As everybody knows, in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela they have a real president instead of some criminal sociopath supermarket baron. However, this president, Hugo Chavez, is not doing too well these days. Cancer. Surgery. And then more surgery and complications. Because of all this health trouble, he couldn't attend his own inauguration fiesta, after handsomely winning yet another term. But the Venezuelan people, in their vast majority supportive of the Bolivarian leader, don't mind. Neither does parliament nor the highest court.
So, what's the problem, then?
Well, Panama, of course. Our tiny toy nation does not just have a rogue president who sees Berlusconi as his role model, but we have other, lower-level wannabees and bottom feeders too. Plenty of them, actually.
Take for example Guillermo "Willy" Cochez. History of shady deals with drug money. Took donations, for his failed campaign to become mayor, from narco kingpin Steve Samos. Naturally, all this was rewarded with a gig as Panama's ambassador at the Organization of American States (OAS).
On top of all that, Mr. Cochez has now proclaimed himself to be an expert on all medical matters surrounding Hugo Chavez as well as the Venezuelan constitution. In fact, the Venezuelans are mad as hell at the narco-ambassador, because Cochez launched into a diatribe recently about Chavez' condition - without having seen him or consulted with his medical team - alleging that things were much worse than Venezuelan officials would have us believe:
"... han estado mintiendo, por ejemplo el vicepresidente Maduro dice que pudo hablar con él, que lo vio haciendo ejercicios; el presidente Chávez desde el 11 de diciembre de la operación todo indica que no se para, que tiene paralizadas las extremidades inferiores, que su columna ha sido afectada por el tumor. No puede hablar luego de la traqueotomía que le efectuaron para poder respirar, y todo parece que se fue agravando...”
On the Alba TV website they call it a ploy of the ultra-right wing to which Cochez belongs. And that is not so far off the mark.
At the beginning of the Martinelli administration, he and his underlings made it very clear that they saw themselves as a barrier against Chavez, with Martinelli even calling himself the "anti-Chavez". They set out to attack or at least boycott anything coming from the Latin American left.
And that's where Cochez was supposedly coming in. The Martinelli dream was to have Cochez replace José Miguel Insulza as Secretary-General of the OAS. Insulza is of the center-left, and had such commie ideas like governments should end poverty and stuff like that.
The Panamanian ploy failed miserably. Insulza was reelected with wide support - even Panama withdrew its alternative candidate, the narcopolitico Willy Cochez.
So the noise that Cochez is making about Chavez is indeed part of a right-wing ploy - a failed one. It's a sour-grapes ploy, a loser-takes-nothing ploy; the ravings of a representative of a political current that is dying in Latin America, and that currently only survives in the hemisphere's country clubs and in little banana republics like Panama and Honduras. The only thing Cochez - and Panama - is doing is showing what his agenda would have been had he made it as head of the OAS: spreading rumors to cause unrest and try to destabilize Venezuela. It's like all those right-wingers who kept announcing that Fidel Castro had died, years ago, hoping that people would take to the streets in la Habana. They didn't.
In Venezuela today people were in the streets alright - to support Chavez. And that's not going to change because some Panamanian losers say something in Washington.