HAVANA TIMES — Obviously the health of Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias has to be more delicate than what is being said. This can be deduced from the absence of photos of the recovery of the populist leader. That is why the Venezuelan opposition is speculating about this in maintaining their media campaign against the president.
In response, pro-Chavez leaders and supporters inside and outside of Venezuela are trying to counter these maneuvers with all sorts of messages, though — between the lines — they allude to the possibly of the approaching death of the “president-commander,” as he is usually called.
In this regard, Cuba is playing a prominent role, as is evident in the speeches of Cuba’s leaders when they refer to him.
A good example of this was in the words of Council of Ministers vice president Miguel Diaz-Canel this past Thursday. He spoke before a mass assembly of Chavez supporters outside the Miraflores Palace in Caracas.
With the characteristic hubris that we’ve become accustomed to, Diaz-Canel gave one of those speeches typical of Cuban officials. In it, he made statements such as:
“The governments of Latin America and Caribbean countries will not allow new destabilizing attempts in the region, and specifically in Venezuela (…) Cuba once again reaffirms its unyielding conviction that any attack by the empire against Venezuela will be interpreted and responded to by our people as if it were against our own nation.”
Under the slogan “In Latin America, today we are all Chavez,” he sought by every means for the Venezuelan people to prevent the rise to power by the opposition forces under any conditions, which would obviously mean the end to the significant economic aid that Cuba receives from Venezuela.
Without the shipments of Venezuelan oil or the revenues Cuba receives from the export of professional services in health care, education and sports, the island would again find itself in a difficult situation, like in those harsh years of the Special Period crisis.
Therefore masses, vigils, Catholic and Santeria prayers, sermons, pleas, promises and candles are the least the Cuban government can do. It is putting its pragmatic materialism to one side and turning to all kinds of religious appeals, asking God and divine providence for the health for its unconditional ally. Amen.