What do you call a problem like Maduro?

His finger on the pulse of the nation
His finger on the pulse of the nation

January 10th creates a conundrum for us at Caracas Chronicles.

On the one hand, we share most of your indignation. Maduro’s term ends today, but the TSJ has ruled he can remain on board as Vice-President, in effect creating its own succession rules and making a mockery of the Constitution.

These people don’t care about the Constitution, and that was true before, it’s true today, and it will be true in the future. In her own, perversely twisted way, Luisa Estela Morales is right – there is continuity.

But the whole situation is so ridiculous, so over-the-top, it really strains us to take it too seriously.

As Ramón Muchacho so eloquently put it, in the end of the day, they were in charge before, and they remain in charge now. Yes, principles matter, but the principle that Diosdado Cabello really should be President right now … well, that one doesn’t matter that much to us.

Back to the ridiculousness – we can’t really call Maduro the Vice-President anymore, and we certainly can’t call him President. But … dictator? De-Facto President? Sounds too shrill for CC.

The name has to be attuned to the joke that his “government” has become.

The “Interim-Continuous-Not-Quite-Official-But-Nevertheless-De-Facto-Substitute Vice-President” Maduro?

The “In-Charge-But-Not-Exactly-Interim-President” Maduro?

The “Second-In-Command-not-Counting-Diosdado-And-Rafael-Ramírez-and-Raúl-and-Fidel” Nicolás Maduro?

The “High-Priest-of-the-Church-of-the-Revolution” Nicolás Maduro?

The “Bastard-Illegally-Claiming-to-Hold-Office” (BICHO)?

We’re looking for ideas here folks.

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  1. Entendí que según la Dra. Morales, presidenta del TSJ, Maduro es algo así como un “semipresidente”. Si ese es el caso, entonces estamos hablando de alguien que tiene “semipoderes” como jefe de Estado y de gobierno, que “semirespetará” la constitución y las leyes, y que “semigobernará”. Aunque suene raro, pareciera que el estatus de “semipresidente” es el que mejor responde a la situación actual del gobierno en Venezuela.

  2. I mean, you have the unique opportunity to set the semantics terms in the way you will reffer to him. Well, I’d use it to tell everybody, but particularly the soft chavista base, that first, he is not Chavez, and second, that there is something wrong with him. President Maduro? Really?

  3. Suggestions:

    *Grand Poobah
    *The annointed one or El Ungido.
    *Master of The House, Keeper of the Zoo
    *First Citizen or Chairman
    *The Hand (From Game of Thrones)
    *Lord Protector
    * El Supremo

  4. Fingerdente. As in finger-chosen; and while giving everyone and everything else the finger. Plus, it sounds good: “Fingerdente Maduro today announced, etc…”

  5. >>> … We’re lookng for ideas here folks.
    The elephant looks PINK, but it’s still the big elephant in the room, watch it,
    or you’ll get trampled on. It may not be RED enough, but a pink elephant looks
    better to the oppo. In short , a great CON job.

  6. I like the “semi-president”, but what about “Cabello’s unwitting puppet”?.

    If we can count on that Chavez will die soon, and that a harsh macro-economic adjustment is mandatory, Cabello’s attitude of stepping aside and leaving the field free to Maduro will pay brilliantly: About 18 months into the future Maduro will most probably face angry mobs clamoring for the (artificial) economical welfare they have enjoyed during the past electoral year, and he will face a very difficult crisis.

    Then, Cabello may claim that Maduro betrayed the Chavez revolution, dilapidated the country resources giving away money to Cuba, and trampled with the Constitution. Vowing to rescue the revolution and restore the constitutional order, and backed by his military buddies, he seizes control and purges the PSUV from the civil, pro-Cuba faction in just one stroke. Just add a couple of rational economic decisions that somehow restore the balance, and we will have Cabello “hasta el dos mil siempre”.

  7. How about, as in the “Lady in waiting”, “The Candidate in waiting” or here’s another, “The named President, in wait to be candidate”. Ah, one more, one remembers the “Manchurian Candidate”, well, how about the “Bench warmer candidate”. I’ll quit while I’m ahead.


  8. Well, if they really wanted to make it work, I think you need to capitalize on the Chavez name. The movement is called “Chavismo” and the faithful are called “Chavistas”. They need something to suggest that the holy spirit of Chavez lives on within him. So, my suggestion is… wait for it… drum roll…

    “The Chavez Incarnate”

  9. Nicolas the Medium Grey… drum roll…

    Steward of the Bolivarian Kingdom of Venezuela.

    Alternatively Majordomo, Mayor of the Palace or Regent.

    But Usurper and Raptor must be the popular title.

  10. In the photo Maduro is saying that Chavez is still alive because he just checked his temperature.
    Chief Medical Advisor to the President Maduro.

  11. Or PapiChulo Presidente since his mandate is to pimp out the country’s resources to those special interests with the correct “ideology”?

  12. So sad that we have to try to laugh on an extreme illegal and sad matter. The best name could be the quantum president, remembering the Schrödinger’s cat laying mouthing/mute in Cuba!!

  13. Not a Spanish speaker, so take this gently,..

    I believe “-ito” is the diminutive suffix, so “el Presidentito”.

    “His Fraudulency” isn’t bad, either. (It was coined in 1876-1877 for U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, elected by 1 electoral vote after three Southern states with disputed returns were awarded to him on 8-7 votes by a special commission.) Idunno if it works in Spanish, though.

  14. Madurus Maximus Bigotus, his first action as Emperor will be to celebrate gladiatorial games, piting general Diosdadus Ojitus Lindus against such foul beasts as three headed Chiguires, barbarian bersekers from the mountainous tribes of the Hampa and doing all the bureaucracy to get a cupón de Cadivi approved in the middle of the arena, all the while dodging expropiación arrows fired from the AN standing all around the field of battle.

    Yes, Ridley Scott, you have my permission to make this into a movie.

  15. What happens next is a good question. My thinking is that the first time Maduro (the de-facto leader of the executive) tries to do some sort of decree or other unilateral action, Dio and the AN will say “whoa caballo”, your not the (real) president and that’s our job! Interesting question. Si? What will the Army and the TSJ say?
    This also brings up the question of who controls PDVSA? The Prez, the AN, or are they autonomus and an a additional power power broker in all this?

  16. So yesterday on Jan 10th Diosdado, President of the AN did not take the post of president and neither did Vicepresident Maduro. Instead a show was put on to celebrate Chavez, in absentia, as the holder of the post. But why make such a spectacle and violate the constitution in the process? The only reason I can think of is to hide the fact that since December 2012 and for the foreseeable future Venezuela is run by a “Junta de Gobierno”, a Board of Governors you may call it.

    But who seats in this clandestine and secret Junta? Diosdado and Maduro of course. Ramirez and some high ranking Generals for sure. Luisa Estela maybe. And who else? and who is the real boss? who calls the shots? Who has the final say so on decisions? Many would say Castro runs things from Cuba, but I disagree, if anything the Cubans act as consultants and maybe strategists but the real power must be in the hands of those with control of the money and the weapons.

    What do you think? How long can they keep this up? What would the people think of this illegal arrangement?

    • Ostensibly, Chavistas are saving the president post for Chávez awaiting for his triumphal return. That is why they do not want to declare his absence, not even as temporary, and no one is allowed to take his post. The TSJ invoking the ‘principle of continuity’ rubber stamped the rupture of the continuity of the presidential post. The fact is Venezuela has no president and is governed by an undefined group of people with some visible heads but unknown structure.

  17. Estoy en siem riep en cambodia esperando el avión a hanoi… quisieramos tener nosotros la organización económica y prosperidad vietnamitas, by the way. Acabo de oir el video de MCM en CNN con C Amanpour y es brillante por su claridad de ideas. A los que la critican por no hablar inglés perfecto les diré que mi marido es UK y habla the king’s english y ni papa de español, y quedó impactado por su delivery compacto, claro y mensaje positivo. Estoy segura que ms amanpour y su audiencia están acostumbrados a oir inglés acentuado y no es una prioridad para ellos la forma sino el fondo del mensaje. Y conste que a pesar de ser yo una merici girl myself yo voté por capriles. Creo que MCM estuvo a la altura al explicarle la situación a los que nos ven de afuera. La gente con la que viajo les cuesta bastante entender el rollo del zombie president… Y el artículo 231. Not to mention why nobody in his party (rather his minions) is following chavezs’ own televised and publicized express instructions….


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