Vice President Maduro back in Venezuela, no news on ailing Chavez

CARACAS,  (Reuters) – Vice President Nicolas Maduro returned to Venezuela  yesterday after visiting Hugo Chavez in hospital in Cuba, but gave no new details on the cancer-stricken president as rumors grow about his condition.

Flanked by senior government figures including Diosdado Cabello, the head of the National Assembly, Maduro toured a coffee production plant in Caracas – the type of visit that the president made frequently before he fell ill.

Chavez, 58, has not been seen in public nor heard from in more than three weeks and officials say the socialist leader is in delicate condition after suffering complications following his fourth cancer operation in just 18 months. But they have offered very few details.

“In the last few hours we were with President Hugo Chavez, bringing him the encouragement and strength of the Venezuelan people,” Maduro said yesterday. He said Cabello, Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and Chavez’s elder brother Adan, among others, had all been with the president in the Cuban hospital.

Venezuelan bonds rallied to 2008 highs yesterday on rumors about Chavez’s health.

In scenes that recalled Chavez’s hours-long televised visits to building sites, hospitals and oil refineries, Maduro told workers at the nationalized Fama de America factory that there was no “transition” taking place in the country.

“The only transition in Venezuela is the transition to socialism,” he said in comments carried live by state television.

“It began six years ago, ordered by Comandante Hugo Chavez as chief and president, elected, re-elected and ratified, much as it pains the bourgeois hucksters and the right, who have done so much damage to our fatherland.”

Chavez’s abrupt exit from the political scene would be a huge shock for the South American OPEC nation. His oil-financed socialism has made him a hero to the poor majority but critics call him a dictator.

Christine Lagarde

IMF’s Lagarde to stand trial in Tapie case

PARIS, (Reuters) – France’s highest appeals court ruled yesterday that International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde must stand trial for her role in a 400 million euros ($440 million) state payout in 2008 to businessman Bernard Tapie.

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Sagicor moving from Barbados to Bermuda

(Barbados Nation) Sagicor Financial Corporation has officially moved its headquarters to the British oversees territory of Bermuda after more than 100 years in Barbados in its previous incarnation as The Mutual.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh

Dengue strikes T&T health minister

(Trinidad Express) Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh revealed yesteday that his recent and sudden hospitalisation was due to dengue. Deyalsingh was admitted to the Port of Spain General Hospital (POSGH) on July 13 after experiencing a two-day history of fever and fatigue.

Al Miller

Judge says pastor facilitated desires of ‘Dudus’ Coke

(Jamaica Gleaner) Parish Judge Simone Wolfe Reece said that based on evidence presented by prosecutors in the corruption trial of Al Miller, she is convinced that the clergyman’s “behaviour facilitated the desires” of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

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Cheaper power coming soon for Barbados

(Barbados Nation) Barbadians longing for cheaper electricity will start getting an ease now that Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P) has completed its ten megawatt solar farm.

Naresh Persad shows some of the dead fish that washed up Wednesday on the Mosquito Creek, La Romaine.

Aboud blames 2013 Petrotrin spill for fish kill

(Trinidad Guardian) As more dead fish continued to wash ashore along the Mosquito Creek yesterday, president of Fishermen and Friends of the Sea, Gary Aboud, put the blame squarely on Petrotrin’s shoulders.

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