Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of Tuesday, January 22
As confessed by Maduro to senior government authorities, President Chávez told him that he did not want the same fate as (ex Venezuelan President) Cipriano Castro, who died abroad, in Puerto Rico
THE PATIENT. His very serious condition remains stable, tending to somewhat improve, all things considered. Hence there is growing possibility of bringing him to Caracas' Military Hospital and continuing there the same treatment. At the Cuban ICU, no more than three people are allowed to come in the room of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Therefore, it is untrue that any meetings with more people have been held there. The three Venezuelan doctors and the four Brazilian doctors have discouraged moving him, due to contingencies such as movement and pressure in the plane to be used. In the meantime, arrangements are being made. The patient has avowed to his relatives and Vice-President Nicolás Maduro that he would rather come to his country to face his reality -either a miraculous, much prayed for, recovery or his final deterioration. As confessed by Maduro to senior government authorities, President Chávez told him that he did not want the same fate as (ex Venezuelan President) Cipriano Castro, who died abroad, in Puerto Rico. Anyhow, according to Maduro, the president continues making a supreme effort to live. It would be great for all of us for him to get well, at least to be sworn in and appoint his Vice-President Maduro for this new presidential term in office. Afterwards, he could step down and call election, as set forth in the Constitution. The eagerness of the small group that leads the country is based on the anguish, doubts and questions made known by many leaders and governments that are friends with the Bolivarian government. From Cubans to Bolivians, to those who have tremendous business with Venezuela, namely the pragmatic China, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil.
MOVEMENTS. The visit of Colombian Foreign Minister María Ángela Holguín had a background additional to the reason made known to improve relations with Venezuela and endorse the new Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Elías Jaua, in his first public event. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, cognizant of Chávez's clout on the leaders of the FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces), asked for Maduro's and Jaua's support so that two of the toughest stockholders in the peace talks held in Cuba, and the main negotiators appointed by Timochenko, the supreme chief of the FARC, namely: Luciano Martín Arango, a.k.a. Iván Márquez, and Bertulfo Álvarez, a.k.a. Jesús Santrich, manage to reach an agreement, now that the rebels ended their unilateral ceasefire. Roy Chaderton, the Venezuelan Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) and a party to the peace talks in the name of Venezuela, traveled to Cuba on Monday, January 21. Both Maduro and Jaua gave him instructions for such purpose. Likewise, all of a sudden, Jaua himself headed for the island to have a talk with Raúl Castro and the guerrilla members. The main issue tackled with Castro was the next meeting in Chile of the CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States).
The news marked an ominous beginning, health-wise, of the year 2015: the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit at Hospital Clínico Universitario, one of the country's largest teaching hospitals, was to close completely on January 5 due to lack of medicines and surgical supplies. All patients who were waiting to be operated on were sent home. More than 10 patients waiting for surgery reportedly died there from lack of basic medical supplies in the two months prior to the closure.