Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) released on Thursday, December 6
MERCOSUR. From the island (Cuba) President Hugo Chávez's eagerness to travel has been confirmed, but also, for the first time, the medical advice against traveling because of any contingencies. Firstly, no matter the pressurized aircraft, a long trip could be burdensome for his physical condition. Secondly, in case of emergency, the distance to any city with a good hospital would be very long. Thirdly, his appearance, showing any deterioration in his usual condition –stamina, long speeches, running, walking, meetings with the press, just to mention a few- would be very negative for his image and bring about consequences in the country where the election campaign for state governors is taking place. All the candidates for ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) expected that he would raise their hands in local rallies. On Tuesday, he could not record an intended message due to his feeling unwell. Most serious for the patient is the pain from the pelvic area, the femur neck and the lower spinal cord. Notwithstanding, note that just as he gathered strength to arrive in October 7 he might also develop such motivation to show up on Thursday or Friday in Brasilia. Such is the red caudillo, unpredictable...
GETTING FLEECED. The Government of Argentina –fervently seconded by the Government of Venezuela- made at the plenary session of the Latin-American Parliament a request to evict the Congress of Paraguay from that body. The two countries, the one led by Cristina Kirchner and the other led by Hugo Chávez, made their official delegations endeavor to secure the success of the proposal based on the desire of the Venezuelan leader to wipe Paraguayans off the map as long as Federico Franco is in office. The result was 98 votes against, 60 in favor and 26 abstentions. "The petition to suspend the Congress of Paraguay, promoted by Argentina, was refused by the full Parlatino, met at the Panamanian capital city at the 28th Ordinary Meeting." The reaction of Argentinean and Venezuelan authorities was out of tune and rude, according to the Panamanian press.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.