Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of Tuesday, May 15
RECOVERED? The patient's reappearance raised again the alarms of doubt, guesswork, denials and lies about the cancer that has afflicted the President Commander of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for one year. If the scenes such as that in Barinas state, including a mass, begging God not to take him and give him some more time on Earth to complete his work; or still another scene, signing the Labor Organic Law at Miraflores presidential palace, showed an ill patient who convinced the skeptical ones about the evident distress, a nice stage design fueled again the skepticism of many people and offered his ranks the assurances of him running for reelection. It is not said, though, that his arrival was well dramatized, precisely to attain the expected goals. Just three days before his return to Venezuela, a slight decompensation worried his doctors, relatives and trusted men. In view of the anxiety levels inside the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Psuv) and the spontaneous remarks of some government authorities, such as (Portuguesa state governor) Wilmar Castro Soteldo, (Vice-President) Elías Jaua, (Congress Speaker) Diosdado Cabello and even (former Minister) Jesse Chacón, who acted almost as a doctor by declaring: "To the best of my knowledge, the president just completed his sixth cycle of radiotherapy," the visual stage was needed. In this way, the president would receive a high dose of sedatives to stand the movement of going down the stairs of the presidential plane and make a "soft" walk to inspect the troops at Maiquetía international airport. The broadcast would end before him getting in the car, with the help of his aides. Those of us, who have followed up the progress of the caudillo's illness, noted a less spirited speech in order to make the necessary breathing breaks. For this reason, because of the enormous effort he made, he has had to observe complete rest for at least three days. No more radiotherapy has been applied. Upcoming days are a big question mark, both for the patient and military and civilian leaders of "the process." The implementation of the State Council has been used to make us forget about very delicate topics, such as the clashes in La Planta jail; food shortage; inflation, and, above all, the "tip-offs" of (ex-magistrates of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice) Eladio Aponte Aponte and Luis Velásquez Alvaray showing the regime up. Distraction is likely to continue for some days. However, the issue of the president's health will be under discussion one more time, as soon as he reappears or not.
Luis Jiménez Alfaro seems to have hidden under the rocks. The last time he was seen was on April 2006 walking calmly around Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetía, located nearby Caracas. At that time, more than five tons of cocaine arrived in Mexico in an airplane which took off from Venezuela, and his name featured as a missing piece of the puzzle of one of the most massive drug shipments that has been witnessed in the Western Hemisphere.