Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of Tuesday, December 11
THE DECISION? At the time of finishing off this column and sending it to daily newspaper El Universal (3:00 p.m. on Monday, December 10), the scheduled surgery was contingent only on President Hugo Chávez's decision. Previously, treating and consulted doctors had issued their opinion. In addition to the Cuban doctors who have taken care of the patient for one and a half year, three Venezuelan doctors were involved, including an urologist, a specialist in infectious diseases and an orthopedic surgeon. One of them was on site and two on the website. Add to this Two Brazilian doctors from Sao Paulo and no Russian at the end of the day. The three Venezuelan doctors agreed on the risk of operating the backbone and potential paralysis in the legs. Another view, in daily newspaper ABC of Madrid, tallied -any operation of bones –that is, lower vertebrae, hip and femur- could precipitate paralysis of lower limbs. Cubans, for their part, explained the method to be used and the surgery assets. I could not learn from the Brazilian's opinion. Denial or approval is up to him (President Chávez). His closer relatives accompany him. The pain referred by us is his main problem. Remember that the very caudillo mentioned the word "pain" in the obligatory simultaneous broadcast of Saturday. "However, some soreness, pain, surely the result of the effort made during the (election) campaign, and radiotherapy, in a very sensitive area. Therefore, we must pay careful attention to that. Well, I decided to come, making an additional effort, truly; because, well, the pain is sort of significant, isn't it? Anyway, with the treatment, painkillers, we are in a pre-operational stage, preparing everything." That was the state of affairs on Monday in Havana.
ANOTHER DETAIL. Although quite a few times the candidate promised Venezuelans that he was "healed," he knew that he was not. His desire to win on October 7 filled him with stamina, starting to disrupt at the end of the campaign in Caracas. A video attests to it. Had the election been held on the usual date, it would have matched last Sunday with a poor health condition. For this reason, they brought it forward. The proximity of the next gubernatorial election on December 16 would be useful for electioneering with his handpicked candidates for state governors. Now, everything has been confirmed.
That political protest in Venezuela has lost momentum seems pretty obvious: people are no longer building barricades to block off streets near Plaza Francia in Altamira (eastern Caracas), an anti-government stronghold; no new images have been shown of brave and dashing protesters with bandanna-covered faces clashing with the National Guard in San Cristóbal, in the western state of Táchira; and those who dreamed of a horde of "Gochos" (Tachirans) descending in an avalanche to stir up revolt in Caracas have been left with no option but to wake up to reality.