Yesterday´s declarations by National Assembly President, and Vice-President of PSUV, Diosdado Cabello are a classical example of the political use of conspiracy theory.
As many times before, he warned that the “if the Venezuelan right tries anything against our compañero Presidente Nicolás Maduro, it will be a declaration of war because we will go out to the streets to defend him, and we will take appropriate actions. (…) We know who they are, if they try anything against Nicolás, we will be forced to act in consequence.”
Cabello further specified who the conspirators are, and directly addressed them: “Señores of the opposition, from the party Primero Fascista [referring to Primero Justicia] and allies, (…) such as Acción Democrática, Copei, Convergencia and their by-products. We cannot allow you play with the peace, security, stability, tranquility, and future of Venezuelans.”
If you have read other posts in this blog, or simply follow Venezuelan politics, you know that these strident remarks from Cabello are not new. However they do seem to point to a higher level of radicalization of his usually virulent discourse.
I would like now to propose an experiment in conspiracy theory construction and outline my own conspiracy theory about this.
Cabello’s increasing radicalization has to be understood in the context of his relations with the compañero Presidente Maduro. The past week has seen Maduro insisting on the need to take measures to curve rampant government corruption. He has couched this anti-corruption campaign on appeals to new forms of “socialist morality” to defeat “capitalist corruption”. Cabello is often accused by the opposition (and even sometimes by aporrea.org contributors) of being the ring-leader of a government corruption clique. He needs to show that he is the most radical of radical socialists, at least in his discourse. It could well be that the most dangerous conspiracy Cabello is facing is not a plot by the “fascist right” but one from inside the government.
Note how I have used a very typical conspiracy theory mechanism here: if we firmly believe in my theory, the more Cabello claims to love his compañero Presidente, the more we will think their relations are strained; the more Cabello claims innocence and insists on his radical socialist credentials, the more we will consider that as further proof of his cynical corrupt intent. I would also like to remind the reader that, as with the Dreyfus affair, conspiracy theories sometimes turn out to be true.