A Must-Read for Venezuelan Bond Traders

A gossip columnist has the inside story on President Chávez’s health
Bocaranda's scoops on Chávez's health have sparked a bond rally Photograph by Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo

Investors left in the dark by Hugo Chávez’s battle with cancer are turning to a political gossip columnist for insight. Nelson Bocaranda, who writes a twice-weekly column in the Caracas-based El Universal newspaper, last June revealed that Chávez had cancer five days before the Venezuelan president announced that doctors in Cuba had removed a tumor from his pelvic area. On Feb. 20, the columnist blogged on Twitter that Chávez had secretly traveled to Cuba and needed to undergo further surgery. “The decision whether to operate is a difficult one,” tweeted Bocaranda. The unsourced speculation, at first denied by Chávez allies, was confirmed by the president a day later.

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