Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of October 30
THE FINGER. Although taking the "warrior's rest," the caudillo has been assessing, holding daily surveys in his hands, the performance of the candidates handpicked by him in the most crucial states for his revolution. Add to this the negative reaction in some states that has caused the fact that, so far, only the candidate for reelection in Trujillo, Hugo Cabezas, has resigned. Properties in Trujillo state, Anzoátegui state and Caracas would be questioned by local members of ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The states of Anzoátegui, Mérida, Táchira, Bolívar and Guárico are on the lockout to take action before the official beginning of the election campaign. The worst performer so far, as assessed by red, very red voters, after Cabezas, is Aristóbulo Istúriz. Moreover, President Hugo Chávez has been pondering on some freedom measures for several political prisoners under his government. Conditional release would be announced next week or earlier.
PDVSA IN THE RED. In 2003, it was third in the annual world ranking of Fortune Magazine of the 500 most productive companies behind Exxon-Mobil and SaudiAramco. Today, it is 36th in the 2011 ranking. Deputy Elías Matta told the media that the oil company liabilities stand at USD 108.27 billion versus an owner's equity of USD 73.88 billion. Red, very red?
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.