Maduro…wait, really?!

El Mundo is running a story claiming bus-driver-turned-foreign-minister Nicolás Maduro will end up in the Vice-presidency after a reshuffle to come later today. It would take somebody more versed in the ins-and-outs of chavista kremlinology to know how credible that is, or what it’ll mean if it happens.

Personally, my impression is that Maduro is every bit as gray, witless and hopelessly not-up-to-the-task of replacing Chávez as Jaua is.

(Guess all that Havana bedside access paid off, though…)

[Hat Tip: JB]

39 thoughts on “Maduro…wait, really?!

      • hell, I wanted to be a bus driver when I was 5 years old. (which may still be my mental age after that pointless post. just couldn’t resist) More to him! I’d go for a bus driver over a tank driver anyday :)

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        • There is nothing wrong with being a bus driver. I think they are more useful than lawyers. The thing is that if you are going to be a minister of foreign affairs you need some other skills and you don’t learn them in there and he did not learn them ever.

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          • But he wasn’t really a bus driver, was he? I had the impression Maduro was a union ‘reposero’ that held the position just for appearances. I could be wrong, though.

            In either case, this would make our, what? 7th vice-president in 12 years?

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            • Isaías
              Adina Bastidas
              JVR
              Diosdado
              Carrizales (whaddevahappened to HIM?)
              Jorge Rodríguez
              Jaua…

              Maduro would be 8th!

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            • a bit more stable than Interior and Justice:

              Ignacio Arcaya 1999-2000
              Luis Alfonso Dávila (2000 – February 2001)
              Luis Miquilena (February 2001 – January 2002)

              Ramón Rodríguez Chacín (January 2002 – May 2002)
              Diosdado Cabello (May 2002 – January 2003)
              Lucas Rincón Romero (January 2003 – September 2004)

              Jesse Chacón (September 2004 – January 2007)
              Pedro Carreño (January 2007 – January 2008)
              Ramón Rodríguez Chacín (January 2008 – September 2008)

              Tarek El Aissami (September 2008 – )

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  1. That’s about the least aggressive one they could pick after Jaua.
    Just a complete dummy. Vice president of a country – well I guess after looking at Morales or Noriega it’s not that far from reality.
    Maybe they are thinking Celia will have some power over him.

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  2. I’ve heard that they’re picking Maduro so that, if something happens to Chávez, Maduro will make Adán VP, and then step down. Why Jaua couldn’t do the same, I don’t know.

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  3. He is Gray and not Rojo Rojito. He was in the MVR movement and was an unionist. He might even be marginally tolerable as well as approachable in the event of a transition.

    Not that we should love him. He, and a few others sound a lot better than a fanatic like Jaua.

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    • I wonder if it was Maduro who, in recent weeks, suggested to Chávez that he open the lines of communication with the middle class.

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  4. Whaaat? Maduro is now palatable?
    MVR? Unionist?
    Listen Maduro is as fanatic as Jaua, don’t be fooled by the fancy suit and the labored doublespeak.
    Fanatic, i tell you, fanatic.

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  5. Comments from “el barrio”: “Pobre Chávez, la gente inventa muchas vainas. Yo no soy Chavista, pero él ha hecho muchas cosas buenas para Venezuela. El peo no es él, el problema es la gente que lo rodea, son un poco de ineptos ladrones buenos para nada.”

    Call it Maduro, call it Jaua… it is not Chavez. Period.

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    • Pero, la cosa es que es él, Chávez, quien es el peo! ¿Y quién está allá, en los pueblos, en los barrios, etc., diciéndoles a la gente que es el propio Chávez que está causándoles sus problemas?

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  6. I will beg to differ and think twice before criticizing this move. Maduro’s appointment would be, at worse, a successful hat-tip to a more moderate version of Chavismo (or at least it’d be perceived that way by both Chavistas and Opposition politicians). Plus, the last thing Chavez wants is someone to replace his stature and figure within his movement. He needs an uncontroversial, seasoned politician from his own ranks he can keep close, and Maduro might just offer that bit.

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  7. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Maduro strikes me as less openly corrupt than some of the also rans. I don’t doubt the guy’s had his nibble off the public purse now and again, but I don’t hear about him controlling broad swathes of the industrial or financial systems like Diosdado or Jesse. Right?

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    • And the G-5 parked in Charallave? And the cut off the top of all the gummint-to-gummint deals on everything under the sun? C’mon guys, actualícense!

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  8. Kremlinology? you are rather generous! I do wish we ever had a palace like the Kremlin. Perhaps “criminology” would describe the study of this regime’s behavior a bit better…

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  9. I agree with you Quico, but… Maduro is the only one that gets along with most Chavista groups, is in touch with all and everyone thinks of as a “buddy”. He has survived by being loyal to Chavez and working the party. Nobody else has done that and he has a good image. Chavez probably regrets booting Henri Falcon now.

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  10. To me, this means that the Cuban faction may be winning the internal power struggle. Maduro would have had long consultations with the Cubans while he was attending Chavez. They have probably promised him their complete support in return for Venezuela’s continued financial support. Cuban intelligence probably has all the dirt and leverage needed to keep all the other factions in line. So, Cuba ends up with even deeper access and control of the Venezuelan government. If so, they are making the U.S. look like amateurs in terms of manipulating Latin America.

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  11. Please, listen to all, Maduro comes at 0:41

    That was Belarus, last year. Shoftly after that trip they both returned to Venezuela. One day after they (both of them) were back, Maduro did the trip again all the way back to Minsk.
    I read the Belorussian news at that time: Lukashenko meeting Maduro and promising things would be done to Venezuela’s satisfaction. I think they were pissed off with the housing projects (there were like 9 thousand houses the Slavs had to build, at least two promises of 5 thousand and 4 thousand). At that time I just thought of the chaotic manner they use, you don’t really cross half the world and then send back the day after one key minister to discuss things that were not properly discussed, you either leave him there or he goes back after a time of preparation

    Maduro looks like the faithful dog: Campeón, zas, tráeme este hueso.

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  12. Chávez is so rude. At 0:41 he asks Maduro a question out of the blue and the second Maduro starts to answer, Chávez turns away his head and mumbles something to someone, leaving the poor schmuck talking to himself and finishing off with a nervous chuckle when he finds out he’s been talking to nobody. Chávez then does it again at 1:00. I almost feel sorry for poor Maduro. I bet deep, deep inside him he wanted to punch the guy for treating him like an idiot. But it’s not the first time I’ve seen such display of revolutionary rudeness. The video below is about the “Guayucos” revolutionary diapers. It’s painful to watch, but if you reach minute 2:28 you’ll notice how he completely ignores the kid’s nervous presentation in order to greet the Chinese people setting up the plant. The poor kid probably practiced his little presentation for weeks and in a second he’s completely ignored.

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    • I am not sure. He is rude, but there is a bit of attention in the air and he does come back to Maduro.
      See…Chávez is like Jesus in one thing (please, don’t roll your eyes just yet):

      When Chávez approaches someone he adapts his message and he talks with specific stuff. A fisherman? He says the fisherman is now going to fish people. A farmer? He talks about farmer things. And he did not start in Jerusalem but firstly spent a long time all over the place.

      I am sure Chávez told Maduro in private one day he would “conducir masas” and not just metrobuses. I am sure he asked where in Caracas Maduro grew up and he said something about that, say, connecting La Candelaria or Antímano with his experience in Sabaneta. Even if what he said was rubbish, it showed he was trying to communicate back using the others’ places, events.

      Venezuelans have a weird mash for historic memory. Most know nothing but some vague myths. Chávez goes to some place in Miranda state and he says something about the glorious Caribs were and how the escuálido Garci González de Silva -”like Corina Machado”- wanted to enslave them
      and he says something about how the zambos rose up against slavery in the cacao plantations. He goes to Falcón and he may say something about zambo Chirinos. Everybody in central Falcón knows about Chirinos. A Caraqueno would not. A Caraqueno or a Valenciano would probably say “and here, in this part of Venezuela” or “and we will also bring here what we have done in Carabobo/Zulia”
      Chávez may think mankind was just 20 centuries old and stuff like that and he will completely the bloke in Falcón and the ones in Miranda just 2 hours later but he can pretend to a lot of people he is genuinely interested in their stuff.

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    • Side note about the Guayuco diapers, those were Pampers stuffed into packaging made for the Guayucos. To this day, the rest of the packaging made for the “debut” still sits unused. The company that made the packaging had to alter their production schedule at a cost to them and their customers, has not gotten paid for it last I heard.

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      • Don’t know why. The link is good, at least from my computer. Try Googling this sentence from from the article. It should turn up.
        A few weeks before Valdés arrived in Caracas, Venezuelan vice president Ramón Carrizales and his wife, Yubirí Ortega, the environmental minister, resigned from the government in protest at the Cubanization of the armed forces. .

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  13. Here’s a theory: Chavez moved Jaua because he needs him to do something specific, and Maduro is not the right guy for that job.

    After all, anyone can be Vice President. Some of the other duties take actual skills (though not to be confused with the skills needed to administrate well).

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