Last night Henrique Capriles Radonski - Venezuela's ex-presidential candidate - told his Twitter followers that something "big" was going to be revealed about the "illegitimate" government in a televised address today at 1pm. And thus, at 12:59, Venezuelans stopped what they were doing and turned to their screens.
What they heard was a recognizable voice discussing undisclosed government secrets.
In short, a leaked conversation landed in the hands of the Venezuelan opposition and was broadcast nationally. The iconic 50-minute conversation was between Mario Silva — pro-Chavez Venezuelan politician who is also the anchor of the most hardcore pro-Government TV program on the state's TV station — and Aramis Palacio, a lieutenant colonel of Cuba's Secret Police, the G2.
The leaked conversation between the two men was initially recorded for the acting leader of Cuba — Raul Castro — in order to brief him on Venezuela's situation following the presidential elections which placed Hugo Chavez' hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela with a razor thin 1 percent margin. The casual talk gives an insider perspective on the rampant corruption as well as Cuba's influence within the Venezuelan government.
Many believe the tape is sure to shake the foundation of the already weak Maduro regime. While Venezuelan's listened to the recording, many were expecting the president to order all networks to join the state TV's broadcast - a strategy the government has used in other press releases to drown the opposition's televised addresses.
Surprisingly, the tape played without interruption. Meanwhile "Mario Silva" and "Confessions of Mario Silva" became world-wide trend on Twitter. Since the broadcast Mario Silva has stated that the entire recording was "fake" and was manufactured by "Israel's Mossad and the CIA"
HERE ARE FIVE KEY POINTS REVEALED IN THE LEAKED RECORDING:
1. The Government is Severely Divided
It seems as though the unified force "Chavismo" enjoyed with its larger-than-life leader Hugo Chavez, disappeared once he died. As said by digital news site Caracas Chronicles, the main takeaway from this recording is that there is a serious war under way between people who support Diosdado Cabello- speaker of the house -and the pro-Cuban factions within Chavismo represented by acting president Nicolas Maduro. In the recording, Silva refers to Cabello as "one of the biggest threats" to the Venezuela revolution because of his "immeasurable ambition to obtain power". Silva later says, "Maduro is obligated to continue with our comandante's [Hugo Chavez] legacy; and he's obligated to put Diosdado against the wall. Obligated." In other words Maduro and Cabello - two of the most important politicians within Chavismo - are both divided and dividing the party.
Silva continued to say that he wished Hugo Chavez recorded a video in which he stated the reasons why he chose Nicolas Maduro as his successor. This is another clue that Nicolas Maduros lacks support within Chavismo.
2. The Electoral Council is Corrupt
The recording shows that the legitimacy of the Electoral Council is not only doubted by the opposition but by the government.
"We put ourselves the Sword of Damocles when saying that the CNE (National Electoral Council) is impregnable. How could I say then that it was hacked?...Because people make mistakes and I fully agree with it. Elections here as they stand right now, they can blow us and can bring our revolution down.-Mario Silva"
The Electoral Council's legitimacy has always been doubted by the opposition who has asked for an audit of the last presidential election's votes after evidence of electoral fraud surged.
3. There Were Rumors of a Coup-d-etat from Minister of Defense
The divisions within Chavismo even lead to rumors that the Minister of Defense was planning on carrying out a coup-de-estat against Nicolas Maduro. Silva's statements also show that the military is plagued by rumors as well as a "grave internal situation". He also said that while some of the military supported Diosdado Cabellos, other generals and people from the high command "hate Diosdado's attitude." Meanwhile he also stated that Nicolas Maduro has been unable to properly ally himself with the military, saying that he has not had conversations with head of the Armed Forces.
In conclusion, the military which was loyal to Chavez seems to divided.
4. There is a Huge Cuban Influence Within the Venezuela Government
...In fact, we were thinking and yesterday we had a intelligence meeting with two Cuban comrades, two Cuban officials in [the largest military complex Venezuela]- Mario Silva
The tape itself is evidence of Cuba's influence in Venezuelan politics as it was originally recorded to be given to Cuba's acting leader - Raul Castro. Similarly, Silva makes reference to meeting with Cuban militants for intelligence meetings.
5. Corruption is Rampant Among High Officials in the Government
According to the recording, Venezuela's Foreign Exchange Institution as well as its IRS is used by government officials for money laundering purposes. According to Silva, Diosdado Cabello is one of the biggest beneficiaries of government corruption. He even said that corruption had reached such high levels that Jorge Giordani, the government's "guru of public finances" was about to quit his duties when Hugo Chavez was alive. He also stated that one of the biggest factors in that contributed to Venezuela's crippling economy is the corruption from "high officials" within Chavismo.