Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of Thursday, February 7
PATIENT. Security measures are tighter and tighter inside the Medical Surgical Research Center (Cimeq) at Havana for the persons who are in touch with the medical treating team of the reelected president of Venezuela and caudillo of the Bolivarian revolution, Commander Hugo Chávez Frías. Only his closest relatives, the Castro brothers, doctors, nurses and -on very few occasions, for few minutes- Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolás Maduro, Foreign Minister Elías Jaua and Congress Speaker Diosdado Cabello, are allowed. In order to prevent any information leak as to the patient's real health condition, additional security steps have been taken, as confided by non-Cuban doctors: 1. Medical staff should pass through a metal detector. 2. Mobile phones are banned. They must be kept in a locker outside the presidential area. 3. There is a password that changes on a daily basis. 4. The medical history of VEN-001 is hidden away. 5. Doctors have a numerical token to be entered as requested, even outside the Cimeq. 6. Said token is also used for the connection of videoconferences among Cuba, Spain, Brazil, the USA and Venezuela. What is the reason for enhanced secrecy? Just on Wednesday, February 6, former Minister Jesse Chacón informed that President Chávez "stands up already," and has met with his closest team members. He reckoned that in the short or medium term, "unless a new event occurs, Chávez will show up in the country." The previous day, Maduro and Cabello commented that there is no rush for the ill president to return. Both of them recommended that Chávez should take his time in getting well. On Wednesday, Maduro and Jaua brought him images of the virgins of El Valle and Betania. Which of them are to be trusted?
GOLD. The flights of the Venezuelan presidential aircraft can be tracked on the following website: http://www.flightradar24.com/data/airplanes/fav0001. Jaua's latest trip from Cuba to China with a stopover in Russia raised suspicion about the possibility of a gold shipment as the surety requested by both the Chinese and Russians.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
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.