Mario Silva’s Gossip Tape Aimed at Discrediting Chavismo/Madurismo

May 21, 2013

06 MG__9771Mario Silva with Chávez in happier days

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.

57 Responses to “Mario Silva’s Gossip Tape Aimed at Discrediting Chavismo/Madurismo”

  1. Rafael Hidalgo Says:

    Hi Miguel, just to add my bit. the tape is true, I have no doubts about it. See my article here

  2. […] Mario Silva’s Gossip Tape Aimed at Discrediting Chavismo/Madurismo […]

  3. Kepler Says:

    RattInnaCage it’s a bit of everything.

    I know a lot of Venezuelans beyond Caracas and away from the main 4 cities.
    I think few Venezuelans will hear about the Chinese cars for the military. Those who do hear about that have no reference to compare. They know nothing but Venezuela.

    They do not get contact with people who teases them to ask the right questions: is that a priority? and why not to farmers or teachers? and what money are we using and won’t be able to use for something else?
    I doubt that piece of news came up in the crappy newspapers most people read – if they read at all -.
    People did hear about the video. Again: it’s another matter whether they will ask themselves the right questions. And this is one of the key issues: Venezuelans are not used to questioning the system. They can be rebellious as they are individualists but the lack of questioning about what’s beyond the today and the here makes them repeat history ad nauseam.

    I often think people in our elites are particularly disconnected with the majority
    and ignore how disconnected the majority – Chavista or not – is with the rest of the world. You will find the newest iPad in Venezuelan Amazonas. You will find little discussion about the meaningful matters people are asking elsewhere.

    • Joseph Says:

      Most Venezuelans have never read an actual book, despite their claims of no analfabetismo. I grew up in the U.S., but came back to Venezuela when I was 15. I’ve met only a handful of individuals that coherently analyze and question the things that go on in Venezuela.

      It is not just Chavistas. It is all Venezuelans dragging this country along the cliche Latin American bullshit corruption.

  4. RattInnaCage Says:

    Do the people of Venezuela see, hear, and read all of these shenanigans going going on right now? I know that the El Universal web site has them (thank you Google Translate), but is all this stuff know by the average man or woman on the street? It’s easy to know that there’s no toilet paper, but do they know the contents of this video, do they know about the 20,000 Chinese cars, and all the rest?

    On a totally different note, does anyone know anything about Carlos Tocc? It seems the Philadelphia Phillies are going to sign him. BTW, it looks like Freddy Galvis will be playing for a while – it seems Chase Utley might be out for a while with aching ribs.

  5. Kepler Says:

    Interesting report. Someone said Silva had told Maduro there were other recordings and Maduro said “te vas”. Did anyone hear that? How could one know? It’s not something Maduro would have told Silva in front of many people.

    Why would Silva record this thing? Did someone hack the computer to transmit the recording or to copy the recording?

  6. firepigette Says:

    Venezuela will just muddle a long pretty much as it is, without the opposition reacting sufficiently to the situation to change things.Even if the government unravels, so what?

  7. Mick Says:

    I’m thinking the are insuring themselves from military coup.

  8. Kepler Says:

    I just wrote in my blog: the goverment is spending over 1.6 billion dollars in Chinese cars for the military caste, 20000 cars for them instead of better payment for teachers or better hospitals for farmers.
    This is amazing and no one seems to react to this.

    • Charlie Says:

      Kepler, please let us know your blog’s url. Thanks

    • Ronaldo Says:

      Is this a new meaning of car bomb?
      Will each soldier drive his own Chinese car to the next war? If the enemy does not surrender, then the FAN will create a huge traffic jams to bring everything to a standstill.

  9. m_astera Says:

    I was asking a friend yesterday how much his take home pay is, working as a delivery driver for a wholesale food company. He works five days per week and has a wife and two children. He told me that on the 15th of the month he gets 980 Bs cash, and at the end of the month he gets 1000 Bs in food tickets. My understanding is that is minimum wage. At twenty-five to one, that would be eighty dollars per month.

  10. Bill S. Says:

    When you think about it, the fact that any country, Cuba, the USA, China, or even neighboring Brazil, can have much influence in Venezuela is crazy. It is like logic from a negative universe.
    With an enormous amount of an essential commodity, oil, only Venezuelans should be calling the shots in Venezuela. Just like the Saudi king, and princes in the other Gulf oil states do. The only reason they allow a Western military presence in some of their countries, is for protection from Iran.
    Oil companies are literally digging up Canada to get a hydrocarbon which has to be mixed with real oil to even pump it through a pipe. Can you imagine the investment that would pour into Venezuela from every major oil company on the planet, if they could just get the revenue from a small portion of what heavy oil they produced. Watch what happens with Iraqi oil production, if they can stop killing each other. Venezuela wouldn’t face that problem. You could make a lot of friends all over the globe too. That can’t hurt. It would be like the UN of oil people down there. I can see the international financial conferences in Caracas already. Brazilians will be jealous. Venezuela is centrally located in the Western Hemisphere too. Not too long a flight from anywhere. No real winter either.
    Maybe, someday it will happen.

  11. Mick Says:

    First they promised 50 million rolls of toilet paper, now it is 39. I wonder how many will actually arrive. But don’t worry, the crisis is over, they have placed an order and it will probably arrive in a couple of months. It has to clear the shipping ports after all. Someone should run a tracker as to when it gets to the shelves.

  12. Ira Says:

    Isn’t it pretty much accepted that those who voted for Maduro are totally comfortable and happy with Cuban control in VZ affairs? (I mean those who voted for Maduro who weren’t FORCED to vote for Maduro for fear of losing their jobs.)

    Non-issue here. Genuine or not, won’t change a thing.

    We’ve had evidence like this for 13 years and Venezuelans don’t seem to give a FUCK!

    • Morpheous Says:

      In fact, to me Venezuela ceased to exist a long time ago. Now there is a Cuba-Venezuela federation in the facts. I would not be surprised if any time soon this will be formalized. You all will see it unless some kind of a miracle happens.

  13. concerned Says:

    If nothing else, it shut up silva and that damn talk show. Sounds like sour grapes, and now he is running scared. Couldn’t of happened to a nicer guy. Maybe now a cuban necktie?

  14. SNAFU Says:

    He sounds like a disgruntled employee, he was promised somethng and didnt get it so he goes on a delirious rant. It was released by the cubans to neutralise a crazy mad guy who knows too much.

  15. Mick Says:

    I would hope this would dispel any belief that the US is trying to take down Hugo’s regime. Anybody has to believe the CIA could have hacked every computer in the Venezuelan government 10 times over by now. They are after Marlins not Minnows.

    • Omar Says:

      Actually, in his last broadcast, Silva said his email had been hacked

    • Kepler Says:

      Well, actually: US Americans can do a lot of hacking. A few others can and gringos are among the best at that.

      But nobody can produce such a long piece of fake speech, it must have been Silva.

  16. LT Says:

    The Devil is onto something: Cubans don’t provide anything Venezuelans cannot do without. Their threat of future leaks gives away their game: blackmail.

  17. Noel Says:

    I have a slightly different take. To me, the most damaging aspect of the tape is putting a voice and apparently a name on the Cuban intelligence presence and role in Venezuela.

    The recording reminded me of French collaborators reporting to their nazi intelligence and police handlers during World War II. To this day, it remains a deep source of shame in France.

    I think this has the potential to prompt both civilians and military Venezuelans to seriously question how they got to this point and what they should do about it.

    • m_astera Says:

      My thoughts as well. “What is Mario Silva doing giving this information to a foreign intelligence agent?”

      Isn’t that called treason?

    • Carlos Says:

      Absolutely true!!
      IMHO this is damaging Cuba’s interest in Venezuela. I would further think this was recorded and spread by people related to venezuelan national militaries ..good way to trash all the Cuba/Venezuela special relationship, and put Venezuelan pro-Cuba officers near the cesspool by just digesting some already known bad words about Diosdado.. good deal!!!

  18. PabloM Says:

    Funny how today´s article in the NYT uses the same language on the Bandes case that you used a week ago, like no honpr among thieves etc.

  19. Kepler Says:

    I was about to put what DL said.
    I thought of:
    1- internal leak
    2- normal bug installed somewhere there – or in computer proper, your computer is my microphone –
    3- more sophisticated SIGINT by an intelligence agency from the USA or elsewhere

    Text-to-speech technology has improved a lot but still, as far as I know, it is not possible to produce such a long speech. One could fool the original speaker’s own mother in isolated sentences (that was already possible in 2002) but the huge challenge is for longer tracks. It would be easier to find a genius as Emilio Lovera.

    What I found so strange is why Silva was talking in such a way without the other speaking. I mean: even if you are giving information to your contact person at an agency and that person should only interrupt if the information flow is not going right…this is extreme, the guy was interrupted by the constant calls he was getting than anything else. I am not sure about the voice of the other. Was that a real Cuban agent or someone Mario Silva considered so?

  20. LD Says:

    I think there are two most possible ways how/why this was made public:
    -simple hacking of computer (Anonymous, some intelligence agencies, somebody looking for money, etc.). Damaging Chavismo at all is the purpose or at least don’t matter.
    -MS himself, being not able to reach Maduro, go the hard way and “immolates” himself. He has enough enemies already and a lot of secrets/information. Like a Mafia-journalist told it, you are at risk as long as you are the only one with the information. Add a ill sister and it could have been enough for him at the moment. Maybe trying to save Chavismo, or himself. Sure, almost nobody comes good in the “report”, but this could be the price for being honest (and reaching Maduro).

  21. To me, the tape was “leaked” by chavismo itself (maybe the very own Silva) to wash Maduro’s face. The main defense behind failure of Chávez’s government was that he was good, but those around him were bad, now with this tape Diosdado is the bad guy and epicenter of corruption, and Maduro is the poor guy, victim of the circunstances, faithful to Chávez to the end. Nothing is going to happen, no-one is going to jail or anything (chavismo inside knew all this all-along so…), the idea was to tell the people why nothing is going to work. And that the 2 devaluations were because of the ammount of money Diosdado & Co. did over the years (something I don’t really believe… How much money would be needed to be stolen by less than 50 people to cause a double currency devaluation? Mind you, I believe the’ve been stealing money, but I think the double devaluation is because of mismanagement, corruption, and hand-outs, all of them inside and aoutside chavismo, inside and outside of Venezuela).

    • Lorenz Says:

      You don’t air your own dirty laundry and Silva in deep shit IMO. For starters, assuming it’s the Cubans, he recorded it. Another no-no. Probably taken from his Internet connected home PC!

  22. Roy Says:

    Chavez used to handle these things better but immediately going on the attack. He would have had Ismail Garcia arrested for “spreading lies”, “dissension”, or some such. He would have made it all about the “Opposition’s hatred”.

    Maduro has already missed those opportunities. So, we wait and watch, while this new stink bomb permeates Chavismo. It makes me wonder how much more ammo Capriles and the MUD have stockpiled.

    • syd Says:

      the released tape was the 2nd half, the first half coming up shortly. or so a serious tweet or two read.

  23. After broadcasting so many illegally obtained conversations, this is poetic justice at its best. El que a hierro mata, a hierro muere!

  24. Bruni Says:

    I don’t see clearly what is the purpose of the release of the tape.

    Nothing new there. IMHO, nothing that we did not know. If it was not done by the government for diversion, I don’t understand…unless someone is actually planning getting Silva himself out of the portrait.

    Re-reading the whole thing I found that

    1.- Silva was afraid, incoherent and almost paranoid
    2.- Silva actually thinks the opposition could manipulate at distance the CNE machines to distort the vote
    3.- The cuban guy was just too cool and silent. He would not provide ANY information in about 50 minutes of talk…

    • Lorenz Says:

      You don’t air your own dirty laundry and Silva in deep shit IMO. For starters, assuming it’s the Cubans, he recorded it. Another no-no. Probably taken from his Internet connected home PC!

    • Roberto N Says:

      Yes, agree Bruni. The Cuban limited himself to: “Uhm hum”, “yes” “so then what…”

      My money is on the Cubans wanting to get rid of Mario Silva for his opinion of Maduro, and hence the Cubans leaked this.

      AS many have said, Venezuelans are pretty used to hearing that Diosdado is crooked, that Jose Vicente is crooked, etc., etc.

      Now, if SIlva does not have friends left the Prosecutor should go after him for the murders he claims he committed, just for starters

    • amieres Says:

      I believe there was no specific target. I think the content is genuine: a report made by Silva to the Cuban intelligence agent. Someone got access to it and either sold it or simply leaked it to the opposition with the purpose of damaging chavismo/madurismo in general and Mario Silva in particular.

    • Latro Says:

      Thats mainly because the Cuban is a professional and Silva is a clown. His job is to pump the fool for info, not contaminate it with his views.

  25. Jeffry house Says:

    To me, the most surprising thing in the tape was that the Minister of National Defence is passing out guns and ammo to help the Cuban faction in a military confrontation with the Cabello/Army faction. That’s pretty dire, as is the demand that Maduro put Cabello “up against the wall”. Knowing that others are calling for a firing squad will not lead Cabello to hold off.

    • m_astera Says:

      All please note that the Venezuelan people have been disarmed and have no legal means of obtaining firearms or ammunition to defend themselves against either faction of the army or the Cubans.

      • Mick Says:

        I pity the army that challenges the Venezuelan people. 20,000 murders a year, that is more than most armies on the planet can claim.

      • m_astera Says:

        The criminals, malandros, chavista gangs, police and military have arms. Ordinary honest people have no ability to legally buy firearms or ammunition and are not allowed to own any firearm except a single-shot shotgun. *If* they could buy one, but all of the gun stores were closed under Chavez.

        As for the murders, that is not battle. The Venezuelan military has never fought a battle, nor have the living generations of Venezuelan citizens.

  26. Morpheous Says:

    Meanwhile, the people continue to suffer all kinds of calamities. And among those ever growing number of people suffering, most are the poor and the humble. What is it going to take for some justice and relief for the people. Forever?…

  27. syd Says:

    Great summary, Miguel, with a scientist’s dispassionate eye. Much needed.

  28. My feeling is that the release of this tape is just the beginning, as other tapes are said to be following. So, Maduro has to be wondering who released the tape: Cubans, Cabello, the military, his cleaning lady? I think this propaganda goldmine might work on many levels, but the fear now placed in Maduro’s mind of just who he can trust, is the most important. And this can become an overwhelming event for the poor truck driver, only unless he was the one who released it.

    • Lorenz Says:

      You don’t air your own dirty laundry and Silva in deep shit IMO. For starters, assuming it’s the Cubans, he recorded it. Another no-no. Probably taken from his Internet connected home PC!

    • Ronaldo Says:

      Who can Maduro trust now? Great point. Maduro head must be spinning. Watch for a purge of Chavistas close to Maduro directed by his Cuban masters.

  29. Cristina Says:

    Buen olfato Miguel. Hace rato tenías clara esta dinámica.

  30. captainccs Says:

    J. Edgar Hover was a powerhouse because he had the secrets. Once they are aired the power they supply evaporates. Mario Silva is history. I believe we are seeing Chavismo crumbling. I sincerely hope so.

  31. captainccs Says:

    A rio revuelto ganancia de pescadores/ Quien estará pescando?

  32. moctavio Says:

    FEP Prize?

  33. Wholly Cow Says:

    > It is obvious that someone leaked the tape to damage someone’s credibility, what is not clear is who was the main target.

    As usual, the devil really is in the details. We’ll just have to wait, eventually these “details” will see the light of day.

    Congratulations on your FEP prize.

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