Maduro’s Possible Hugo Moment Fading Fast

July 16, 2013


I am glad I was away when the whole Snowden affair blew up, as I think it is mostly irrelevant to the problems of Venezuela. My take on the reaction of the Venezuelan Government is simple: Maduro finally found something that could become his only Hugo moment since being elected, by giving Snowden asylum and doing his own in your face insult to the US. But the moment may not come to pass and Maduro’s offer will likely be forgotten as the possibility of Snowden coming to Venezuela seems to be fading fast. I think Nico did not think well of the consequences. No, not geopolitical consequences, but how damaging for him Snowden could become if he came to Venezuela.

But in the end, it points to Maduro’s rambling policies, where he acts tough one day, light the next, clearly under pressure from all sides. He visits only accepted countries, ignoring Hugo’s circle of terror friends since he became President. He names pragmatists to Finance, but leaves the dinosaur in Planning. He removes Chavez’ brother from Corpoelec, but brings him back shortly elsewhere. He brings back ultra radical Saman,the creator of the socialist areperas, but more importantly an absolute ignoramus on economic matters. He sends Jaua to have his Disneyland photo moment with John Kerry, only to destroy the picture by offering asylum to Snowden. The asylum may never happen, but any improvement in US-Venezuela relations got thrown overboard.  Maduro has been anything but consistent in his brief 90 days as President, but he did need his “smell like sulfur” Hugo moment and Snowden could have been it.

Except that if Snowden ever came to Venezuela, it would end up biting Maduro back for sure. To begin with, the international press would descend in Venezuela and dozens of articles about how the Venezuelan Government spies on its citizens would appear in the international press. Even a deaf and blind reporter from The Militant would learn about these cases and spread the word, making people wonder why the hell Snowden chose Venezuela for.

But in the end, it would be Snowden who would become the problem for the Government. The same international press would descend on him and ask him about his opinions about Venezuela. Snowden would hold press conferences and be on live international TV from Caracas and eventually the Venezuelan Government will simply say Nyet to all his political activities in favor of human rights, the lowest of rights on the Chavista totem pole of values. I am sure the shallow Mr. Snowden, shallow because the countries he chose are anything but icons of good behavior in spying and repressing their citizens, would not like to be silenced and the problems would begin. For Snowden, and for the current Venezuelan Government.

But other problems would surface even earlier, such as the fact that Mr. Snowden’s life in Venezuela is likely to be anything but the golden asylum he may be imagining. From not speaking the language, to crime, to shortages, Snowden is unlikely to find a place or a society where he would fit in, even if the Venezuelan Government were to offer to pay him to hack his way around the world. He would likely tire of living in Venezuela, which would force him to look for an alternative. But once here, no other country is likely to want to touch Snowden with a ten foot pole, so he would have to either stay put or go back to the States. And once in the States, he could talk freely about the wonderful world of Venezuelan human rights violations.

Thus, Maduro’s Hugo moment was not well thought out and now looks unlikely to happen. Meanwhile important matters continue unresolved, as his enemies from within carefully wait for the right moment to act.

And Snowden is still in Russia and seems further and further away from ever eating an arepa..

26 Responses to “Maduro’s Possible Hugo Moment Fading Fast”

  1. Agreed, his is not going to Venezuela. What a lovely snub.

  2. Bruni Says:

    Miguel, don’t worry too much about Snowden. As happens to every single gringo that comes to Venezuela, he will be enchanted by a venezuelan woman.
    He will soon marry and get adopted by his in-laws family…It will probably be a large venezuelan family with plenty of sisters, brothers, uncles and cousins, and just remembering the names and birthdays of everybody will keep him busy.

  3. CARLOS Says:

    Maduro advisors knew that Snowden will never come to Venezuela. Snowden is smart enough to stay away from Cuba .
    So advisors recommended Maduro to offer shelter to the errant. You now, PR matters.
    Why? Because Maduro is a Mr. Nobody absolutely ignored by any other country, mass media, civil right organizations, etc etc..
    He need people, media, newspapers talking and writing some lines about him..that’s it.

    Chavez destroyed Venezuela as a country, he made all the worst service in office you may think in all Venezuela history but..he was everyday in the screen, the news, the good and the bad…
    You would probably read in international news in any single day more news about concerning Chavez than Maduro’s in 90 days..

  4. VJ Says:

    If Snowden really decides to come to Venezuela someone should tell him what happened to Rodrigo Granda, a Colombian member of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia who served as the “FARC’s foreign minister”. Granda was in Caracas participating in a conference in representation of the guerrilla and became well-known because on December 13, 2004 he was kidnapped by Venezuelan National Guard officials and transported to the Colombia-Venezuela border in Cúcuta where Colombian authorities arrested him. The Colombian government was offering a reward of $100,000 for his capture and his arrest created a big diplomatic conflict between the government of Hugo Chávez and Álvaro Uribe.
    The story of the capture of Vladimir Montesinos also would be of interest to Snowden.

    • NorskeDiv Says:

      If Snowden goes to Venezuela I give him four or five years at the most before he is handed over to the US.

  5. Noel Says:

    Actually, our new age of instant communications is as seducing as it is dangerous for would be blabber mouths: it quickly exposes them for what they really are, and for the whole world to see. Snowden has rapidly sunk into ridicule and insignificance, joining fellow travelers like Ma.., Co.. and Mo..

  6. Carolina Says:

    I just can’t stop thinking what would be Snowden’s reaction when asked for his ID – cedula – when buying anything in Venezuela.

  7. Mick Says:

    Snowden put wikileaks in a position where they are defending a true traitor. Now he is a hot potato that nobody really wants. He isn’t offering the Chinese or the Russians anything they don’t already have. All the big boys already knew how the spy game worked. Everybody just wants him to go away, to disappear. Only a weak minded clown like Maduro would clamor about him, he is so desperate to distract from his own problems.

    • Kepler Says:

      Of course all the governments with functioning spying systems knew the others were spying partners and so on and that they keep even doing economic spying on their partners.

      People working in such areas as data mining (myself) – and there are a lot – knew about the stuff as well. We also knew the countries were violating their own legislation by spying on their own citizens (via less or more direct pseudo legal tricks or even without them).

      So: what is Snowden’s actual treason? That a few hundred million people around the globe realised what we, several million, already knew? Is that treason?

      Or is treason to hint (even if he, very unluckily, has not focused on that) that there is a big big big big issue with the revolving doors in the area of “security”, that security issues are mostly triggered by big commercial interests? Is that the treason?

      OK, it can be, but admit what it is really about, don’t just tell me “oh, he signed an agreement of confidentiality”. A lot of whistle blowers have done that before. Are they and who of them are traitors?

      Tell me: is Thomas Andrews Drake also a traitor? Is he? Because some of his “revelations” (which were not new to me) actually pointed to those revolving doors…they exist in every field, but in this things have gone too far.

      Of course, this is another topic than the Venezuelan one. For purely tactical purposes I would prefer Snowden to say away from Venezuela. His stay in Venezuela won’t help the opposition either, it will just take away the focus on what Venezuelans should do.

      • syd Says:


        • iaaf Says:

          “…You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.

          With my thanks for your service to the nation we both love, ”

          He’s contradicting himself and unless he’s Jason fucking Bourne, he does not have the info or the keys. “Irrevocable damage” is what he already has done. He’s a narcissist who cannot be trusted.

          • iaaf Says:

            what I mean is that the only way his statement is true is if he does not have the goods and he does have the goods. Preliminary damage assessment as stated

    • Roy Says:

      “Everybody just wants him to go away, to disappear.”

      You got that right. I wouldn’t be selling him life insurance. People in his situation often have “unfortunate accidents”.

  8. Canadian Says:

    Snowden is the young and the idiot

  9. Glenn Says:

    Snowden’s only exile options were countries which would take him without fear of extradition or other risk of finding himself in the US facing prosecution. The list of countries was obviously very short. I don’t think it’s that he wants to come to Venezueal but rather he’d have no where else to go (well, Bolivia, Nicaraugua)

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