Venezuelan adviser: "Chávez's health is only known by the Cuban regime"
In the words of Diego Arria, ex candidate in the Venezuelan opposition primaries and an advisor of the Inter American Dialogue, "any candidate from the existing administration, be it (Executive Vice-President Nicolás) Maduro or (Congress Speaker Diosdado) Cabello or anyone else, would essentially be a stand-in for (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chávez, dead or alive."
Arria thinks that this was what prevailed in the gubernatorial elections. "The official candidates did not win Chávez won for them."
According to the expert, the Cuban regime has a high profile in domestic affairs. "It is difficult to know the impact of Chávez's health on the electoral process, but it has been played extremely well by the regime with its Cuban advisors."
Arria feels that the Cuban sphere of influence spans the Venezuelan economy. "Chávez's health is only known by the Cuban regime and its doctors. I believe that it is possible that Chávez himself does not even know his own situation well. Chávez's largesse with the Venezuelan treasury is fundamental for the Cuban economy."
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.