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."
At first she agreed that I use her real name, that she had no problems with that at all. After all, living with HIV had driven her to help others – as a workshop facilitator giving talks and conducting seminars, or as a volunteer for local AIDS Service Organizations like Acción Solidaria (Solidary Action) and Mujeres Unidas por la Salud (Women United for Health, or Musa), a support group network for HIV-positive women. But when we were well into the interview, the realization that she might lose her private health insurance coverage made her change her mind.