22 thoughts on “Where’s Waldo? FP Edition

  1. “In the case the President dies, the Constitution is clear: The Vice-President takes office and elections must be held within the following thirty days.”

    Depends on the timing. If Chávez dies before Jan. 10, 2012, then yes, the assumption is that the constitutional thread will be followed and elections will be held within the following 30 days.

    However, if Chávez dies in office after his investiture, and after the constitution has been changed, then another scenario will likely hold true.

    • I think we would be wise to start making the case about the clarity of the Constitution in this regard. Even if Chavez dies after taking office, the Constitution is clear that a new election must be held. In fact, the only scenario where an election DOESN’T have to be held is if he dies in the next few days!

      • That’s right. The Constitution, flawed as it is, is the only obstacle and our only relevant safeguard as of now.

        In a sense, it is a blessing that the opposition has become the Constitution’s stalwart since -at least- 2007.

      • Juan, I presume you are basing your assumption that no election need be held if HC dies ‘in the next few days’ on the notion that he is currently serving out the last third of his presidency. That can’t be the case: he is now ‘president-elect’, and the constitution clearly states that a new election must be held within a month if he dies before the inauguration. The alternative would leave the country without a president on 10 January.

        • I had no idea. I thought the Constitution clearly stated that, if he dies in the last part of his term, the VP finishes the term. However, come January 10th, we would have no President, so they would have to call elections anyway, which I gues is your point.

          • No, it’s quite explicit: ‘Cuando se produzca la falta absoluta del Presidente electo o Presidenta (sic) electa antes de tomar posesion, se procedera a una nueva eleccion universal, directa y secreta dentro de los treinta dias consecutivos siguientes. Mientras se elige y toma posesion el nuevo Presidente o la nueva Presidenta (double ‘sic’), se encargara de la Presidencia de la Republica el Presidente o Presidenta (enough, already) de la Asamblea Nacional.’ Here’s looking at you, Diosdado Cabello.

              • Make it Ministerio Popular de la Ortografia Bolivariana Orientada al Buen vivir and you’ll have
                MINPOBOOB

                Millions I tell ya, you’ll make millions!!!

              • OK, so the same article in the Constitution that says

                Cuando se produzca la falta absoluta del Presidente electo o Presidenta electa antes de tomar posesión, se procederá a una nueva elección universal, directa y secreta dentro de los treinta días consecutivos siguientes. Mientras se elige y toma posesión el nuevo Presidente o la nueva Presidenta, se encargará de la Presidencia de la República el Presidente o Presidenta de la Asamblea Nacional.

                Also says…

                Si la falta absoluta se produce durante los últimos dos años del período constitucional, el Vicepresidente Ejecutivo o Vicepresidenta Ejecutiva asumirá la Presidencia de la República hasta completar dicho período.

                So which one is it if Chavez quacks now? Is it Diosdado or Nicolas Maduro? Talk about bungling the issue… Could make for a fun little power struggle.

            • My take: The spirit of the constitution seems to be that the current president would be replaced by the current VP, while the current president-elect would be replaced by the head of the AN. The only reason why there is confusion is because the current president happens to be the same person as the current president-elect. So, if chavez died tomorrow, then Maduro should end this term’s presidency, though DC takes over as president-elect, and is forced to call for a new election.

              • I take it back, the spirit seems to assume that the president elect trumps the VP in handling presidency for the 30 days it takes to get a new president.

              • Actually, if it happens while Maduro is in Lima for the Unasur summit, it could be acting vice-president Hector Navarro! Well, presumably not, actually. But one lawyer quoted in today’s press reckons that Maduro might take over until 10 Jan, but that his vice-presidency is tied to THIS presidential term, so it would have to be Diosdado once the term ends on 10J. Maybe they could sort it out with dueling pistols on the Avenida Urdaneta (pleeeeease).

    • Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution is crystal clear on the matter of succession. This should help focus the comments of all the despondent bloggers on these pages. Pay attention! The game has changed. Forget about October 7th. It was madness for Hugo Chavez to run for President again knowing that he has malignant cancer. It’s more important to understand what they, the Chavistas, still have up their sleeves. Discover that secret, and the future of Venezuela may still be saved.

      “Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.”
      Hamlet quote (Act II, Scene II).

  2. With the Communication Minister’s revelation on a state TV show this evening that Waldo is to be back on the 10th of January, “which is almost now”, “que es ahorita”, to be invested as President, the proportions of the grand scheme of things have been irrevocably (as long as he doesn’t retract) altered. Waldo’s whereabouts are now known: his sojourn has been revealed (one muses as to whether “let slip” might not be closer to the facts of the episode) so medical speculation has been given a new lease of life: just what medical protocols require six weeks of what treatment, including hyperbaric oxygenation, to achieve the desired effect and so on? Appropriate phrases would seem to include: ‘the plot thickens”: “mysteriouser and mysteriouser”; “wait for next week’s exciting new episode” and suchlike. Instead of leading the public through one dark and uncharted territory, this new departure seems to lead them off into another, quite unlit, uncharted territory.

    • Neddie, Yes, “Instead of leading the public through one dark and uncharted territory, this new departure seems to lead them off into another, quite unlit, uncharted territory.”

      hehe….but by dreaming all thoughts are dispersed but as we ramble through uncharted, mysterious territory, our grip on reality concerning Chavez becomes fuzzier and fuzzier.
      As I dream of Chavez is dying, I dream how he looks like in the grey night, I dream the balmy beaches in Cuba,where the blocks to getting what I want have never existed,and now I even get to dream that the old dream never existed, and that the unbearable tensions have never existed.Maybe we can dream a way to wake up from this dreaming state.

  3. JCN: In the FP post, you wrote: “The value of the local currency in the black market, for example, has soared to 3.4 times the official rate.”

    ITYM “The value of foreign currency in the black market, for example, has soared to 3.4 times the official rate.”

    Or perhaps “the exchange rate between the local currency and foreign currencies such as the dollar and euro has soared to 3.4 times the official rate.”

    You might want to fix that.

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