Towards the end of Chavez, and the beginning of the Maduro era?

Tonight we learned one thing: Maduro is the apparent winner of the succession war. That Chavez was sick and that his coming end was a reality we already knew.  When he tells us that it is only a "few malignant cells to be removed" but adds in the same speech that if worse comes to pass people should vote for Maduro we are confirmed in our strong suspicions that it is a metastatic condition that ails him and the prognosis sucks. A few preliminary comments while we await for the new show to unfold.

First we should sue Chavez for the fraudulent elections he had the country go through. Metastases do not appear out of the blue. Signs were all along. If Chavez real debilitating sickness had not been extreme narcissism he would have had Maduro run for last October vote and campaigned for him. With Chavez actively behind he may have won.

Believe it or not but Maduro is not a bad option to replace Chavez for chavismo. For the other side all are bad but for chavismo Maduro is vulgar, radical and from "el pueblo".  In addition he is the live embodiment of "social promotion" possible under Chavez. From bus driver trade union to foreign minister and vice president the message is clear: it pays to be an amoral chavista. Who needs a real degree and a productive career?

And since it is late and I just got the news coming back from a night out I will just add that it is not all over for Diosdado and that Maduro should not be planning redecorating Miraflores palace just yet. Even if Chavez has all but admitted that he will not be available January 10 for his swearing in the day he finally croaks is not the true date for Maduro ascent. First we need to see the results of next Sunday vote and see which side of chavismo can claim victory. Second, if I have a feel that the "civilian" and radical branches are indeed behind Maduro (and our colonial masters Cuba), the military is the real elector. For the time being I am sure that they said yes to Chavez naming Nicolas Maduro his heir. After all, why rock the boat while Chavez is alive? Trump cards are always played as late as possible, preferably once the strong players have been brought down.

My only regret is that it seems that Chavez will never find his way to a court of justice to account for his crimes though I have no doubt as to the harsh judgment history has in store for him. I certainly would never wish his death and even less in his current option but I have to say that his departure will be a relief for a country that has been in downward spiral for at least 5 years. His passing will not solve anything but his departure is a must as no side or country could prosper as long as he was allegedly in charge. For better or for worse we need him gone.