Will that “free Cuban healthcare” do Chavez in?

Roger Noriega poses the question,
Botched Cuban care and Chávez’s deceit may have worsened the Venezuelan’s cancer

Fidel Castro’s vastly over-rated healthcare system may finally have achieved something noteworthy: killing Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez. According to an investigative report authored by Leonardo Coutinho and Duda Teixeira that appeared in Brazil’s premier newsmagazine Veja on Saturday (November 19), Cuban doctors at that country’s premier medical facility bungled the initial treatment of Chávez’s prostate cancer and may have rushed him to an early grave.

The Brazilian report, which quotes several of that country’s cancer specialists and urologists, delivers a damning assessment of the Cuban care:

[In July 2011] Chavez was hospitalized in Havana [at the Center for Medical and Surgical Research (CIMEQ)] to remove the prostate tumor. Surgery, not recommended for cases of neoplasia in this gland with metastasis, may have been a very serious medical error that accelerated the spread of cancer. A second surgery was carried out…. From that moment on, European physicians with imported equipment directed the therapy. The Cubans were relegated to the role of observers. [Emphasis added]

The Veja report cites Brazilian medical specialists to describe the substandard equipment and treatment at CIMEQ, a facility reserved for the dictatorship’s elite and dollar-paying tourists.

A second fatal decision was self-inflicted. Chávez must have known from the beginning that his cancer was terminal, because he opted to continue receiving treatment in Cuba in order to keep his country in the dark about his true condition. For example, Veja reveals for the first time that foreign minister Nicolas Maduro traveled to Brazil in early July to consult with that country’s leading oncologists at the Sîrio-Lebanese Hospital of São Paulo. Rather than transfer to that renowned Brazilian facility, where the current and previous presidents of Brazil have been treated for cancer, Chávez preferred to risk care in Cuba to keep his people from knowing the truth.

Babalu has more.

Venezuelan Presidency/Zuma Press

The Wall Street Journal: Reports of Chávez’s Illness Cloud Campaign

A Nov. 1 report from a European intelligence agency says medical tests show a “clear and significant growth of cancerous cells in the patient’s marrow,” according to a copy of the report viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Doctors treating Mr. Chávez privately concluded that “the spread of the disease is now accelerating,” the report said. Reports by another intelligence agency drew the same conclusion.

This is worth noting, not only for the repercussions in Venezuela, but also for the hemisphere. Chavez’s regime is

increasingly sustained by China, Cuba, drug-trafficking generals, and a paramilitary militia

carrying enormous influence in Latin America, disproportionate for a country of its size. If the US ignores what is already taking place, the upcoming power struggle will harm US interests regarding our national security and economic standing.


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