Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of July 31
If Venezuelans are not presented the opportunity to buy freely foreign currency, particularly US dollars, it is hard to comply with Mercosur rules
ANGUISH? The elderly lieutenant colonel running for reelection is growing nervous at the headway made by the candidate for the united democracy (Henrique Capriles Radonski). President Hugo Chávez had in his hands an opinion poll where the distance from his young challenger is just five points. Sure enough, some surveys, near to the regime, foretell "landslide victory on 10/7." A global crusade has been launched in order to persuade allies and pimps that if democrats win, that is because they cheated.
TESTS. President Chávez was examined on Monday, July 29 in a hospital of Brasilia, used by Brazilian presidents, their relatives, ministries and high military command. The Brasilia University Hospital boasts a cutting-edge imaging center. He underwent a PET scan that should be performed more than one month ago. He would not do it in Cuba in anguish for the potential findings and the possible ban on traveling farther; very bad for his "recovery." The special meeting at Mercosur would take place in Rio de Janeiro. However, it moved to Brasilia, as suggested by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to President Dilma Rousseff. In this way, the checkup with two Cuban and two Brazilian doctors would be "concealed." Leaks from Cuban sources would be contained. The Cuban chief doctor who manages the public movements of the lieutenant colonel-president flew some days ago to Brasilia to coordinate the tests. (...) In the midst of the election campaign, using steroids and sedatives, Chávez tries to look like healed. His eagerness to win the election has made him disregard again- his doctors' recommendations. By pretending to be in the hotel or holding a meeting with President Rouseff at Planalto presidential palace, Brazilian security agents would drive him to the selected hospital. A convoy similar to that of the Venezuelan president would distract the attention of the press. The outcome of the checkup was discussed in a teleconference among the doctors of Cuba, Brazil, Spain and Venezuela on Monday evening. On Tuesday, we will learn about the disease or recovery based on leaked reports or the face of both patient and his Mercosur fellows.
GREAT! Dr. Luis Esteban Palacios W., an attorney at law, sent me a notice to understand the "love token" of the Venezuelan government concerning the opening of bank accounts in foreign currency. Such a populist, demagogic action is due not only to the attempt at capturing votes, but goes beyond. It is a move by the regime for readier access to Mercosur. If Venezuelans are not presented the opportunity to buy freely foreign currency, particularly US dollars, it is hard to comply with Mercosur rules. It is worth mentioning that, like in previous financial events in Mexico and Argentina, savings and bank accounts in foreign currency were taken for valuable consideration in a devalued local currency.
HOW EMBARRASSING! There are several pitfalls in the red diplomacy. An ambassador was evicted from Paraguay for charges of sexual harassment on his secretary. Later, Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro intended to send him to Costa Rica, where the government did not give its approval. The murder in Nairobi of carrier diplomat Olga Fonseca is the outcome of the flight of former Ambassador Gerardo Carrillo Silva following the charges of sexual harassment filed by three employees at the official residence.
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."