Liveblog: Vice-President Maduro speaks


The gist:  There were no big decisions announced, but this speech will surely be remembered for the delirious bit at the start where Maduro takes my post from two days ago and makes it the explicit government policy, blaming Chávez’s opponents outright for his cancer.

A rough translation:

“We have no doubt, the time will come in history when we can create a scientific commission to show that Comandante Chávez was attacked with this disease…We have no doubt that our fatherland’s historic enemies looked for a way to harm our Comandante’s health… We already have plenty of clues about this, it’s a very serious matter that will have to be investigated by a special committee of scientists.”

Yup: he went there.

The liveblog is after the jump.

(All times Caracas time)

2:15: Move on, folks, nothing to see here.

2:12:  “Nobody has immunity here.” #RepresiónAnunciada

2:10: Looking more and more like there’s no big announcement here. #HeadFake

2:08: This speech is a perfect exemplar of the themes I developed in that post two days ago:

Chavismo as an ideological system creates its own truths through the expedient of repeating them until they are believed. It makes truths out of assertions it needs to be true in order to preserve the moral order Chávez’s discourse creates, one where he is good, those who oppose him are bad, and when good things happen it is always because good people act, and when bad things happen it’s necessarily because bad people act.

This is why the idea that “the Opposition is to blame for Chávez’s cancer and must be punished for it” is well on its way to becoming “true.” We see clues to this scatteredthroughout official declarations.

2:06: Maduro calls for chavistas to close ranks facing a (totally imaginary) imminent U.S. invasion. #[email protected]

2:03: Half an hour in, the guy has basically said nothing yet. #PrologoSinFin

2:01: “The difficulties of the situations that may develop in the coming hours…”

1:58: Insane message aside, Maduro has improved a lot as a speaker. #PracticeMakesPerfect

1:56: Las ratas estas mercenarias inhumanas inventan encima que los insultamos. #HabráTambiénEscacezDeCamisasDeFuerza?

1:54: Maduro afirma que “nuestra juventud no se encadena, rompió las cadenas” en Cadena Nacional.

1:53: Maduro confirms “there’s no cure” …for the opposition’s madness. #GimmeABreak

1:51: Maduro insists that Chávez is both fighting a serious infection and receiving chemotherapy. #Worst.Oncologist.Ever. (or, let’s get real: #BlatantLie.) 

1:49: Seems to declare Chávez still alive (obliquely) – or did I hear that wrong?

1:46: The shrill-attack-to-news ratio is tending to ∞ here.

1:44: Eliminationist rhetoric bla bla woe-be-us bla bla bla. #ExcesivamenteNormal

1:43: Is it possible that he won’t say anything of substance? #PerverseBastard

1:42: Now April 11th. #DiscoRayao

1:41: “A right wing that has persecuted and harassed our comandante.” Finally persecution and harassment is on the agenda! #GetToThePoint

1:39: Electrical sabotage. Bla bla bla. #Ruled by Paranoiacs

1:37: Expels a gringo military attaché for spying. #DavidDelMonaco #ParanoiaOutOfControl

1:34: Los viejitos, viejitas. Los cadetes en El Pao. Bla bla bla…

1:33: The empire murdered Arafat. Maduro good as blames the opposition for Chávez’s cancer. #CalledIt

Earlier: Reuters tweets: Venezuelan VP Nicolas Maduro to speak on state TV shortly at Cabinet meeting. Bocaranda says they’ll declare Chávez’s permanent absence and call elections.

Article 233 says “The absolute absence of the President of the Republic will happen: when he dies, when he resigns, or when he is stripped of his post via a sentence from the Supreme Tribunal, when he is physically or mentally incapacitated in accordance to a diagnosis from a Medical Board designed for this purpose by the Supreme Tribunal, when a majority of the National Assembly decides he has abandoned his post, or when his mandate is recalled via a popular vote.”

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  1. Artículo 233. Serán faltas absolutas del Presidente o Presidenta de la República: su muerte, su renuncia, o su destitución decretada por sentencia del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, su incapacidad física o mental permanente certificada por una junta médica designada por el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia y con aprobación de la Asamblea Nacional, el abandono del cargo, declarado como tal por la Asamblea Nacional, así como la revocación popular de su mandato.

  2. Maduro talks about “a global plan of destabilization against” from the U.S.A. and ties it to the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, including the alleged assasination of Yasser Arafat.

  3. Quico, you were right. Here’s Maduro saying it was our fault that Chávez got cancer. And someday, the truth will be out…

    • Recarding chavismo “truthiness”: In the future a ‘scientific study’ may confirm that Chavez was poisoned by the Empire… BUT they ALREADY KNOW IT!…

      So much for truth-seeking and scientific literacy…

      • I believe we may be missing something more serious here.

        I’m very worried that this blame game the Chavista Government is playing may set ‘genocide-like’ conditions and get out of hand.

        One thing is Maduro talking hard and posturing in order to get more support from core chavistas, and a different thing is hard-core chavistas to understand the limits of Maduro’s political game.

        We must hold Maduro and his minions responsible for whatever it may happen in the next few days…

  4. [speculating..] He will express need for the glorious Boliv Forces to secure strategic spots in the city, insuring that the fascists won’t envelope the nation in violence???

  5. ”Nobody has immunity here.” #RepresionAnunciada

    A bunch of people in Havana are loving this.

  6. It is clear that Chávez is very unlikely to survive this one. They know this, of course, so today’s Cadena seems like a way to prepare their following for the upcoming bad news.

  7. For the record, there is no such thing as the “Political-Military Directorate of the Bolivarian Revolution” in our Constitution nor they’ve any legal powers whatsoever. Like they care…

  8. 1:56: “Las ratas estas mercenarias inhumanas inventan encima que los insultamos.”

    fo’ real?? is this an actual quote?

    • It’s not, it’s a paraphrase. (I’ve removed quotation marks from the original)

      He segued directly from a 20 minute rant insulting us as inhuman rats and mercenaries to attacking us for “making up” the idea that Ernesto Villegas had insulted us!

  9. I like to think there’s this one competent person in the administration that just hates his job and still tries to do something with it:

    -“Mr. Maduro, sir, here’s your speech for today’s conference”

    -“Nah, I got this.”


  10. Apart from the announcement of his forthcoming passing (long past), the new/important part is the frequently-mentioned Junta Civico (PSUV) Militar Chavistas)….

    • Thankyou! That is without a doubt the most important element to be drawn from what was otherwise a load of rambling nonsense. Nicolas Maduro was not, I repeat not, addressing the nation as executive vice-president. He was addressing the nation as head of a military-civilian junta (the ‘comando civico-militar de la revolucion’) that has taken power on national tv. It cannot be stressed too strongly that the people lined up on the platform (and their minions in the audience) have no constitutional right whatsoever to run the country.

      If ever there was the slightest doubt that the man (Hugo Chavez) elected on Oct 7 as president from 2013 to 2019 is not running things, that is now history. You’re looking at the new, unlected, unconstitutional government of Venezuela, whose first policy decision is to blame the opposition and the United States for Chavez’ death. The impact of that statement on a public that loves Chavez and has hitherto believed he would soon return to power is incalculable, but the junta members have made it clear that they would happily see major violence on the streets so long as it is targeted at ‘the bourgeoisie’.
      Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jose Miguel Insulza.

      Last week Maduro said, ‘we’re not just some gobiernito, we are the revolution in power’. Translation: this is a de facto regime, and if you don’t like it we still have some space in the jails.

  11. It seems to me that this communication was for the faithful, next will probably Chavez death announcement followed by more attacks. I wonder if riots a la Russian pogroms will result from that…

  12. RT @LucioQuincioC Pasos para evitar inoculación 1 No coma raspao en la calle 2 hierva el agua 3 En el metro pegue er fundillo contra la puerta

  13. My theory is that Maduro plotted to inject Chavez with cancer, and he killed Diosdado’s father the other day, just to show he could. He’s behind that meteor in Russia, too.

    • Maduro is the number one suspect if Chavez was murdered. He had motive and access. Plus, Maduro is trying desparately to place the blame elsewhere. A lie detector would not work on someone like him who cannot understand what truth means.

  14. Maduro’s comparison of Chavez to Yassir Arafat is disgusting in some ways and spot on in other ways. Arafat pretended to be a soldier but created bloodshed and poverty and stole hundreds of millions of dollars from his people. Chavez pretended to be a soldier but created bloodshed and poverty and stole billions of dollars from his people.

    Arafat’s image would be ruined if it was let known that he really died of aids. His soldier image would be retained if it was shown that he was killed. Palestinians desperately want to accept or create any evidence that Arafat was murdered. In a gory display, Arafat was recently disinterred for this purpose. The results have not been announced but everyone knows what the conclusion must be.

    Chavez’ image would be ruined if it was let known that he really died of self-inflicted cancer from excessive weight, lack of exercise, cocaine use, or just bad luck. His soldier image would be retained if it was shown that he was killed. Chavistas desperately want to accept any evidence that Chavez was murdered. A special Chavista committee will now be formed to find or create any evidence that the cancer was intentionally inflicted on Chavez. The results have not been announced but everyone knows what the conclusion must be.

    Arafat’s wife, Sufa, lives in Paris on a $200,000/month budget from the Palestinian Authority. Chavez family will never suffer from a lack of wealth either.

    Arafat has a specially constructed mausoleum. Chavez has space in a specially constructed mausoleum to share with Simone Bolivar.

    If Chavistas propose that Chavez was murdered then Chavez Cuba security failed. Cuban health care has failed to keep him functioning and mistreated his cancer. In any event, Cuba and Chavez himself must be culpable for his death.

  15. I read the translation before watching the video, I honestly thought it was a joke, but no, this is what the world is watching, a “pseudo de facto” president/vice president (What?) Talking about how The US and Israel were behind a plot to infect Chavez with Cancer, I… I… I give up… El último que apague la luz.

  16. This is insane. Truly insane. Do millions of people really believe this stuff?

    He must think very lowly of his followers if he thinks most of them will buy the paranoid nonsense he is serving up.

    • Yes they do Rory!, a lot of Venezuelan and foreigners who love a conspiracy (Oliver Stone to name one), now the incompetents will spend another 14 years investigating which one was the imperialism cia mosquito who bit hugo and gave him cancer. And life will pass through all of us, we will get old and die, and the conspiracy theory and the stupidity will go on.

  17. There was never a better illustration of the ‘frog-in-boiling-water’ parable. These guys are so ‘crazy’ that they just managed to carry out a coup on live tv and no one noticed. All they did was turn up the gas one more notch and we all boiled to death. And with our last, collective breath, we said, ‘what was all THAT about?’.

  18. Despite the bizarre nature of Maduro’s speech, what I fear most is the army of Venezuelans who suspend logic and reason to fall fervently on the idea that Chavez’s cancer was purposefully caused by the inhumane ideals of the opposition, the United States, and imperialist motives. While Maduro knows himself this is ludicrous, in about 30 days if he can cement the idea that Capriles’ s ideals led to the death of our beloved president Chavez, reason/ludicrousness will have weight against the power of voters. In other words Maduro set his platform message today: Capriles is the face of ideals that caused Chavez’s cancer. Capriles needs to rally hard to stop a ripple effect of absurdity that could effect future votes.


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