Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) released on June 7
THE ENROLLMENT. Monday, June 11 was set as the day to enroll Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez in the National Electoral Council (CNE), after learning how and how many people will join challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski the previous day. However, until Wednesday they would ponder on a "surprise" by registering him on Saturday 9. The tents set up three days ago in the streets and square nearby the CNE suggest how they would like the pro-Chávez event. Without the need to go up any stairs, the president will arrive together with his daughters and relatives, being careful to take but a few steps to be welcomed by the CNE authorities for a short sworn-in ceremony. They are drawing lots on how many people will they take. For this reason, the assumption of June 11 is almost certain, as announced. Rehearsals including broadcast from Miraflores, where the main camera was in front of and below him, were useful to have a look at him from his waist upside. In this way, they managed to hide any weird movement of the hip, where his pain is more apparent. Chávez will endeavor to look as better as possible. For this reason, he will have plenty of rest. The inauguration of the State Council, which, incidentally, has met already, is scheduled for Thursday 14 or Friday 15, depending on how he feels after the effort on Monday. "I will do my best to show my people that I will be their candidate," he was overheard as saying in a preliminary meeting as part of rehearsal. Son-in-law Jorge Arreaza scores points for the Vice-Presidency. The internal strife escalates...
RED IMPROVISATION? The Antitrust bill endorsed by the Sub-Committee of Industries and Trade raised the alarm in the embassies of South-American countries. The passage of the law would signify Venezuela's failure to meet the requirements to access Mercosur: a competition policy consistent with the "Agreement on Competition Advocacy" of the integration scheme. A law which promotes competition and a law which threatens private companies are not the same. The Antitrust law would thwart the Venezuelan government efforts to join Mercosur, insofar as it fails to further and protect the required competition. Furthermore, diplomats have noted that Venezuelan state-run enterprises plenty of them, arising from seizures- are not within the limits of the law. In all Mercosur Member States, public companies abide by the same laws as private companies. In any case, the inclusion of prompt expropriation schemes in the absence of tort by companies, just for having "a high equity interest in the relevant economic area" is a matter of concern in this law, defined in the preamble as a tool for transition to socialism. They seek to lead the country to bankruptcy...
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."