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.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate