Skyping with a friend, who says: “There’s a group of brujos/psychics and seers who claim that fatman’s days as big boss are over by the end of this year.”
There’s never any shortage of scenarios on how and when the reign of President Hugo Chavez will end.
But we agree with forecasts like the one Moises Naim made recently: Chavez has the resources to remain in power for a long time.
It doesn’t matter if presidential elections are held at the end of 2012 or tomorrow. Even if Chavez loses, the final results will declare him the winner – because he controls the National Electoral Council.
Chavez already has said the PSUV – his party – must win 75% of the National Assembly seats in the 2010 legislative elections. The CNE already knows what the outcome will be.
The “opposition” may be allowed to gain a small foothold in the assembly, but not enough to affect the pace and direction of the revolution.
The political opposition’s chronic systemic disarray, disorganization and perpetual infighting and backbiting also is a big plus for Chavez.
Chavez has been proclaiming for years that he will continue to rule Venezuela until at least 2021.
Since losing the Constitutional reform referendum in 2007, Chavez has worked incessantly by presidential decree and assembly line legislation to create the new Socialist state which voters rejected.
Right now the Chavez regime appears weakened – oil prices are down and so are the regime’s political fortunes.
But it’s clear that the Chavez regime is biding its time and waiting for oil prices to soar into triple digits again.
The “economic measures” announced by Public Works and Housing Minister Diosdado Cabello, Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon, and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani were simply hot air – a typical Bolivarian propaganda ploy.
The goals: contain inflation and spur economic growth. How? More public borrowing and more public spending. The regime will float more bond issues, and will tap the Central Bank for about $15 billion of the country’s foreign Exchange reserves, currently at about $32 billion.
The regime hopes that by first-half 2010 the price of oil will be climbing rapidly again.