Taking Marciano Seriously

Marciano (aka Grima Wormtongue aka JVR) is required reading for anyone interested in the Chavez regime’s darkest and most dangerous notions.

Marciano has served Chavez since 1999 as foreign minister, then defense minister and finally as vice-president.

President Chavez reportedly never trusted him. Perhaps that’s why he kept Marciano so close by his side for so many years, as Machiavelli counseled centuries ago.

Certainly, Marciano is one of the three most dangerous men in Venezuela today, a basically lawless country which – as anyone who has lived or worked there for a long time knows – is filled with dangerous men.

The other two are Public Works and Housing Minister Diosdado Cabello and former Interior & Justice Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin.

Cabello currently is the second most powerful figure in the Bolivarian regime, right behind President Chavez.

Rodriguez Chacin is the president’s longtime personal liaison to the top leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). He also serves as the chief coordinator of President Chavez’s regional clandestine political activities in association with the FARC-sponsored Bolivarian Continental Congress (CCB).

Marciano returned to his career as an “investigative journalist” over a year ago. He has a weekly political talk show on Televen (Confidenciales) and pens columns under pseudonyms, including Marciano.

In many of his recent “Piedra de Tranca” columns in the rabidly pro-Chavez daily tabloid Vea, Marciano has warned repeatedly of rightwing conspiracies to assassinate President Hugo Chavez, destabilize the Bolivarian revolution and trigger a civil war in Venezuela.

These threats have been echoed by Public Works and Housing Minister Cabello, who warned recently that the regime has everyone “under observation.”

Cabello was speaking of what’s left of the independent news media, since 80% of the country’s news media – television, radio and print – are now controlled directly/indirectly by the Chavez regime.

But Cabello’s threat literally applied to every sector, entity and individual who dares to criticize any aspect of the Chavez regime.

Of course, Cabello has his own good reasons for desiring a meek, muzzled news media.

Silencing an independent news media in Venezuela means that Cabello’s own activities in pursuit of immense personal wealth – and the activities of his associates in the regime including Marciano – will never be investigated, exposed and sanctioned.

Besides, Cabello is only doing the president’s bidding.

President Chavez always sets the pace and tone of the Bolivarian revolution: Lies, insults, intimidation, political persecution by the Bolivarian judiciary, trials and convictions of some regime critics on completely fabricated charges, illegal detentions, physical assaults of regime critics by armed Bolivarian street thugs and criminals, threats of bloody civil war or conflict with other countries (mainly Colombia).

The president’s violence-ridden rhetoric, and that of his closest cronies, is so constant that one is tempted to downplay reality a bit. Friends of Caracas Gringo say things like, “Chavez has been making threats forever…Chavez is all bark and no bite…Chavez just enjoys hearing his own voice…etc.

But reading Marciano’s recent columns in Vea, it appears to some observers in Venezuela that President Chavez wants to stoke tensions until they reach a violent breaking point.

Chavez certainly has been on a tear recently, threatening war against Honduras and Colombia, announcing more unnecessary Russian arms purchases, asking for a Special Powers Law so he can deliver the “estocada” to what’s left of Venezuela’s democratic freedoms and institutions, etc.

Marciano always has been loyal to Chavez, meaning he always supports the president’s greatest excesses and craziest notions. But first and always, as anyone who knows him personally will attest, Marciano is only out for his own political and economic interests.

Marciano is also a masterful political strategist, and maintains multi-layered alliances with everyone – including some of the hapless “squalid” opposition figures he routinely ridicules and trashes in his columns and TV show.

Marciano certainly has strategic alliances in place with the likes of Cabello, Rodriguez Chacin and others. This doesn’t imply everyone is good friends. These are alliances of political and economic convenience, which usually overlap in Bolivarian Venezuela.

This means that when reading Marciano’s columns, the reader always must read between the lines to try to figure out who he is speaking for, and against.

Here’s a recent comment taken from one of Marciano’s columns in Vea:

“Once again, the opposition’s extreme groups have taken the road of assassinating political figures and economic life. In truth they never have abandoned this type of ‘solutions,’ but in recent days old plans are being accentuated. What’s new is that opposition figures have been added (CG: to an alleged hit list). When someone in a meeting asked by a specific subject appeared on the list, the answer was: chaos, chaos. That is, the plan is to foment a state of chaos.”

“What they do not realize is that in a situation of chaos many more oligarchs can lose their heads than chavistas.”

These extremist groups are receiving “stimuli” from Miami and Bogota, he adds, from groups that participated in the Bay of Pigs, the bombing of the Cubana de Aviacion airliner back in the 1970s. Their “recruits” come from “civilian and military exiles arrived from Caracas.”

Are there any Venezuelans in exile who possibly are dreaming, even plotting, of whacking Chavez and his closest associates, including people like Marciano, Cabello, etc?

Probably yes. With over 1 million Venezuelans now living in exile since Chavez became president as decade ago, the odds certainly support the notion that somewhere outside Venezuela at least one or two exiles are having dark dreams of becoming Rambo.

But Caracas Gringo insists that the real threat to President Chavez’s biological longevity could be as close to him right now as stink on flatulence.

Douglas Bravo described the situation not long ago: “A revolution is coming from within against the revolution, sooner than anyone including Chavez suspects.”

There certainly are true believers in the regime, nutcases like Commerce Minister Eduardo Saman.

But Cabello and others, like Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon, always have struck this observer (at least) as being way more pragmatic than ideological.

The revolution’s pragmatists have always served President Chavez well, politically and even ideologically. But in return, perhaps unwittingly, Chavez also has served the interests of the pragmatists in his regime, which has never been as unified internally as the president boasts.

However, what happens when (or if) the converging interests of Chavez and the regime’s pragmatists suddenly diverge and follow radically different paths?

Not that we think this will happen soon. CG agrees with Moises Naim’s recent remark that Chavez has the resources to stick around a long time. But if a rupture were to occur within the regime, the faction described by some as “chavismo without Chavez” could be encouraged to act.

Meanwhile, what of Marciano’s warning of imminent violence against political figures including members of the opposition?

Two possible scenarios:

One, groups that oppose Chavez could be organizing violent attacks against regime figures, as Marciano charges.

Two, the Chavez regime’s political intelligence & counterintelligence services, very ably assisted by Cuba’s DGI assets in Venezuela, are running an operation to selectively assassinate individuals associated with the regime, and pin it on figures associated with the political opposition.


About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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9 Responses to Taking Marciano Seriously

  1. British says:

    The first of the “regime figures” we’ll take out is Chávez himself. The rest will be taken care of automatically.


  2. Gabriel Cisneros says:

    I think that if there is some one that is seriously considering an end game to a post Chavez Venezuela, it is probably JVR. He no doubt has the best range of knowledge for “where the bodies are buried” than any other person in the country. If anyone knows how to cut an amnesty for truth deal it’s this guy. As you said, he retains a modicum of contacts with the Opposition and he has managed to distance himself from official posts of late. What really went down in the 2002 simulated coup and the killing of D. Anderson would be two of the more intriguing mysteries. I wonder if you have thought out this scenario and what the carrot/stick mechanisms might be in a possible transition of power?

    My feeling is that until the Opposition can in if fact visualize and articulate an eventual transition, there is a real possibility of the country degenerating into chaos. I’m certain that the chavista response has already been scripted to include massive sabotage… I’m also convinced that most Venezuelan don’t have the courage to risk their lives in the name of a lost cause.


  3. Juan Largo says:

    Per getting rid of El Jeffe, you must ask how Marciano, God Finer Cabello and Rodriguez Chacin would profit from same. With basically free run of the country as is, and probably as much dinero as they can spend for the time being, and with a charismatic leader to smoke screen the rapidly sinking ship that is currently Venezuela, all three seem to be sitting pretty. Why change things up till the country melts down.

    However I think the entire regime is in for a battle royale with the teachers and this absurd new legislation telling them how and what to teach. These people have both their pride and the ears of the young, and neither are going to stand by and be told anything by a bunch of yahoos on some community council. The regime has gone too far on this one I believe, and it might get ugly if the Chavistas try and force top drawer educators to follow their agenda. That will never happen, and the fallout might be substantial at the top, where the Three Stooges just mentioned presently abide.

    This might get interesting soon. Sort of glad I’m in Miami just now…



  4. seal says:

    I’d go with #2 as well, as it would be a clever maneuver to get rid of undesired elements inside the regime, and to top the cake they could blame it all on the opposition and imprison selected individuals. In fact if we’re right they’re probably busy perfecting the plot right now. Much like they accomplished the Danilo Anderson assassination, which gave them the blueprint for this type operation. Han aprendido mucho estos.


  5. Mora says:

    I think it will be drug dealers, FARC or otherwise, who do him in. Chavez thinks he can control them by allowing them free reign in Venezuela. He can’t.


  6. It seems funny to accumulate wealth like they are in a “socialist” economy, when Chavez tries to push forward, they will shove him aside.


  7. revbob22 says:

    Among other talents, JVR “sold” many statues in his time.

    Here’s how:

    Identify the subject of a possible scandal (easy in Venezuela)

    Investigate til you have a good amount of dirt

    Let the “guest of honor” know he has the goods on him

    Offer “guest of honor” the chance to buy a statue or sculpture made by JVR relatives (used to be his wife, not sure now). IF purchase of statue occurs, no news article. If not, you could count on prominent coverage in many news outlets.

    Been there, done that, but no statue (f him!), and no news either! Tremenda joyita.


  8. expaticus americus says:

    I’d go with #2.

    Politically it’s a win-win for the “Chavismo sin Chavez” crowd: they get rid of the ideologues within and the notable opposition figures without, the power solidifies in their hands and the population is kept in the dark.



  9. Charly says:

    Ever heard of the sorcerer’s apprentice? Uribe just finalised the deal with the US on the military bases. Just for narco and terrorists? What do you think? This Uribe character is running Chavez around his little finger. Just see two months from now what the end of commerce between the two countries will mean.


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