94 Geo Metro, AC not coming on, heater/AC control panel light is off too

I have a 94 Metro that had a bad switch for the interior (ventilation) fan last year. The switch had broken the clasps that held it on and come apart.
I glued it, and it worked well for a year, when the glue I used (wrong kind) dissolved from the grease and leftover WD-40 I had used to clean the old switch.
This time I decided to replace the "lever assembly 8.849" (GM part # 30007398) (which includes the blower switch and the receptacle for it including new clasps so I don't have to glue it in again) and it went in easily. The fan now works, but somehow in all the digging around to get to it, I hosed a cable or something somewhere, because the A/C no longer comes on.
I checked the fuses (There wasn't one for AC, but there was one labeled ACC, which I thought was accessory, so I checked all of them.) They are all fine. Even the ones under the hood. There is a little light inside the pushbutton that turns the AC on or off, that stays dark too.
One BIG clue is that the little bulb which lights up the lever control panel when the headlights are turned on is also not coming on, and its cable joins the one from the AC switch. Apparently the circuit those two things are on is open. I did find a couple plastic connector plugs along the cable, but they seemed to be very tightly connected. I could not get them apart, so I tried pushing them together (connected) firmly, they didn't budge either way so I more or less doubt it was a case of accidentally unplugging the cable when I was removing the lever assembly.
I thought a relay might be bad, but that shouldn't stop the control panel light from coming on, it wouldn't be on a relay as it comes on with the headlights.
I am at a loss as to what to check next. I can't follow that cable very far back towards the firewall without disassembling the whole dash, and I'm not sure I want to do that, it's beyond my experience and I don't want to risk breaking something else.
Any ideas on what I should check next?
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