Covering the Hugo Death Watch beat is like navigating a sea of contradictions:
On the one hand, El Nuevo Herald has the headline (in Spanish), “Chavez’s doctors have ceased treatment, sources say” (which I had posted about in last week’s Carnival), and the Chicago Tribune says that Talk of Chavez cancer downturn rattles Venezuela, while Debt traders are pushing up the bonds of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA as they envision a nation without President Hugo Chavez that may free the oil producer from a tax rate as high as 95 percent.
On the other hand, Hugo broke a week-long silence on Monday to deny he had left Venezuela rudderless during cancer treatment in Cuba and to promise a resounding re-election win in October while railing against the bourgeoisie (video in Spanish), the CIA and the opposition,
The interesting thing is that he did this over the phone, Lord knows when, instead of going on TV.
Very telling, since he hogged thousands of airtime on TV stations over the years.
Interestingly, Nelson Bocaranda’s page, Runrunes, is down due to high traffic as of the writing of this post. As you may recall, Bocaranda’s the journalist who has relentlessly – and accurately – covered Chavez’s medical issues.
Maybe those debt traders are checking him out.
Bocaranda’s back up, and reports that not only has Hugo found Jesus, he’s also having Santería animal sacrifices of roosters and lambs (who knew they had lambs in Cuba?!), but is no longer receiving either chemo or radiation.
Assuming that the average price for Brent over the 4 year period is $100 that China has loaned PDVSA the $40 Billion in exchange for crude oil that amounts to 2 tanker loads per month (considering that they have to pass through the Panama Canal at only 400,000 bbls per shipment). China could only take Venezuelan crude and very large discount of over $30 per barrel due cost of freight in additional to normal discount for Venezuelan crude which is far to heavy for the vast majority of refneries to process other than to blend with light crude for feedstock or to make asphalt with.