Hugo Chavez DEAD? Hugo Chavez absence sparks conspiracy
Rob Houglum. We the People Saturday, April 21, 2012
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been out of the way for one week, speaking only thru Twitter messages and written statements while undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba.
The lack of any appearances on television has Venezuelans wondering about what his unusual silence might say about his struggle with cancer, and whether Chavez could be dealing with a particularly troublesome section of radiation therapy.
More than two dozen messages have appeared on Chavez's Twitter account since he left for Cuba on April 14. He has cheered on supporters with slogans such as "Let's continue building socialism!" In others, he has feted his military chiefs, told funds for local regimes and vowed to survive and win re-election in October.
But he has rarely discussed his cancer therapy.
National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello restated on Fri. that Chavez is expected to come back to Venezuela shortly.
"God prepared, next week he will be here again with us after he has finished the treatment," Cabello declared in a televised speech. He insisted that even if Chavez is away in Cuba, "he leads just the same as if he were here in Venezuela."
"The commander's presence here isn't necessary, because just the same he is the chief of the revolution," Cabello claimed.
But even some of Chavez's supporters have been announcing recently that they wonder what's going on with his healthiness.
"It makes me unhappy, but my Comandante shouldn't be as well as they say," announced Guillermo Suarez, a street seller selling sun shades. "It's already been many days that we haven't seen him, heard him."
Chavez, who has been president since 1999, has always been a consistent presence on Venezuelan television, regularly addressing the country for one or two hours most days as well as his marathon Sun. programme "Hello, President." But latterly there were no episodes of "Hello, President," and Chavez stated that he predicted his last rounds of radiation treatment, which began last month, to be rough.
Chavez hasn't debated details of the radiation-based treatments, announcing they have reduced his strength but have been going well. Last weekend, he opted not to attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, the kind of high-profile international event where he would previously have taken center of stage. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro confirmed the call on Chavez's behalf, saying he was skipping the peak on the information of his doctors.
Chavez commenced radiation therapy in Cuba in late March after receiving an operation in Feb that removed a second cancer from his pelvic region. The first was taken out last June. He has kept secret some details of his sickness, including the sort of cancer and the precise location of the tumors.
Doctors say common side effects of radiation care include fatigue and damage to areas exposed to the radiation beams , as well as revulsion and diarrhoea in cases like Chavez's in which the pelvic area is dealt with.
Chavez also was away in Havana continually last year while undergoing chemotherapy after the initial surgery.
During prior visits to Cuba, Chavez has intermittently appeared on TV, either in telephone calls or appearances with his helpers or girls. He has given the appearance of continuing to work and keeping abreast of affairs at home.
Before his latest trip to Cuba, Chavez claimed he planned to stay away longer to allow for his last two rounds of radiation-based therapy, and obtained approval from legislators to leave the country for at least five days as needed by the constitution.
During the past week, his Twitter messages have been read aloud by his Cupboard ministers at broadcasted events. At one event Fri., Chavez's advocates answered with screams of "Onward, Comandante!"
Without Chavez on air, state TV has instead shown a salsa concert, documentaries and a Mass. Such programs and newscasts are interspersed with a short segment showing a good Chavez welcoming children in slow-mo against a background of folk music.
Pro-Chavez lawmaker Dario Vivas discharged fears about Chavez keeping a lower profile, announcing the president remains absolutely in charge and is regaining his health .
"The same people who complain that he talks a lot are the ones who get panicked when they don't hear him," Vivas expounded Fri. outside an event at the National Assembly.
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Tags: Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, cancer, radiation.