Excerpts of column "Runrunes" (Rumors) of Thursday, February 14
ALAS, CUBA! Incoming messages are so contradictory, to the extent that they give cause for any kind of speculations. Take, for instance, the "anointed" Vice-President Nicolás Maduro who shows the same e-signature every time he can. Incidentally, the signature has not a single stroke of a left-handed man who has been in complete rest for two months. The same e-signature is repeated. One of them was done somewhat tilter to look different. They expect to take a picture of President Hugo Chávez as soon as possible to try to dispel existent doubts. Maduro and his partner, Solicitor General Cilia Flores, have been his most frequent visitors, together with his closest relatives, followed by Foreign Minister Elías Jaua, Minister of Petroleum and Mining Rafael Ramírez and National Assembly Speaker Diosdado Cabello. Minister of Planning and Finance Jorge Giordani did not travel to discuss the issue of devaluation. Maduro and Nelson Merentes, the president of the Central Bank of Venezuela, did it. In the light of the potential reopening of the stock market, Giordani threatened to resign and denounce him. For this reason, the BCV president looked like that in the recent press conference that was not aired on an obligatory simultaneous broadcast. There, the finance troglodyte hurled his epithets at stock brokers. Ramírez, the one with the cash, is more and more influential and taking sides with Maduro. It is untrue that Chávez has seen the broadcasting of the new satellite. His son-in-law showed up concerning Chávez's false statement on the satellite use. Most meetings are held with the Cuban presidential team. Emboldened by the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the red leaders contacted the president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) to work on a decision in case that the temporary absence will turn into absolute absence. Weird, they claim that the patient ought to wait until late May or early June to get well. They are curled up in a ball with the issue of devaluation.
ALAS, FIDEL! In keeping with the Cuban comedy, daily newspaper Granma (February 12, 2013) released a new version of the medical report about Chávez, provided by Fidel Castro on February 03, 2013. Castro's sentence where he remarks that Cuba should heal an ill Chávez has been removed. By the same token, the sentence "he is much better" in reference to the Venezuelan leader operated in Cuba on December 11, 2012, has been removed. Instead, it reads "he is recovering" and "while these have been difficult, hard days, our doctors are devoted to such task. This is all I can tell you, as the information is a right of the Bolivarian government and his relatives."
RED MISCELLANEOUS. Flights to and from Venezuela from foreign airliners will be in a limbo in the light of the government threats at limiting the frequency in case the government does not recognize the debts that linger from six months to one year. All of them due to the sale of airfares at the previously official exchange rate at VEB 4.30 per US dollar. Likewise, the Venezuelan Airliners Association (ALAV) has unsuccessfully striven to make the government recognize the debt in US dollar owed to all its domestic members on account of maintenance and spare parts.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
As late as Tuesday, February 25, there was some visible response from Gabriela Ramírez's office. Representatives of the Office of the Ombudswoman would visit independent human rights watch groups to find what happened in connection with repression of protests. That day, they visited NGO Provea. The next day, they met with the attorneys of NGO Venezuelan Criminal Forum. They pursued specific data because -they argued- no claims of human rights violations of demonstrators had been filed with the Office of the Ombudswoman.