Diosdado Style

Watching him terrorize his opponents from a TV studio, it's easy to forget Diosdado Cabello is technically just another backbench MP.


He’s our favorite villain. And by “our” I mean the sickest of us, obviously.

Yesterday Diosdado Cabello said “they” were keeping an eye on private companies, and “they” would take harsh measures against those who suspend operations during Friday’s “huelga general” called by MUD:

Now, governors and people at the Armed Forces, I’m going to tell you something: Company that stops, company that must be taken by the workers and by the people. There’s no turning back.

Then, he paused for a sustained applause from the studio audience accompanied by a good old fashioned “así, así, así es que se gobierna” chant. Then he caught himself, seeming to remember something that had been on the cusp of slipping his mind:

I talked about this with the President. The President’s instructions: Company that stops, company that must be taken by the workers and the armed forces. Aquí no vamos a permitir bochinche. And you will see, Mr. Businessman, if you’d rather support these hoodlums or work with the government for the Fatherland.    

It’s not uncommon to see Diosdado giving orders to the security agencies. For many it goes without saying that Venezuela’s state-security police — SEBIN — really answers to him, official organigrama be damned. And why wouldn’t you assume that when he uses wiretapped conversations as props during his TV show?

Diosdado is a figure of enormous power in Venezuela’s Padronesque debacle soap, but we often forget where he stands in today’s “formal” political landscape.

Diosdado is a figure of enormous power in Venezuela’s Padronesque debacle soap, but we often forget where he stands in today’s “formal” political landscape. Technically, Diosdado is just a backbench MP, as well as vice president of PSUV (the ruling party) who moonlights as a talk show host. In fact, the order to take over private companies was given from the set of his awesome show, Con el Mazo Dando.

He stands nowhere near to a position of power that would allow him to, well, give executive orders to terrorize his countrymen — even if such orders were legal, which they aren’t. Doesn’t seem to make a difference, though: his show gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Must See TV’. (In this case you really must see it, or risk not finding out you’re about to be put in jail.)

Of course, there’s no reason to expect government hierarchy to match up with mafia hierarchy. In political terms, Diosdado is a captain. In mob terms, he’s capo di tutti i capi.

It may sound repetitive, but for some of us it’s just fun to keep tabs on evil bastards. Plus it may be useful someday.  


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  1. Sometimes, it is a shame that I am not religious. I would really like to believe that there is a special place in Hell reserved for this monster.

  2. Threatening people who have resolved to engage in a work stoppage tends to be counterproductive: it exposes the powerlessness of the bully. In this case, his target completely misses the point: business owners can stay open, but they can’t force their employees to work.

    • Ham-handed inducements, which almost always come with the threats, also tend to be counterproductive for the same reason: they expose weakness, they smack of desperation, they show the people that they can control the agenda.


      The timing of this is everything. Maduro doesn’t know it, but he’s started concession bargaining. People just have to maintain their resolve. They can break these fools.

    • You are exactly right, Canucklehead. Diosdado is showing he is very afraid of a successful strike. He did not dare threaten the workers directly so he hopes by threatening the businesses it might have an effect on the size of the protest.

      That is interesting. They know the moment is critical, the situation is very fluid and anything can happen. They threw a risky gamble by stopping the 20% collection. They precipitated the issue. Instead of having the 20% collection now and simply delaying the RR until 2017 they decided to go for the conflict now. You have to wonder why?

      Their usual strategy is to buy time with dialogue and other delay tactics, but not this time. Maybe they were afraid that the 20% collection was going to be too successful and leave them too weak to delay the RR after 2016 or that even a delayed 2017 RR could be enough of a bloody nose to topple them. So they decided to force the issue and bet that the opposition would not have enough resolve, tools or power to damage them.

      They decided they could ride the conflict like they did in 2002-3 and 2014.
      But the situation is much more dire now and the balance of forces is not the same.

  3. “..but for some of us it’s just fun to keep tabs on evil bastards.”
    But, but, ..how evil can they really be considering that these same “bastards” received numerous blessings from the current Pope? Sorry, I’m still trying to understand the convoluted thinking behind closed doors at the Vatican these days. A walk through the Sistine Chapel, and staring at Michelangelo’s south wall, could help those in confusion to differentiate between good and evil on Judgement Day.

  4. The amount of karma that pool cap is storing won’t end well at all for him, he should stop being so mushy with clubs and bats for example.

  5. DC is the Criollo version of Edward G. Robinson’s “Little Caesar”, but with a difference–when the shooting starts, instead of going out with Tommy gun blazing, he will be trying to slither out through the tall grasses….

    • He must have an escape capsule ready to launch just in case.
      Remember in 2002 how long it took him to return once the chavistas got back into power?

    • Think about it… He doesn’t go out in the streets anonymously. He gets his information from flunkies. Are any of them going to give him bad news? I doubt it. He is the type to shoot the messenger. So, no, he may well not understand how tenuous his position is.


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