The struggle within chavismo is very much alive. Several recent events can prove it. On the one hand, there is the struggle to designate candidates for the upcoming mayoral elections. In states such as Trujillo things have nearly gone from bad to worse, because the ranks of chavismo were not willing to accept the "fingercratic" decision of not taking them into account.
That could be described as a "second-level squabble" among members of chavismo, but expresses what is happening in the highest spheres of the leftist United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The "boxing match" between Isaías Rodríguez and Pedro Carreño was quick, though. The criticism of the former Attorney General towards the nation’s economic situation earned him the warnings from the most knowledgeable of the constituents, who reminded him that the traitors to the fatherland exist. Just in case, Rodríguez recalled that he was also Ambassador of Venezuela to Italy and preferred to sacrifice himself for the Bolivarian Revolution in the Italian capital.
The appointment of Rafael Lacava as Governor of Carabobo state, public office previously held by yet another member of the PSUV Francisco Ameliach, also fueled discontent among chavistas. First of all, Ameliach said that the situation room of the PSUV was being taken over. Second of all, the broadcast of a video showing a fair amount of food products from a company whose ownership was never clear enough sparked off a reaction from former Prisons Minister Iris Varela – as diplomatic as she can be – , who stood up for Ameliach, of whom she said had sufficiently demonstrated his loyalty to the Bolivarian revolution. For his part, Lacava ended up, at least at the moment, giving a "peacekeeping" statement.
Another one who questioned the dire economic situation in Venezuela was journalist José Vicente Rangel, who suddenly realized about the hyperinflation and shortages situation being suffered. So far, he hasn’t received any responses not even from Varela. Perhaps he is no longer important for the "process" itself? Only a few writers from aporrea.org, a Venezuelan website that publishes news and opinions from the point of view of supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution, welcomed his comments.
Who did receive a quick response was Rafael Ramírez, the former head of state-run oil company PDVSA and also former Oil Minister, after publishing an article on aporrea.org in which he recalls having proposed actions on the economic front that would have achieved the necessary balances if carried out. He recognized that he never received support to implement them, and he means people who prevented him from doing so, but then again he did not reveal any names.
Varela did not elaborate on this case, either. She didn’t like Ramirez’s article and without calling him a liar she said "now he’s warning everybody that he said this, did that. Is he trying to make headlines in the press or something? I don’t think he is politically naive." If Ramírez is not naive, then what is he looking for? Who prevented him from implementing the actions that would have spared the country from the serious economic and social situation it is going through today? Why did he write such an article in detriment of chavismo?
Rodríguez, Ramírez, and Rangel seem to be expressing their displeasure at the Government. It remains to be seen whether they will be purged the same way as other key chavistas such as Jorge Giordani and Héctor Navarro. The irresponsible way in which Nicolás Maduro and his people are acting is starting to make some noise, but everything indicates that their way to deal with the situation is imposing. And this is to the detriment of nearly everybody living in this country.