Excerpts of column Runrunes (Rumors) of December 18
Contrary to what was spread in social networks, no tubes have been put into Chávez and no screws have been adjusted in his weakened vertebrae
THE PATIENT. After the timely startup with bulletins read out in compulsory simultaneous broadcasts by Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas, on Saturday and Sunday the truth would be masked again for us. Minister of Science and Technology Jorge Arreaza told us he had spoken with his father in law (President Hugo Chávez) quite a few times; that he had made appeals for unity and voting and even sent his regards to the attendants at the Alba Summit, let alone that Fidel Castro visited him in sickbed. Visits are banned at Cimeq intensive care unit. Only his closest relatives have come in his cubicle to see him. The trumpeted visits by presidents have been declined until further notice. Having moved to his room, the president was somewhat quieter; there, his family could share more time with him. Ups and downs in his recovery included bleeding confirmed and conceded in the official notice, respiratory disturbances, going in and out a coma, and continued pain in the areas hit by the disease. For the time being, he cannot talk. However, contrary to what was spread in social networks, no tubes have been put into him and no screws have been adjusted in his weakened vertebrae. While Arreaza told white lies, the extreme untruth of ex candidate for Amazonas state governor Nicia Maldonado won the prize. She reasserted that she had seen a picture of the president standing up and getting well. Such an outrageous remark led Vice-President Nicolás Maduro issue a notice. "We have not directly contacted him," he said, and promised to bring information "as soon as it is available." Well done!
Let us start by looking at what appears to be a discrepancy in figures. According to official statistics, the number of Venezuelans contracting HIV/AIDS every year amounts to 11,699; and as per Ministry of Health figures 43,805 people receive free antiretroviral medications. But Jhonatan Rodríguez, the president of ONG StopVIH, claims that these figures date back to March 2012, and that they are quoted as current figures.