Padrino means godfather,
Venezuelan President Puts Armed Forces in Charge of New Food Supply System. Amid crippling shortages and daily riots, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino will control all distribution
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro put the armed forces in charge of a new food supply system aimed at alleviating crippling shortages, ceding yet more power to a military apparatus that is already involved in everything from banking to imports.
The head of the armed forces, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, will be in charge of transporting and distributing basic products, controlling prices and stimulating production, according to a decree published Tuesday in the official gazette.
This sounds onerous (emphasis added),
“All the ministries, all the ministers, all the state institutions are at the service and in absolute subordination” to Mr. Padrino’s so-called Great Sovereign Supply Mission, Mr. Maduro said in a televised address Monday night.
How sovietic of him.
Video in Spanish,
During his press conference (to use the term loosely), Padrino stated his intention for a centralized command (1:30 into the video), and claims to have the ability to supply the whole country.
Supply what, I ask?
Francisco Toro notices that Padrino
has just been appointed to a crazy new post that’s nowhere in the Constitution, something clearly outranking the VP, and only nebulously less powerful than the president
. . .
‘Unprecedented’ is certainly one. ‘Plainly unconstitutional’, is another — but that almost goes without saying these days. ‘Bizarre’ fits the bill for sure — only in Venezuela could you have an announcement of a “single” command that consists of having everyone report to two different people. And ‘coup-y’? Oh, definitely ‘coup-y’.
What’s not clear is whether everyone is having to report to two different people, or only to Padrino from now on?
Jaime Bayly (video in Spanish) gets the impression that Padrino was given the job by Cuban intelligence to keep an eye on Maduro, as Padrino defined his job as “accompanying, assisting and verifying.”
Whether Bayly is right, and whether the Padrino’s new Godfather job will accelerate the end-game (as Toro hopes) in Venezuela, remains to be seen.
I’m not optimistic at all.
How different is this from a first step towards a military dictatorship?