Twitter or Facebook account makes him the anti-Hugo, in a country that is in the top ten in the world in participation in social networks. Everything about Maduro’s message seemed wrong and for the first time, I am thinking that having Maduro around a few months blabbing around, could be the burial ground for his candidacy very early in the game, no matter how much money the Government throws at his campaign.

In fact, Diosdado has been much better than Maduro in all this. He is showing his experience as a candidate and Governor, an experience Maduro lacks. Disodado comes across much better as a radical Chavista, than Maduro does. He delivers the tough lines well, speaks better, delivers better. He just needs to lose a few pounds or wear looser clothes to mount a good race against anyone in the opposition. Much better than Maduro, who should disappear from view, but seems to be planning to go on nationwide TV regularly, as part of his “be-like-Hugo” campaign.

But this whole scenario is also giving the opposition a huge opening that I never believed would be there: The opposition can now have time to organize, even take its time selecting a candidate and hope for Chavismo to keep fumbling the way they seem to be doing so far.

In fact, if I were the Governor of Lara, Henri Falcón, I would be organizing my campaign committee tonight and calling Capriles to tell him he will have competition if he wants to run. With Maduro as a candidate, Falcón could roll along over him, appealing to the opposition and Chavismo at the same time. Falcón is articulate and much more charismatic than Maduro and can use his Chavista origins to talk to Chávez’ supporters. In fact, he could even tell them he never left Chavismo, but the “cogollos” (without mentioning Chávez) pushed him aside. But he can claim to be a true heir of Chávez’ ideals, he cares for the people and is a unity candidate. It could work, something I could not think would ever work a month ago. Things seem to be moving very rapidly in Venezuela, proving that it is impossible to predict what will happen six months out.

For now, the opposition should have and concentrate on a single message: The Constitution has to be followed and without a Supreme Court opinion, that implies Diosdado Cabello should become President of Venezuela on Jan. 10th. if Hugo Chávez can not be sworn in.

Anything else would be a coup and unconstitutional. And anyone backing this should be jailed. The MUD should send a teams to Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia the UN and the OAS, with experts explaining to them why this is so and it should be unacceptable to anyone who claims to believe in democracy and the rule of law.

It may make little difference for now, but Maduro’s Government would be illegitimate and dealing with this alone would eventually undermine its ability to stay in power for very long.

98 Responses to “Chavismo Seems To Be Taking The Wrong And Unconstitutional Path In Venezuela”

  1. esa foto… demasiado…. que asco

  2. Kepler Says:

    Michael, that is consistent with what Marquina has said:
    Chávez is intubated and to be like that in the way he needs to be he cannot be concious.

  3. m_astera Says:

    A little informed speculation.

    What we know: Chavez was operated on for cancer for the 4th(?) time.

    What we have heard: He developed a pulmonary infection after surgery and has been put in an induced coma.

    The idea that he has been put in an induced coma makes sense. A severe lung infection causes heavy coughing, uncontrollable, which can rip apart the sutures from surgery. I have known someone in the USA who was put into an induced coma to control coughing. Then, unfortunately, the doctors were unable to reverse the coma and bring her back to consciousness; she died.

    My guess is that Chavez is indeed in an induced coma on life support: IV drip, probably feeding tubes, and likely a machine is doing his breathing.

  4. Kepler Says:

    Algo que me parece interesante es ver que los pendejos sin frontera están realmente al-bo-ro-ta-dos. No os dais cuenta? Están escribiendo un montón tanto aquí como en Caracas Chronicles. Por algo será.

    • ErneX Says:

      True that.

    • syd Says:

      Creo que detrás de todo eso está el grupo BLOSODI, aparentemente encabezado por Mario Silva y compuesto de jodedores. Los mismos aparecen con frecuencia en las páginas del Noticiero Digital. Y los que saben inglés, pues andan improductivamente echando vaina por estos canales.

    • syd Says:

      Otra cosa. Sí pues. Las avispas andan alborotadísimas. Ya son varios días de esto. Creo que se debe por varias razones, entre ellas: los peos internos del Peosuve, el vacío de información acerca de la salud de Chávez, el hecho de que Cuba se ve más por detrás de lo que quisieran reconocer, tanto maduro como cabello dejan mucho que desear, etc.

  5. Marco Rubio Says:

    Hugo Chavez Hit By Cuba’s Surgical Strike

    Posted 01/07/2013 07:15 PM ET

    Read More At IBD:

  6. Bill S. Says:

    Miguel, thanks for the staple story. I needed a laugh. I still find it hard to believe that I began getting my City of New Orleans retirement deposits, and will soon get my first Social Security deposit, without ever seeing a real retirement person. The laptop, phone, and mail were all I needed. The City did require some official documents to be mailed to their office.They actually mailed them back! Social Security was all Internet. I took it at 62, before they could reduce it.
    It looks like my earlier prediction might be right. Hugo might be president until he dies. Needless to say, I don’t think he will make it to the end of his term.

  7. Kepler Says:

    Cilia Flores must be mad, mad, mad with Nicolás after looking at him hug Diosdado in such a way.
    “Después de too lo que hice por ti, Nico, después de que te presentase a Hugo, de que te enseñase a hablá, después de que te comprase ese paltó, tú me vienes con esas vainas con el Ojos Bonitos ese…”

  8. bt Says:

    Venezuelans: Isn’t it time to get to work? What are you waiting for? No better time than now for action!
    You let the ignorant and uneducated Chavisitas control everything. Chavez is dying; get the job done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What are you waiting for??????????????????????
    You guys act like you’re going to let an uneducated bus driver run your lives. I say it’s time to change things. Talk is cheap. Quit talking and do something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Carolina Says:

    Godgiven is calling for a gathering on Jan. 10th in support to Chavez. What for, when there is so much uncertainty and we haven’t heard anything from the Supreme Court or had any medical report? This could be show of support of somebody that’s already dead. Is he stoking the fire?

    Or maybe the opposite? The plan is to bring in Chavez, resucitaed and cured by a miracle?

    Oh geez….

  10. moctavio Says:

    I dont like censoring people unless they become abusive and do not respect the rules of the blog.

  11. moctavio Says:

    I have always defended the Constitution, you and your kind are the ones that violate it daily, so please dont come here with that othogonal argument, use reason not BS.

  12. Cort Greene Says:

    So when were y’all so big on the Constitution? Was it on April 10th, 2002, or the oil coup, how about those demo’s in the streets by the oppo’s that were not supported? Taking money from the US to sabotaged and to create doubt?

    No our so called democrats on this list were always for something else!

    Rojo Rojito

    • syd Says:

      You could at least try harder to promote your revolution than by a repetitive question which shows your limited intellect. You know you’re capable of so much more than this empty little rant.

      Hey, got your bags packed for the 23 de enero, where you said (not thought) was such a good place to live?

      • Bill Seidel Says:

        Another PSF talking up his butt, the oil “coup” was a strike and the right to strike is in the Constitution. As for April 2002, yes, it was a break in the Constitutional order, but Chavez should have been impeached for the deaths he caused.

        Hugo muerto, muertico

  13. […] Devil’s Excrement looks at how Chavismo Seems To Be Taking The Wrong And Unconstitutional Path In Venezuela: And while you could argue legally that Chávez can delay being sworn in, can be sworn by the […]

  14. Anon Says:

    Consider this: Chavez won his last presidential election, pero de vaina, without a comfortable margin.

    Why not consider that the PSUV bigwigs actually knows how many people they had to “arrear” to the voting centers? This was, after all, central to that party’s elections strategy. I’m talking about the late afternoon final push-coercion before the centres closing?

    The weird way the cúpula chavista is behaving now would make a lot more sense, if that were the case…

    Yo no creo en teorías conspiratorias, pero de que vuelan, vuelan.

  15. And now the Attorney General, whose conflict of interest is “only” that she is Maduro’s wife, says Chávez does not even need swearing in

    what ignorance and lack of ethics.

  16. Bruni Says:

    Frankly Miguel, the 99 Constitution is a real mess because it was written with one idea only: to remove the democratic institutions and let Chávez stay for more than one term. It is badly written and contradictory in many points. For instance, If the President dies today (Jan 6), who would you think should, according to the Constitution, the person in charge? I have read the 233 several times and it contradicts itself.

  17. No, the problem is that there is a void in the Constitution in any case. But yes, if the Constitution established a procedure for determining a temporal or absolute absence of the President-elect, it would have to be followed. What can not happen is that we are simply told he is ok, and this is just a continuity for Maduro. Look, this issue was considered in the Constituent assembly. One member got up and said the proposed article for the absence of the president elect was confusing and it was discarded. This did not happen 400 years ago, this happened 13 years ago, those that wanted to include the article or remove the article should be consulted and the problem resolved legally by the TSJ.

    What is also clear is that the way it is done for the temporal or absolute absence of the President does not immediately apply to the President elect.

  18. Bruni Says:

    OK, I see your point. I thought you were concentrating exclusively on the date.
    So we agree that the real problem is the President’s health that is unknown to everybody.

    The problem is not postponing but knowing if the President is dead or alive and if he will be able to get back to normal.

    • syd Says:

      For me, postponing and not wishing to reveal the status of the President’s health lead to instability and uncertainty, both of which are precisely how the Castro-Maduro-Cabello tirumvirate can best exert control over the vox populi.

    • loroferoz Says:

      CORRECT. The real problem is getting to know what his state is, to decide BEFORE January 10 what to do. Somebody should be answerable for this…

  19. Bruni Says:

    I don’t agree with you Miguel. I don’t see the postponing scenario as a coup, the coup would be elsewhere.

    Imagine for a moment that Capriles had won the elections and that he is taken ill and cannot go to the inauguration on January 10. On the one hand, there is the will of the people that voted for him and that want him as President and, on the other hand, there is the Constitution that says that he must be swear in on January 10. What would be the right thing to do? Overrule the Constitution or the will of the people? (Don’t forget that the Constitution has also Article 5).

    I agree with you that they should consult the TSJ on this matter, but I do not feel that just postponing the swearing can be classified as a coup.

    The coup would be if Chávez is dead and, in that respect, I consider more important being able to verify the health of the President than trying to gain a point on the January 10 date.

    • Then read my article again. Postponing is not what they are saying. They are saying it is a “continuity” thus Maduro stays as VP until Chavez can be sworn in. That is a coup, we dont even know what Chavez has for Gods sake! We dont know if he is really conscious! They could keep this charade for months. That is why there are laws and Constitutions. Period.

      This should be very simple and for some reason that I dont understand they are making it complicated. I still think it could be some sort of ploy.

      Thus, the very simple solution, more for them, that control all powers is:

      Ask the Supreme Court to tell them what happens with the temporal absence of a President elect. Period.

      And whatever the Court says, legally, it can not back up the continuity interpretation. Maduro ceases as VP until a new President is sworn in and names him, which is the only clear thing to me: Diosdado can be sworn in as President until the Court resolves. He can name Maduro. I see nothing else in the Constitution that says Maduro can continue being VP,, unless Diosdado names him.

  20. It adds color to the blog to have such ignorance and stupidity thrown around by a Pendejo Sin Fronteras. I really like these guys who praise Chávez and Cuba, but live in the comfort of the US and would never dare or even contemplate living in either Venezuela or Cuba. They could not hack a “socialist” lifestyle in the Cuban nation of Chulos, nor the crime, corruption and lies of Chavismo’s XXIst. Century “Socialism.

    • firepigette Says:

      I disagree I don’t think it adds color to have psfs on the blog.It is repetitive, predictable,and nothing of intellectual or emotional interest is ever said.

      As for the so called comfort of the US, I also disagree.At least where I live, maintaining on ongoing life requires many time consuming activities.It is a no nonsense country,

      I know people from the US who are still in Venezuela for this reason.

      But where I do agree, is that many of these dunces know nothing about Venezuela and are a waste of time to read.

      • moctavio Says:

        Dont read the, it’s easy, see the author, skip comment.

        • firepigette Says:


          I hardly every do read them…but when I go to any blog and see lots of fights going on with psfs at a glance….I end up not checking the blog that often and participating very little there is so little resonance and or thoughtfulness going on.

          You have the right to handle your blog as you see fit… but I think it is good for you to receive all kinds of feedback.

          There is absolutely nothing of intellectual interest in the arguments by psfs.

          Obviously there are those who engage them but I am sure many of us are bored by it, not just me.I have heard many readers say the same, including Diana above.

          • syd Says:

            Boredom is… a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
            Bertrand Russell

      • syd Says:

        Thank you, Miguel. I find it insulting that anyone would want to re-direct your blog’s stance on who comments and who doesn’t.

        Like yourself, I find these PSF’s not only colorful, but revealing in their throes of passion for an idealized world. Yes, they can get annoying. But so can some non-PSFs.

        In Quico’s blog, the allowance of PSF’s also brings out the best arguments against the manufactured tripe, lately regarding the constitution. And that’s all to the good, irrespective of the repetitive boredom of one.

  21. Dianna Nash Says:

    Why do you even let this PSF post? It wastes time and energy for everyone.

  22. syd Says:

    Just a note to say that the embrace engaged in by these two from the pacto civico-militar (with Cuba) is just plain WEIRD.

    • Roy Says:


      Is there anything about Venezuelan politics, at the moment, which is not “Weird”? No… “Weird” isn’t strong enough. Let’s go with something in between “bizarre” and “macabre”.

    • syd Says:

      I’d opt for bizarre, then, to describe the body language. In his embrace, Maduro practically supports Cabello’s head, which rests over Maduro’s heart.

      I’m reminded of a renaissance painting of Madonna and (a still not weaned) child.

  23. More BS from the King of BS, discard the Constitution. Why not? Yes Shaw, you must be anything but a lawyer even if you try to sound like one. I get it! You must be a priest of the Chavista religion.

    • A. Shaw Says:

      Here’s hypo on Jan. 10, the holy day.

      The pres-elect rides on Jan 10 to AN to get sworn-in, but a drunk-driver runs into pres’s car and knocks the pres unconscious. He regains consciousness and fully recovers the next day, Jan 11.

      Are you really saying the pres. can’t take the oath before the supreme court one day after Jan 10 under Art. 231?

      Isn’t being knocked unconscious a “supervening reason” under 231?

      Are you really saying the speaker, under 233, has to take over and call a new presidential election after the pres-elect was just won one?

      I really don’t believe you entertain such foolishness.

      What is the difference, if any, between this hypo and actual situation?

      • Please READ what I say. I am not saying ANYWHERE that Diosdado takes over and elections are called. I am saying that he takes over until this is resolved by the TSJ:

        “He (Diosdado) should have been President on Jan. 10th. until the issue of Chávez’ swearing in could be resolved legally or de facto.”

        What is ABSOLUTELY illegal is to argue the continuity of Maduro as VP because he is named by the acting President, which can not be Chávez if he has not been sworn in (or dies or is dead)

        There is no Speaker in Venezuela.

        • A. Shaw Says:

          On Jan. 10, the decision-makers about “continuity” has to be what exists or the remaining duly constituted powers of the State which will pick either Maduro or Cabello or someone else to act in the capacity of president. Maduro is the obvious frontrunner to be pick because Chavez blessed Maduro before Chavez flew back to Cuba. Maduro is not picked now [Jan.6] because the 2007 constitutional term has a few days left.

          If the National Assembly and supreme court, the chief remaining duly constituted powers of the State, believe that Chavez’s blessing of Maduro is persuasive, then frontrunner Maduro gets the nod. Politics!

          After Jan. 10, most likely, Maduro will still be called VP because that’s what he used to be. But after Jan.10, he will be only a person “acting in the capacity of president” at the sufferance of the National Assembly and supreme court until things are straigthened out, which will most likely result from invoking Art. 234, giving both side ample time to prepare a campaign.

          This ( immediately above) is the case only if Chavez doesn’t recover.

          “Speaker” may tactlessly be clearer than “president of the National Assembly,” because too many damn “presidents” are walking around, here. Which one of these “presidents” are we talking about? All of them? Some of them?

          • Sure, break the Law, break the Constitution, who cares, they have been doing that for 14 years, what is one more stripe in the tiger:


            Art. 234 can not be invoked, because the Constituent Assembly discarded a similar article applied to the President elect. You can not call someone something just because you want, Maduro was not elected, a “President” has to name him, he can not just continue being VP because the Constitution is very explicit he is nobody after Jan. 9th. If Chávez is not President for whatever reason, then the new president, which can only be Diosdado, has to name his VP:

            If you want to talk legal, use the correct terms please.

            • A. Shaw Says:

              Toro uses a widespread misrepresentation of 231 that falsely asserts something like the president-elect takes the oath on Jan. 10 before the Assembly … period!

              This “period” is premature.

              It is closer to the truth to say 231 states the president-elect takes the oath on Jan. 10 before the Assembly, if there aren’t “any” supervening reasons.

              While Toro pretends to defend the constitution, he opportunistically deletes the entire second sentence of 231. Since, under 231, a good reason “supervenes” Jan. 10 as well as the Assembly, the date of Jan. 10 as well as the Assembly venue are merely a formalities.

              Your 234 argument is tougher stuff, for 234 does specify “President of the Republic.” Flores deals with this kind of 234 argument by using the idea of a “reelected president” rather than the idea of a mere president-elect. Personally, I see Chavez as both the president and president-elect until Jan. 10. But after Jan. 10, my guess is Chavez becomes what 266(2) refers to as somebody “acting in the capacity of president” but he retains his status of president-elect until he takes the oath. Flores may mean this, too. But I’m not sure.

              It seems to me that a 266(2) person “acting in the capacity of president,” is subject to proceedings under 234 if grounds exist, because 234 applies to the president. In other words, if 234 applies to the president, it also applies to “whomever acts as president.”

              “If you want to talk legal, use the correct terms please,” Octavio advises.

              Good advice. But let’s use these terms correctly.

      • loroferoz Says:

        That we at least know what the President’s condition is, you NITWIT. And we can take appropriate decisions based on knowing it. At any rate the State powers can, and be accountable because it’s known. For all we know Hugo Chavez can be dead, alive and running but kept hidden, or anything in between. This is untenable.

  24. A. Shaw Says:

    The supreme court and National Assembly don’t want to subvert the Oct. 7 reelection of Chavez, thus repudiating the will of the people as expressed on Oct. 7. Perhaps, they believe Chavez deserves a reasonable opportunity to recover. If the speaker of National Assembly took over under Art. 233, that would effectively subvert the constitutional mandate given by the people at the polls on Oct. 7. This concern seems to be the “supervening reason” mentioned in Article 231 that vexes the executive, legislative and judicial powers of the State. By “supervening” the Constitution seems to refer to an event of such gravity and significance that it overrides settled procedure [e.g., Jan. 10] and custom. In other words, a “supervening reason” supervenes Jan. 10.

    There were supervening reasons for not swearing-in Chavez on Jan. 10, 2000; so, Chavez was sworn Aug. 19, 2000. The only time any president has ever been sworn-in of Jan 10 under the current constitution was in 2007. So, not taking the oath on Jan. 10 is as much the custom as taking the oath on Jan.10. Why is Jan. 10 suddenly a big deal?

    As usual, Oppos are bent out of shape over formalities associated with the mere titles like “vice president.” The title could be anything — either VP or former VP or Assembly speaker or even “whomever acts in the capacity” of president as Article 266 mentions.

    Here’s Article 266(2).

    “Article 266: The following are powers of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice … (2) To rule as to whether or not there are grounds for impeaching the President of the Republic or whomever may be acting in that capacity, and if so, to retain competence of the proceedings, subject to the approval of the National Assembly, until the final judgment.”

    Clearly, under 266(2), whatever the person who ” acts in the capacity” of president does or fails to do, lies within the competence of the supreme court subject to National Assembly approval. Note, if the supreme court has the power to remove from office “whomever acts as president,” then the court also has the power to let him stay in office — like the people did in the 2004 recall referendum — should the court, of course, find his actions constitutional.

    In other words, the legitimacy of Maduro after Jan.10 rests on the “supervening reasons” language in Article 231 of the Constitution as well as on the tolerance and sufferance of the supreme court under Art. 266 and the National Assembly under 187(1) based chiefly on Maduro’s management of current constitutional crisis, until Chavez recovers within a reasonable amount of time or until 233 or 234 is applied.

    Chavez perhaps needs a month or two for recovery so that he can at least demonstrate his continued availability to serve as president, as Articles 233 and 234 require. This “availability to serve” is all he has to show under the Constitution when “unavailability” is alleged. Art. 233 doesn’t yet apply because there is — so far — no determination of permanent unavailability to serve. Art 234 doesn’t apply — although we are obviously getting close to application — because Chavez continues to give orders to his VP and his ministers, demonstrating an “availability to serve” even while he lies in hospital bed in Cuba.

    During a reasonable period of recovery during 2013 constitutional term, it seems, the office will be left justly unoccupied by its duly elected constitutional president –that is, Chavez. But, at the same time, the office will be legally occupied for a reasonable time under the Constitution by someone acting in the capacity of president — mostly likely, Maduro — with the approval of both National Assembly and supreme court. During this reasonable period of recovery, crackpots and lunatics of the bourgeois-led opposition will shout nonsense and rubbish about “There is no such things as ‘supervening reasons,’ so apply 233 or 234 right now, because the 2007 constitutional term expired without an oath on Jan. 10.”

    The National Assembly seems smart and tough enough to stand up to these lunatics. But can the supreme court defend the constitution from these crackpots.?

    • The Constitution is the Constitution is the Constitution. You can only subvert the Constitution. the rest Mr. Shaw is pure imagination.

    • TV Says:

      “Reasonable time of recovery”, assuming his cancer is cured through a miracle, is at least a year in this case. Twice as long as constitutionally maximum allowed absence.

      Dwell on it 🙂

      • A. Shaw Says:

        If ordinary citizens are entitled to a reasonable time of recovery with respect to their employment obligations, why deny the president the same privilege?

        • moctavio Says:

          Yes and Diosdado should be the President. And you have to prove you are sick and how sick you are, just like any other worker. Period.

        • TV Says:

          Ask the guy who wrote the constitution. Oh that’s right, you can’t, since he the one we’re talking about.

          It’s exactly the same in every other job, if you’re too ill to do it, someone else has to. Of course in this case it also involves illegaly siphoning tens of billions of dollars to friends and family at the expense of the nation, so it’s obviously controversial.

          Are you getting your fair cut, I wonder? I wouldn’t make such fool of myself for less than $50k/year.

        • Jeffry house Says:

          Yes, let’s see the medical report.

    • M Rubio Says:

      A Shaw wrote: The supreme court and National Assembly don’t want to subvert the Oct. 7 reelection of Chavez, thus repudiating the will of the people as expressed on Oct. 7.

      I have to ask, how does holding a new election “subvert the will of the people”? The people voted for Hugo Chavez. If he can’t serve, then the Constitution is clear that new elections should be held.

      Chavez himself basically said, before leaving for Cuba, “if I can’t serve, hold new elections and vote for Maduro because he’s a great revolutionary, blah blah blah”.

      Not sure why this has to seem so complicated.

      • A. Shaw Says:

        “Chavez himself basically said, before leaving for Cuba, “if I can’t serve, hold new elections,” Rubio remembers correctly.

        A president serves by giving orders. According to his VP and ministers, Chavez, from his hospital bed, has given them orders. To be sure, he has given fewer orders to fewer ministers than he used to give.

        But he’s serving.

        Thus, from what Chavez himself basically said before leaving for Cuba, new elections should not be held now.

  25. Coriolis Effect Says:

    What makes anyone think Chavez is even still alive? I for one think he is already dead. And 3 months from now, Maduro will be on TV saying Chavez is in a delicate condition.

  26. loroferoz Says:

    No surprises here… Let’s make the appropriate noises, and wait until they have gutted each other. Then baste, roast and serve.

  27. Carlos Says:

    I hate army involved in politics. It is a shame to see more than half of Venezuelan states ruled by military governors.. ELECTED!!!! Neither the Argentinian “PROCESO” had so many scumbags appointed (not elected) for provincial mandate. Also, near 25% of government top positions are ran by high range military officers.
    Almost all other positions and offices are hold by dangerous and unskilled lefty civilians.
    However, I would envision a more comfortable future for Venezuela with Cabello heading the country instead of Maduro.
    Nationalist military will eventually cut with Castro and Cuba and will some day, less than 2-3 years, resign office to civilians. They will quickly switch from left to center, negotiate immunity (Local and international) and release power to some sort of MUDbag.
    Castro communist puppets like Maduro will do certainly worse for economy, will literally destroy the country and may stay empowered for another decade.
    The main point here is to get rid from Cuba.. then Iran and Belarus.

  28. bobthebuilder Says:

    I don’t see any reason why the Chavistas would bother to bore us with the details of Chavez’ demise. I suspect Chavez will be ‘alive’ for most of the period of his 6 year term, perhaps conveniently ‘dying’ a month before the next presidential election.

  29. shrillary clinton Says:

    unconstitutional? please…you are talking about latin america after all….. the bad joke of the planet….. the source material for so many bad Hollywood movies……

    oh BTW is he dead yet? what about now? now? now?

  30. piquijuye Says:

    The only way to get rid of Fidel & Raul Castro Cuban puppet government of Venezuelas (the chavistas) is to go out on the streets and protest. Do not expect the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice to favor any ruling against the chavistas because they all belong to the chavista party……….Guarimbas needed.

  31. Kepler Says:

    Latin American countries won’t give a dime for us. They are all having record trade surplus from spoiling Venezuela.
    The US won’t get into this. Europe doesn’t care. China wants our oil and is a repressive regime.

  32. TV Says:

    It looks to me as if Chavistas realize how deep the troubles they face are and know the only way around it is for Chavez to be there to placate the people. The troubles facing Venezuela would be difficult to solve in any country, but Venezuela is a bit of an outstander in that the political elites are, by and large, incompetent as not to threaten the one in charge.

    Venezuela will survive, but it’s questionable how long will it take to recover? A similar – though for now far worse – case was Zimbabwe, which will take at least two generations to recover, if it ever does.

  33. Roy Says:

    ‘Never interfere with an enemy while he’s in the process of destroying himself.’

  34. titotito Says:

    poor people… there is no easy way (I mean elections, constitutional, etc) there has to be blood in this transition, los chavistas al igual que cualquier otro regimen (como Libia, Siria, etc) van a matar o morir a dejar el gobierno!

  35. Not pushing him out, I am just saying if Falcon wants it he can have it, I am not sure Capriles can. In the end, I like neither.

    • Alex Says:

      I also like Flacon. Capriles reminds me of a peace loving wanna-be-cool dude, not too practical in this country, not necessarily the winning formula, as has already been proven.

    • Roy Says:


      I don’t think it really matters. The first Opposition president is going to flounder in the face of all the problems he is going to inherit. Hopefully, during that time, someone with better abilities will emerge.

  36. jau Says:

    Miguel, why do you keep pushing Capriles aside? he is the man PERIOD. Falcon is an ex chavista for christsake!

  37. Roger Says:

    Im not placing any bets till I see Chavez one way or the other. For all we know, he might float into the AN on the 10th wearing a Cuban Anti Gravity suit a la Baron Harkonnen in Dune! Regardless of who is in power when the forces of Economics are suddenly discovered in Venezuela and found to be as powerful as Gravity will probably not survive.

  38. moctavio Says:

    Before, chavismo could call for an election in 30 days, impossible for the oppo to react. Now they can organize. Big difference, when chavez dies, there will be elections.

    • Ronaldo Says:

      It is time for the opposition to play the Castros’ bluff and declare Chavez dead. Make the Cubans provide proof otherwise.

    • Luisa Says:

      Except that we don’t know and may not know if and when Chavez dies. By all guesses, he is at the very least in a coma, hence incapacitated to rule. But who questions this? We are in a state of flux and personally I am really mad, only wondering what is it going to take for the 6.5 million people who voted for a change to react?

      • At this time, the only thing we should do, ask to be done and demand is that the Constitution be followed. If Chavez wants a delay, then the Supreme Court has to interpret it that way and his absence evaluated, which would include a medical evaluation. Until then, Diosdado should be the President.

    • M Rubio Says:

      How do we know there will be elections when Chavez dies? Because the constitution says so? The constitution apparently says many things that mean nothing to these guys running the show today.

  39. Alex Says:

    Octavio, I don’t agree with this line:

    “The opposition can now have time to organize, even take its time selecting a candidate and hope for Chavismo to keep fumbling the way they seem to be doing so far.”

    The sad reality is the continuation of the current status quo could last indefinitely. Chavez could be in a coma and ll they’ll communicate is that he is getting better, the perfect excuse to continue as regents under Castro’s advise forever.

  40. Cpc Says:

    Long live Chavez! By long I mean 6 to 10 months…

  41. Noel Says:

    This latest episode just shows what I always thought: Chavez would set up a socialist-populist system on the model of Castro’s but with one “improvement”, that is set and twist laws to give the appearance of legimacy and to neutralize outside influence. Now that he did, he/they feel there is no need to pretend.

    They may wrong, I don’t know. But with the opposition unable to articulate a convincing program of government and without a very strong leader, I would think that the best card they have is national sovereignty, give Venezuela back to the Venezuelans, get Cuba out. They could even invoke Simon Bolivar who didn’t dedicate a life-long struggle for independence from Spain to have it lost to Cuba. Even the military, for all the profiteering some of its chiefs have reputedly done, may find it difficult to argue against that.

    I think that this situation of dependence on and influence by Cuba is the most serious weakness of Chavismo.

  42. Morpheous Says:

    Without doubt there is a constitutional crisis, and it is of such gravity that the legislative power, the executive power and the Supreme Court have had to make statements trying to clear up the doubts and uncertainty that they themselves have created because they don’t want to follow the Constitution.

  43. Time will get him out, he will collapse under his own inability to control all groups and the ambitions of so many. Chávze could hold them together because he was the unquestionable leader. Once he disappears the demons will wake up and anyone bypassing the law will eventually pay for it. The sad part is , they dont need to do it!

  44. steffmckee Says:

    Who is going to sanction any violation? The military? The Supreme Court? Maduro’s making his move now, thinking that el Comandante’s blessing should be enough to sway public opinion. What’s more valid (in the Chavista mind) the personal imprimatur of Chavez or a piece of paper?

  45. To me, this is the best possible scenario to get rid of them. They have or had no need to sidestep the Constitution, by doing it they start digging their own grave.

    • Paula H Says:

      puedes traducirlo al espanol…lo puse en twitter y la gente la quiere traducida… 😉

    • M Rubio Says:

      I think this group will just say, “Chavez was elected to another term as president, Chavez chose Maduro as his successor……so, we don’t need no stinkin’ new election……and the majority of Venezuelans will cheer and await their next “dos lochas” handout in tranquility..

  46. steffmckee Says:

    Was there ever any doubt? Maduro is Castro’s boy. No way they’d let a little thing like a constitution get in the way.

  47. m_astera Says:

    I’m thinking the thought process goes something like this:

    “If we had an election there’s a chance we might lose, so we just won’t have one.”

    • NorskeDiv Says:

      Agreed. Chavistas saying the election of Chavez means Venezuela endorsed his “program” and not him as a person makes it pretty clear. There will be no new election until Chavez is in fact dead. Even then, they may avoid holding one (I’m not sure if they will risk that, but it’s possible).

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