Venezuelan adviser: "Chávez's health is only known by the Cuban regime"
In the words of Diego Arria, ex candidate in the Venezuelan opposition primaries and an advisor of the Inter American Dialogue, "any candidate from the existing administration, be it (Executive Vice-President Nicolás) Maduro or (Congress Speaker Diosdado) Cabello or anyone else, would essentially be a stand-in for (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chávez, dead or alive."
Arria thinks that this was what prevailed in the gubernatorial elections. "The official candidates did not win Chávez won for them."
According to the expert, the Cuban regime has a high profile in domestic affairs. "It is difficult to know the impact of Chávez's health on the electoral process, but it has been played extremely well by the regime with its Cuban advisors."
Arria feels that the Cuban sphere of influence spans the Venezuelan economy. "Chávez's health is only known by the Cuban regime and its doctors. I believe that it is possible that Chávez himself does not even know his own situation well. Chávez's largesse with the Venezuelan treasury is fundamental for the Cuban economy."
A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.