Does a scribble prove a life?


Yesterday, Nicolás Maduro named Elías Jaua Foreign minister, or rather, he announced that Chávez had named him.

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.

Henrique Capriles was on the record today saying that if Chávez was healthy enough to sign documents, he should speak, call on the phone or do something to show he is in charge.

The mind games continue…

UPDATE: Syd suggests a robot may have signed for Chávez.

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  1. You know, I hadn’t noticed … “Años 202 de la Independencia, 153 de la Federación y 13 de la Revolución Bolivariana.” PLOP.

      • In theory, it counts from the Coche Treaty after the Federal War when Venezuela supposedly became federalist, styling the country as United States of Venezuela and all, having the Liberals defeated the Conversatives’ centralism.

        Of course, the federal system never was fully applied except symbolically and with each decade all traces of the so-called federalism disappeared: Gómez took off the Venezuelan motto “Dios y Federación”, Pérez Jiménez changed the name from United States of Venezuela to Republic of Venezuela and thie dating is just a vestige of it.

  2. It actually looks like a forgery of the signature on Wikipedia page. I’m no graphologist though, I’m pretty sure we’ll have credible analysis from outside of Venezuela in a day or two.

  3. Actually, the Data Messages and Electronic Signatures Law (Made by Decree) takes into consideration exactly that “Data Messages”. Meaning that a hash, password of some other kind of way of determining its veracity to have been given by the person to whom the signature is attributed. Examples of such a signature are your login and password for a website or bank, your ATM and PIN combo, and a signature certificate which has been audited by SUSCERTE (Superintendencia de Servicios de Certificación Electrónico) ( such as this one:

    So, as a lawyer, I’m really not sure the autopen falls within the category enshrined in the law. However, if the autopen did sign it, and the autopen mimics the actual signers movements, a graphologist most likely wouldn’t be able to tell if the thing was signed by Hugo or by a machine. The only thing that occurs to me would hint to an autopen is that it will be a signature which is “Too Perfect”.

    Nonetheless, would it really be relevant? Would ANY court of law question the veracity of the appointment? I shouldn’t think so!

    • Bloody credit rating agencies!
      How dare them to speak about concentration of powers on the President’s hands!
      Social unrest!
      Fiscal deficit!
      We shall demand tighter controls for these war dogs!

  4. Look guys, there are two decrees in that Gaceta, both signed by “Chavez”. They use different ink, but are identical down to the last detail. The whole thing is perversely done in such a way that the seal and the name are in different places, the width of the ink is different. Overlap the thin ink over the thick ink signatures and there is not a pixel of difference in the trace. This is not only a crime, but there is criminal intent.

    • Como dijo un Chavista por ahí, “no sólo la vaina está llena de oncólogos, sino que ahora también los grafólogos abundan”

      Lo que hace el ocio!

      We should really start busying ourselves with other matters, as Juan Cristóbal said few posts ago referring to his exhaustion with Chavez´ illness.
      While everyone discuss about the signature, the latest tweet of Bocaancha, and the like, the guys are just going to thrown out an election when anybody expects it, and win again…

  5. All coherent: a fake signature, for a fake position (VP Political Whatever), for a fake administrator (the “What, Me Worry?” Alfred E. Newman), of the fake “Revolution”.

  6. So in previous posts I commented that Chavistas had performed a half-coup d’etat with the “continuity-inauguration-in absentia”. Now they add another fraction to that coup (1/4 maybe?), by establishing the precedent of “decree-in absentia”, ghost signature and all.

    So with this precedent now they have 3/4 of a coup and are moving rapidly to a full coup.
    In a way, this clarifies the situation. Even though they play with hidden cards like:

    – Is Chavez alive?
    – Who is making the decisions?
    – When are there going to be elections?

    at least now their short term strategy is revealed:

    – They are going to maintain (who knows for how long) a government presided in spirit by Chávez and in reality by a clandestine Junta de Gobierno. This has a couple of advantages: any illegal decree they implement is supposedly done by Chávez who cannot be impugned by anyone because a) he is not here and b) he is above the law in the eyes of chavistas. Also the members of the Junta avoid direct accountability. Because of this they are going to trample the constitution as much as they need for their purposes.

    Meanwhile the opposition needs to plant these questions into the mind of all venezuelans (and ask them point blank to Maduro):

    – Did Chávez personally sign the decree or was it an electronic signature?
    – Why couldn’t we see a video of him making the decision and signing?
    – Is he conscious? can he make decisions or is he just signing because someone tells him?
    – Is this like the twitter account where anyone could be behind the tweets?
    – living in La Habana how well can he understand the situation of the country (Venezuela)?
    – When are we going to see and hear Chavez himself?
    – When is he coming back to visit us?

    Since there is no legal recourse in the country to solve this questions, the people should push for the truth to be revealed. The good thing is that this questions should be in the mind of chavistas and oppos alike.

  7. I’m beginning to think Chavez must be on a respirator and other life support equipment as the reason for no pictures.

  8. Somehow, you missed the news…the nation’s name is no longer the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It is now La Gran Cubazuela, and Caracas, formerly Santiago de León de Caracas. It is now La Habana Pequena. Underwear is to be worn on the exterior and checked daily, and the official language now is Socialistically correct Esperanto. Feel lucky, comrades,italmost was decided to choose Lepontic or Rhaetic.


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