Photo: Con El Mazo Dando

So, Diosdado Cabello has just been appointed (by “acclamation”) as the new constituent assembly’s president, and I think this can have a broader political impact than we imagine now.

The narrative Maduro has pushed is that this assembly (ANC, by its initials in Spanish) is “plenipotentiary” and all branches of power, including his, are held to it. Actually, a few days after it’s installation last year, Maduro swore obedience to the constituyentes, repeating the act after the “victory” of May 20.

The ANC has been Maduro’s political creation, and although he’s used it to solve various issues, recently the ANC has had no relevance whatsoever.

This might change under the Cabello presidency.

I think this can have a broader political impact than we imagine now.

Diosdado Cabello is now the head of a political organization that oversees and commands the rest of the branches of power. In fact, in the interpretation given to the constituyente powers since 1999, a new ANC is not only in charge of writing a new Constitution: it can also remove anyone in any charge.  

Because of this, from an institutional and political point of view, Cabello holds in his hands a blank notebook. Did Maduro foresee it when he appointed Delcy Rodríguez as vice-president?

It’s quite likely the ANC will be politically more active from now on.

The interesting part will be identifying what it’ll do to chavista officers inside the machine.

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  1. “…what it’ll do to chavista officers inside the machine”…why, simply re-shuffle and re-deal the same deck of cards (on the deck of the Titanic)–shuffleboard, anyone?

  2. Can the President just pick and choose a new Vice President at will, when the current VP is still healthy and able to serve?

    If so, that makes no fucking sense.

    I understand that the VP doesn’t take the Presidency in the event of his death (we can only hope), and that a new election is mandated. And we know the chosen VP is always a sycophant. Nothing new here. Same the world over.

    But this system allows for the VP spot to be even more meaningless than anywhere in modern democracies. It protects the Presidency at the expense of a VP who SHOULD take the lead spot, and shoves a future VP down people’s throats who they didn’t vote for.

    I know I don’t understand it, but it seems odd in comparison to the U.S. system.

    • it’s one of the inconsistencies in the constitution… why create a new position that has zero practical purpose… not a head of the government, not a head of national assembly… it’s definitely not part of a succession scenario permanent or temporary… not elected by anyone and serves at the will of the president, it can be appointed and fired without any congressional oversight.

      Then again, Chavismo is the king of everything that makes absolute no sense whatsoever.

    • Venezuelans do not vote for VP candidates, exactly as with any other ministry position. No candidate in the recent past has run with a Vice-Presidential candidate announced (again, even if they had, the spot would not be up for election). I do not know how this worked before 1999, but within this new Constitution, that is how the system has been built. Honestly, because the VP ONLY takes the presidency if there are two years left in the term, it is not that big of a deal (given that the AN can remove the VP up to three times).

  3. I am certain that Diosdado will make some wild claims about new elections for an AN that Chavismo doesn’t recognize anyway. Which will, of course, get the usual rats scurrying for position… Falcon, etc. Why not? They keep falling for that old trick all the time… you can set your watch by it. “Maybe this time the elections will be legit and we won’t get kicked in the balls!” Forgetting, naturally, that the AN is controlled already by the legitimate electeds from 2015 and have an actual supermajority that is ignored.

  4. Diosdado is not such a well liked person inside the chavista bubble , they know he is a crook and not ideologically so reliable so there are lots of people inside chavismo that dislike him , making him head of the ANC is proof that its totally under the control of Maduro and his allied cliques , that Diosdado can do no harm heading the front organization , somehow he has less power than he used to so its safe to put him in a position thats formally prestigious but where no real power is wielded ….maybe its a consolation prize for losing all that money ( as per the Herald Tribunes report) , to further acknowledge his position inside the ruling circle they make his wife the head of a more important ministerial post for which she totally lacks credentials. the thing is that the new ministerial round of changes is absolutely meaningless for the country but all important to how the inner clique organizes its areas of influence… keep themselves united.. Always the same faces , evidently they lack any new leaders capable of rising to new positions of importance ,

    • DC was “elected” by “acclamation”, 500 to 0. DC’s wife was put where DC likes to be, “donde lo hay”, as head of public works (large purchases/commissions).

  5. Bill: To be fair, it isn’t easy to find people totally devoid of a conscience. How does one recruit a sociopath? We see the same faces because they’re the only ones with a filthy, godless, sell-your-soul-to-the-devil, resume.

    • This type of person abounds in Venezuela, including in the Oppo. The 500 “Constituyente” members all look well-fed and rubber-stamp everything the Directiva asks them to vote for.

  6. he has held a blank notebook since forever. Gee, is the editorial out of steam and out of touch.

    This is just rotuine procedure, he was the president of the chavista senate already, I´d say ruling a 100% chavista asamblea nacional was a blank check. This is a return to him doing just that. Running the show when it comes to law making and having some sort of formal protocol to justify it as a “party decision” when is really just him dictating.

    El que este a favor que haga la señal de costumbre


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