Ever since July 2011, when Chávez first announced his cancer diagnosis, it was clear to me that the revolution’s formal institutionality was so shallowly grounded and devoid of any source of authority independent from his, that chavismo’s dispute settlement system just wouldn’t work at all in his absence.
And this, this is why destroying the nation’s democratic institutionality in favor of a single guy’s say-so was so mindlessly destructive, not just from the perspective of the nation as a whole but even from the narrow perspective of the chavista movement. Single guys come and go. Systems that depend entirely on single guys are never stable.
And Caracas Chronicles readers have known it since July 2011!
Chávez’s fills a unique role in the chavista state’s dispute settlement system. When Elías Jaua and Rafael Ramírez come to loggerheads over some matter of policy – or, more likely, over who gets to control a given slice of petrostate cake – they don’t go to court. They go to Miraflores.
For the foreseeable future, they won’t be able to.
How stable an arrangement do you think that is?
We’ll soon find out…