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Old 01-11-2013, 04:53 AM   #1
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Venezuela's limbo and the illness of Hugo Chávez (It's official, he's dead)

Linky.

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But the absence of the president, who left for Cuba on Dec. 10 for a fourth round of cancer surgery and has not been seen in public since, has sparked a conflict between government officials and opposition groups. The latter declare that although Chavez won reelection in October, he cannot remain president if he has not taken the oath of office.

The crisis picked up steam Tuesday, when Vice President Nicolas Maduro confirmed what many Venezuelans had expected: that Chavez would not return in time for his inauguration. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that he could delay his inauguration past the Jan. 10 date set by the constitution.

Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales went on to say that the ceremony could take place “at a time and a place to be determined” by the court. She also said that the court saw no merit in appointing a medical board to determine the state of Chavez’s health.
Only the vicepresident has been reported to have seen or spoken with the president and since the Supreme Court refuses to make a commission to check on him, from all what we know he might as well be dead and we're facing a power vacuum.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #2
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Knowing how he could never go for five minutes without making a grand speech in front of a camera, there's no way Chavez is in any condition to live normally, much less run a country.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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I'm in awe over the whole circus of it, and I'm hoping for your's and everyone's sake that there is a peaceful resolution...
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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Knowing how he could never go for five minutes without making a grand speech in front of a camera, there's no way Chavez is in any condition to live normally, much less run a country.
Last year during the presidential race one could see small glimpses of what was going in the backstage: Chávez giving public speeches from loudspeakers through phone calls, losing breath and his train of thought in middle of speeches, supposely due to the use of painkillers. All while repeating over and over that he was fine. Now, total silence, and not only silence but giving instructions about a successor in case he wouldn't be able to rule for the first time. The consensus among people is that he's in a coma.

Now, with the Government that wants to pretend this is just a regular leave and allows no one to inquire further than that, the common theory is that they are attempting to win time so they can be ready for the emergency presidential elections we would have a month or so after declaring the absense.

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I'm in awe over the whole circus of it, and I'm hoping for your's and everyone's sake that there is a peaceful resolution...
Considering how, for better or worse, Chávez has become the axis of government stability in the last decade and a half some mess is more than expected. The main rumor is that the bureaucratic faction, led by vicepresident Nicolás Maduro, and the Armed Forces faction, led by the Speaker of the House Diosdado Cabello are at each other's throats, but as many things here in Venezuela at the moment one can't do much other than guess.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
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CNN's take on it.



Quote:
"I swear by the Bolivarian constitution that I will defend the presidency of Comandante Chavez in the street with reason, with truth and with the strength and intelligence of a people who have been liberated from the yoke of the bourgeoisie," Maduro said.
Quote:
The country's Supreme Court on Wednesday handed a victory to Chavez's party, which had argued that the president did not need to be present at his swearing-in for his next term to begin.

But several key questions remain: How long will Chavez be in Cuba for cancer treatment? How dire is his medical situation? And will simmering political tension about who's running the country boil over?
Chavismo feels more and more like a cult each day... Meanwhile, we're left in the dark about how's the country running.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:24 PM   #6
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For someone who's been liberated from the yoke of the bourgeoisie, sounds like they're clinging really hard to their king.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:05 PM   #7
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To be fair to Chavez, it makes little sense to have the legitimacy of your government ride on whether or not some ritual was performed at the appointed time.

In the USA we make a big deal about inaugeration ceremonies, but the Constitution says that the new president's term begins at a certain time, and that is that. The election is the important thing, and the ceremony is just a ceremony. It is sensible for any democracy to have such an attitude.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:29 PM   #8
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Yeah, I agree it's not that important to me, but since the constitution does give importance to it in a vague and ill-defined manner. Opposition knows something shifty is brewing but as usual they are too disjointed to do something relevant.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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Okay, this is getting creepy. Apparently Chavez is not good enough to walk or talk or even send a recorded message, but official papers are carrying his signature.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #10
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Okay, this is getting creepy. Apparently Chavez is not good enough to walk or talk or even send a recorded message, but official papers are carrying his signature.
Ye-owza. Do you have a link, Kaiser? I'd be interested in reading it, if ya do.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #11
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Yes, but it's in spanish. Couldn't find it in english. Apparently the photo in the article is from a document released last wednesday.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:36 PM   #12
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Hmmm. I can read a little Spanish, so I'll take a run at it. Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:52 PM   #13
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Okay, this is getting creepy. Apparently Chavez is not good enough to walk or talk or even send a recorded message, but official papers are carrying his signature.
Yep, and in the Official Gazette no less, the Venezuelan version of the London Gazette/Federal Register. To a government decree to be effective it has to be announced there and carry the president's signature, as it did. And said to be "signed in Caracas" no less.

What is even creepier is the fact that among the things announced was naming Elias Jaua Minister of Foreign Affairs and something called "Political Vicepresident", basically making Jaua Vicepresident Nicolás Maduro's vicepresident...

And how do we know this is all right and good? According to Maduro Chávez totally told him to do that and he's not making up that, not at all.

How much do we have to wait so they make Chávez Eternal President of the Republic?
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:46 PM   #14
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Hmmm. I can read a little Spanish, so I'll take a run at it. Thanks!
Here's a blog entry about it, Cranky.

http://caracaschronicles.com/2013/01...e-prove-a-life

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Today, the official newspaper of the Venezuelan government (where all public acts must be published) includes the decree naming Jaua, along with … Chávez’s signature!


This would Chávez’s first appearance since his operation more than a month ago.


Or is it? Does this signature show Chávez is conscious? We already know the document has a serious problem, in that it says “decreed in Caracas on January 15th.” Last I heard, Chávez was still in Havana yesterday, so that right there is reason enough to suspect the document’s veracity.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:27 AM   #15
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Do you suppose he'll be embalmed and you'll be expected to shuffle past his corpse looking somber?
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:01 AM   #16
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Thanks, Max!
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:09 PM   #17
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To add it all, it seems we're now going to face austerity measures.

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Hugo Chavez coasted to re-election last year warning Venezuelans that a victory for the opposition would lead to a “giant package” of spending cuts. Now his government is being forced to adopt the same strategy to stave off a budget crisis and devaluation.

Last week the government cut by $2.9 billion Petroleos de Venezuela SA’s share of oil revenue it contributes to an off- budget fund that’s the second-biggest source of public spending. Central government outlays, which surged 26 percent in real terms in the year prior to the Oct. 7 vote, have declined 7 percent since then, according to Bank of America Corp. At the same time, consumer prices jumped by the most in more than two years in December, pushing inflation to 20.1 percent.
This year seems to be a turbulent one...

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Do you suppose he'll be embalmed and you'll be expected to shuffle past his corpse looking somber?
Well, that's implying we are going to actually see the body. Which I don't think so, as things seem to be looking. He allegedly has sent letters and signed laws but no actual proof of life have been shown since December. Meanwhile things are relatively back to normal with Maduro and Cabello, except for odd happenings at the National Assembly.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:12 PM   #18
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CNN's take on it.

Chavismo feels more and more like a cult each day... Meanwhile, we're left in the dark about how's the country running.

Being from the states and not knowning much about Venezuela, why is he swearing by the Bolivian Constitution?
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:17 PM   #19
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Being from the states and not knowning much about Venezuela, why is he swearing by the Bolivian Constitution?
Actually, it says "Bolivarian", not Bolivian.

The official name of the country is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, named after Simon Bolivar.

ETA: Just looked up the constitution of Venezuela and found this...

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Chávez and his followers (chavistas) refer to the 1999 document as the "Constitución Bolivariana" (the "Bolivarian Constitution") because they assert that it is ideologically descended from the thinking and political philosophy of Simón Bolívar and Bolivarianism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Venezuela

Interesting--didn't know that before today.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:19 PM   #20
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Being from the states and not knowning much about Venezula, why is he swearing by the Bolivian Constitution?
It's not Bolivian, but Bolivarian. A few years ago, the name of the country was changed from "Republic of Venezuela" to "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" by the current government, claiming an ideological descendence from Simón Bolívar, liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (partially with José de San Martín) and Bolivia, which was named after him.

It would be if the United States were declared to be "The Jeffersonite United States of America" or "The Washigtonian United States of America".

Edit: Michael Wolfe beat me to it, never mind.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:24 PM   #21
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Actually, it says "Bolivarian", not Bolivian.

The official name of the country is the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, named after Simon Bolivar.

ETA: Just looked up the constitution of Venezuela and found this...



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Venezuela

Interesting--didn't know that before today.

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:46 PM   #22
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Yes, Michael Wolfe, but is especially amusing considering Bolívar was mostly a Federalist with a bit of an anglophiliac streak, wanting the country be a Parlamentary Republic, with a House of Commons-type of lower house and a House of Lords-type of upper house (which hereditary positions and all).
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:20 PM   #23
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I think Venezuela needs to transfer allegiance to the great hero of Chile's independence, who was named O'Higgins.

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Old 02-08-2013, 01:24 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by maxmordon View Post
Yes, Michael Wolfe, but is especially amusing considering Bolívar was mostly a Federalist with a bit of an anglophiliac streak, wanting the country be a Parlamentary Republic, with a House of Commons-type of lower house and a House of Lords-type of upper house (which hereditary positions and all).
I always thought Bolivar was a Che Guevara type. Now you're making him sound like Benjamin Disraeli.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:52 PM   #25
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