Socialist TV Host Says Chavistas Want to Overthrow Maduro

This political fault line pits nationalist officers who side with Diosdado Cabello against Marxists who side with Nicolas Maduro and feel more comfortable with Cuban involvement in Venezuela's affairs.

Silva's tape clearly shows that he is in the Maduro camp. His claims that Cabello is plotting to overthrow the government are difficult to prove, due to the lack of concrete evidence. But Silva's demonization of Cabello could have some political consequences.

According to David Smilde, the recording could decrease Cabello's credibility among Venezuela's hard left, which tends to identify with Silva, and thinks of him as a credible source of information. The tape could also decrease support for Venezuela's government among moderate chavistas, who could be put off by these revelations of a dirty power struggle that is taking place within the government.

But this leaked tape is unlikely to lead to a further investigation of Diosdado Cabello's activities, at least not in public. Cabello, who is also an elected congressman, has judicial immunity. That doesn't mean some, including Maduro, won't look for more discrete ways to address Cabello and the questions of loyalty that Silva has brought up.

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