Archive for February 23rd, 2013

A Mixed Message From Chavismo On President Chávez’ Health

February 23, 2013


The truth is that it is really hard to figure out what is going on. If there was one thing Chavismo was very good at, was at using the same script, everyone saying the same thing, even if it was an outright lie. But somehow the message with Chavez’ health has been anything but uniform in the last few days.

After Chávez return, which reportedly was engineered and orchestrated by none other than Diosdado Cabello, the message was that Chávez was well enough to travel and there were celebrations indicating that he was getting better not only from his respiratory problems, but also from the underlying ailment. The “people” celebrated” and the message remained uniform until mid week, when Minister of Information Villegas said in no uncertain terms that Chavez’ respiratory problem was getting worse, not better.

And reading today’s newspapers, you can take your pick at a story with a different opinion. First is Minister of Foreign Relations Jaua, who from Equatorial Guinea, where he went in the Presidential plane, tells us that Chavez’ respiratory deficiency has increased, but the cancer is getting better.

Meanwhile, Minister for Feeding Osorio says that Chávez is recovering in order to take back control of the country. And in the most positive note of all, purported Vice President Maduro, says that Chávez spent five hours meeting with his very selective team of coworkers, during which he communicated by writing.

But a five hour meeting sounds strenuous for someone that we were told required mechanically assisted breathing a week ago for a respiratory insufficiency which has only gotten worse, not better. Someone we have not seen in over seventy days. Someone that was reportedly brought back almost six days ago, but has been unable to take the oath of office that would give legality to a large number of things going on in the country. Chavez’ swearing would have appeared to be Maduro’s first priority (But Diosdado’s last?) to give legality to the tenuous one he has as Vice-President. To allow him to be temporary President if the respiratory insufficiency got even worse in the future.

And Chávez was well enough to hold a five hour meeting with his collaborators, but was unable to see his buddy Evo Moarles even for five minutes on Tuesday, Evo’s second trip to try to see Chávez in the last month and a half. He definitely needs something from Hugo, it must be money that Maduro apparently does not want to release.

And today to top it all off, Dilma Roussfe gets into the game saying Chávez illness is not worrisome and everything is “under control”.

You could have fooled me. Maybe she should try to visit him too.

As for myself, I have no clue what is going on. On Monday, I thought that Chávez would be sworn in speedily to straighten out the possible legal mess of the last 43 days. I had no doubt this would happen before the end of the week. And it is already Saturday and nothing has happened.

Curious, puzzling and surprising, but most of all, the message is as confusing as it has been in the last 74 days, since Chávez first went to Cuba to be operated on.

And a mixed message is the worst thing for the Chavismo faithful, who cling to the hope and the word of their leaders that Chávez will get better yet.