Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) released on Tuesday, May 8
THE IMPATIENT. Everything that is going on in Havana is always disclosed by weird means. I am in Oslo, invited to the Freedom Forum 2010, where persons from all around the world who advocate democracy, human rights, social networks and press freedom have gathered. A Cuban activist who lives here but keeps in touch with his fellow citizens, apprised me of some of the latest actions of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez presently in Cuba under cancer treatment. In spite of showing the Christ every time he can to ask him for a miracle, he has not stopped resorting to other religious alternatives. Previously, at his place in El Laguito, sacrifices have been practiced with roosters and lambs, as part of Santeria rituals. Last week, Adalberto "El Tata" and Amarito "El Babalao" covered him with their ceremonies promising him that he "will make it." As for my original sources, they reiterate that neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy is being applied, although some doctors insist on applying him more chemotherapy. However, there is no decision yet. Emphasis is made on treating his mood and helping him not to suffer from bone pain. Within a few days -or hours- he plans to record a video to show himself "healthy and leading as if he were in Caracas." On Monday, May 7, he held another meeting. These are increasingly difficult days for the patient and the "process."
COUNCIL? Following the appointment of the five senior members attached to the President's Office, all kind of rumors, murmuring and reactions set off not only among military officers committed to "the process," but also among radical and moderate civilian sectors. We already learned about two collectives, not peaceful at all, nominating Congress Speaker Diosdado Cabello as the successor if the caudillo steps down. A small number of the reds closer to "the single leader," noted that the appointments of (ex Venezuelan Vice-President José Vicente) Rangel, (Venezuelan Ambassador to the Organization of American States, OAS, Roy) Chaderton, (Venezuelan pro-government author Luis) Britto García, and (Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations, UN Germán) Mundaraín, were suggested by José Vicente. They fear dismantling of the process and the council civilian-military makeup. As for Admiral Carlos Giacopini Martínez, some term him "tough" and "militarist," like his father, that even was a minister under the dictatorship of General Marcos Pérez Jiménez; some regard him as a "strategist, expert in damages control and even a negotiator."
Translated by Conchita Delgado
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."