viernes, marzo 16, 2012
Los Runrunes de NELSON
Meet Nelson Bocaranda, Venezuela's unofficial information minister
The journalist has twice broken news about Hugo Chávez's illnesses – his scoops were denied then confirmed by officials
Rory Carroll in Caracas
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 15 March 2012 14.00 GMT
The radio and print journalist broke the news last year that the president had cancer. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters
A gossip columnist has been nicknamed Venezuela's unofficial information minister after revealing closely guarded secrets about President Hugo Chávez's cancer.
Nelson Bocaranda has shaken the country and infuriated the government by twice breaking dramatic news about the president's illness, making his tweets and columns more reliable, in the eyes of many, than official statements. Each scoop – he revealed the president's cancer last summer and its recurrence last month – prompted scorn and threats from officialdom only to be confirmed later by Chávez himself.
The 66-year-old radio and print journalist, reminiscent of the late British columnist Nigel Dempster, has become a must-read for politicians, voters, diplomats, investors and others with an interest in Chávez and Venezuela's presidential election.
His Runrunes ("murmurs") website, and Twitter accounts, @NelsonBocaranda and @RunRunesWeb, drip-feed information that Bocaranda says he receives from sources in Havana, where the president is being treated, and across Latin America and the US.
Bocaranda opposes Chávez – Venezuela's media is so polarised there is no middle ground – but says he wishes him a full and speedy recovery. As a journalist he has a duty to part the veil of secrecy around the president's health, he has said.
He shrugs off near-daily attacks in state media that accuse him of being gay, a clown, a drug addict, a vulture and a mercenary. "Don't worry, I survived the latest red media guerrilla onslaught," he recently told readers