Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Chavez on life support

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Anthony Bond writing at the UK’s Daily Mail reports that Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez in a coma ‘only kept alive by life support’ after cancer surgery

Sources at the hospital in Cuba where he is being treated told a Spanish newspaper he was showing ‘very weak’ vital signs, adding that doctors could decide to switch off the machines ‘at any moment’.

The thing is, the reason Chavez declined treatment anywhere other than Cuba is because he knew information would not be leaked.

Therefore, must we assume that the Cuban regime is leaking this information, even when Venezuelan VP Maduro was saying four days ago that

when he talked with the president and looked at his face, he seemed to have ‘the same strength as always.’?

Yesterday Yoani Sanchez tweeted,

I’m walking around Havana, and confirm the absence of public celebrations on the 54th anniversary of the Revolution.

The only thing we know for sure is that Uncertainty Prevails In Venezuela, Days Before Inauguration Is To Take Place.

Right now the US doesn’t even have a Secretary of State, so let’s hope someone in the State Department is looking at what the upcoming turmoil in Venezuela would mean to the USA when it comes to the drug trade, oil, Iranians, and Cuban infiltration of Venezuela’s military.

Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.

Venezuela: Those pesky rumors

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Here’s what’s known:
Hugo Chávez hasn’t tweeted since November 1st. His family and his VP are now in Cuba, supposedly at his bedside. Evo Morales had traveled to Havana but was not allowed to visit with Chavez. The Chavez government released 11 political prisoners last night.

Here’s the speculation:
A lot of people think he’s dead; others say he’s in an induced coma.

Venezuelan Dr. Jose Rafael Marquina, tweeting from Naples, Florida, has been saying that Chávez had a pulmonary embolism, but that, even when Dr. Marquina has no updates, Chávez’s “condition can not get more serious.”

Journalist Nelson Bocaranda, who’s traveling in South Africa, tweeted that the news from Havana is not good, which is why the VP and other ministers met at the hospital in Havana.

So, as you can see, we have again endless rumors about a Latin American dictator dying or not in Cuba.

As I have said multiple times about Fidel Castro, I’ll believe it once the official announcements are made, the corpse is shown to the public, and the CSI people can confirm it’s him.

Until then, the only “advantage” dictators get from that excellent free Cuban healthcare is a cloak of secrecy.

Chavez: “I do not surrender political power, I delegate it.”

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Before heading to Cuba, during what may be his last cadena, Hugo Chávez named Nicolás Maduro as his successor – but, saying, “I do not surrender political power, I delegate it.”

Chávez is back in Cuba for health reasons: Carlos Eire posts,

The Spanish newspaper ABC, which claims to have access to inside information, reports today that Hugo Chavez has entered an irreversible decline. In sum, his recent television address could very well be his last one. Kissing a crucifix on camera was most probably his final farewell.

Among the details provided:

* The cancer has not only returned to the pelvic area, but has also spread to his bones. This means that Chavez is in constant pain and taking high doses of pain-killers and sedatives.

* The sudden departure of Chavez for Cuba on November 27 was precipitated by a sharp downturn in his health, which included intense stomach pains, vomiting of blood, and loss of consciousness.

* When Chavez arrived in Havana he was in critical condition.

* The hyperbaric chamber treatments were for lesions that were caused months ago by his radiation theraphy, which have not yet healed.

* The surgery being performed today may buy him some time, but cannot save his life.

* Chavez is being cared for by a team of Russian doctors, who rushed to Havana on a chartered jet.

* Chavez was warned by his doctors over a year ago that he needed to step down from office and undergo more extensive treatment, but refused to follow their advice. At one point, near the date of the Venezuelan election, plans were made to send him to Moscow, but he refused to go. His current condition is due to “months of neglect,” according to the Russian oncologists.

* It is highly unlikely that Chavez will recover, or even be able to assume office. On most days, he cannot even get out of bed.

Additionally, doctors ruled out a new round of chemotherapy because of Chávez’s weakened condition.

Readers of this blog may recall that Cuba had to import a Spanish gastroenterologist/oncologist for Fidel; now they import a Russian oncologist for Hugo. Makes you wonder what Michael Moore would have to say about that “excellent free Cuban healthcare.”

As I have mentioned innumerable times, Chavez’s rule was entirely predicated on consolidating power on himself. The consequences are dire:

The departure of Chavez for Cuba yesterday in what could well be a no return trip is sending Venezuela into a probable tail spin of political unrest.

Chavez’ renewed absence and the very likely possibility of a Presidential election in the first quarter of 2013, places all economic decisions on hold, including devaluation, gas price increase, foreign exchange system, Sitme, bond issuance and the like.

Caracas Chronicles may have the best analogy, though:

The Chávez era has been like putting a particularly noxious internet troll in charge of the country.

With the big difference that millions of people in an entire country are affected.


Colombia: President Santos has prostate cancer

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Colombia’s President Santos has prostate cancer, surgery set for Wednesday

61 yr-old Santos says the operation will be done with local anesthesia (link in Spanish), and that he has a 97% probability of a total cure.

He was diagnosed on the day he gave his speech at the UN.

Here’s his announcement, in Spanish,

Venezuela: Chavez back on TV

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Took him a week and a half after returning from Cuba, but he got himself on TV again,

Chavez led a televised Cabinet meeting, seated at a table with aides. He spoke for more than two hours and expressed optimism about his re-election bid in the Oct. 7 presidential election.

Chavez said he plans to formally sign up as a candidate as required early next month, and he suggested his opponent, state governor Henrique Capriles, isn’t at his level.

“The defeat we’re going to give him is without precedent,” Chavez said, likening it to a lopsided boxing match.

Hugo’s not up to date on his sports trivia, since Muhammad Ali changed his name nearly fifty years ago, but who’s counting?

“It’s as if Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) were to go out to box with Navarro or with me,” Chavez said, referring to Hector Navarro, his government’s electricity minister.

He also took the opportunity to ramble against the Yankee empire (maybe he’s a Brooklyn Dodgers guy?), the madness of the opposition, Venezuelan baseball players, and on and on. Here’s a clip in Spanish, not worth wasting my valuable time translating,

From the video, however, one can observe that he’s lost a lot of weight, but is still bloated. Additionally, even when he talked for two hours, the cameras only rolled after he was seated, instead of taking the opportunity to show him arriving on foot.

As Bocaranda says, there’s a “Please Do Not Disturb” sign on any information concerning Chavez’s health.

Chavez heading back to Cuba

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Contradicting reports that he was traveling to Brazil for emergency medical treatment, after begging God for life, Chavez announced last night in a telephone interview that he’s heading back to Cuba tonight for more “radiation therapy

He said the daily radiation treatments in Havana would help him continue what he calls a “battle for health and for life”.

He has only been in Venezuela since early Thursday morning, but must go back tonight?

According to Brazilian journalist Merval Pereira, the Venezuelan government wanted to vacate two floors of the Hospital Sírio e Libanês in Sao Paulo, install the Venezuelan army in charge of clearing all visitors to the hospital, and demanded a news blackout regarding medical updates.

Pereira says Chavez may be suffering of colon-rectal cancer with tumors in the colon, rectum and appendix, but this diagnosis is based on bits of information.

Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda reported yesterday that Chavez suffered burns from his latest radiation treatment, which has not been as on-target as it would have been in countries with state-of-the-art equipment, unlike Cuba. Chavez may have to undergo additional exploratory surgery.

In between cries to the divinity, Hugo didn’t waste time, and accused the USA of using terrorism to try to topple Syria’s Assad,

“I had been trying to talk with him for several days,” Chavez said of Assad, adding that the Syrian leader gave him a detailed rundown of the situation there during a half-hour call.

“Bashar told me that the political plans continue forward and that the security situation is improving, and he hopes and he’s sure … and let’s hope it’s the case … that with less bloodshed in the coming days, soon that brother Arab nation will be totally under control and will return to normality,” Chavez said.

Chavez, who has long had an antagonistic relationship with the U.S. ­government, has repeatedly accused Washington of trying to stir up violence in Syria similar to the fighting in Libya that led to the ouster and killing of his ally Muammar Gadhafi.

“The pressure by the Yankee empire and its allies continues, trying to use arms to topple President Bashar Assad, using terrorism,” Chavez said, adding that such actions were responsible for the violence in Syria.

Chavez has been selling Syria diesel fuel.

Cross-posted at Real Clear World.

Columnist Tweaks Venezuela’s Leader

Breaking: Chavez medical emergency?

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Hugo Chavez en Route to Brazilian Hospital with Complications?

Brazilian media is reporting that ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will make an emergency trip to Brazil after allegedly suffering intestinal burns during his radiation treatment in Cuba.
Chávez, who in June of last year revealed that Cuban doctors had removed a cancerous tumor from his abdominal region, has been going back-and-forth from the island nation for treatment. The Associated Press reported earlier on Thursday that the Venezuelan leader had returned to his country on Wednesday night from radiation treatment in Cuba.

He may be headed to the hospital Sirio e Libanês in Sao Paulo, where Dilma Rouseff, Lula, and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo have been treated for cancer.

Brazilian journalist Merval Pereira says that the emergency trip is being spun by the Venezuelan government as a visit to Lula. Pereira has spoken to doctors at the hospital who so far have made no preparations for Chavez’s arrival, but allow that Chavez could be admitted for tests. Pereira also says that there is a big fight going on between chavistas as to whether Chavez should travel or not, due to security and secrecy issues.

Just yesterday Chavez was begging God to let him live longer in front of a very small audience (my translation. If you use it, please credit me and link to this posts)

“Dame tu corona, Cristo. Dámela que yo sangro, dame tu cruz, cien cruces, que yo la llevo, pero dame vida. No me lleves todavía, dame tus espinas, dame tu sangre, que yo estoy dispuesto a llevarla pero con vida, Cristo, mi señor. Amén.”

Give me your crown, Christ. Give it to me as I bleed, a hundred crosses, that I carry it, but give me life. Don’t take me away yet, give me your thorns, give me your blood, that I am willing to carry it, but with life, Christ, my lord. Amen.

Cross-posted at Real Clear World.

Linked by Babalu. Thanks!

How does Chavez’s surgery affect the election?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Juan Forero addresses the question, following Chávez’s announcement that he’s having surgery in Cuba, and a subsequent statement that,

“If it turns out to be malignant, well, that opens a new phase of radiation therapy that would be more focused,” Chavez said. “That will stop me, stop me, of course.”

New surgery for Venezuela’s Chavez throws election scenario into turmoil

This time, his opponent is a popular governor, Henrique Capriles, who has shown himself to be adept on the campaign trail. At just 39, Capriles presents an image of youth and vigor that stands in increasing contrast to the picture of a president hobbled by serious illness.

On Feb. 12, more than 3 million voters turned out to overwhelmingly select Capriles as the opposition’s candidate for the October elections from a field of anti-Chavez foes. His emergence has flustered Chavez, who has referred to Capriles as “a low-life pig” and “the loser” and depicted him as a pawn of the United States.

“The contrast between the two couldn’t be more dramatic: a young, telegenic Capriles against Chavez, who looks worse all the time,” Arnson said. “This can only help the opposition on the media front.”

The president’s condition also highlights the inherent weakness of a government in which Chavez’s power is unrestricted and uncontested, said Demetrio Boersner, a political analyst in Caracas. “All the powers are concentrated in his hands, so if he’s out, then the whole system starts to weaken,” Boersner said.

Chavez is scheduled to announce the date of the surgery today, as he heads for Cuba… which is the only country in the hemisphere (and possibly the world) that can guarantee secrecy, it being an island-prison.


Chavez: “The test in Havana found a lesion in the same spot where the other tumor was removed one year ago”

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Hugo Chavez Needs Surgery after Finding New Lesion during Trip to Cuba

The rumors about Chávez’s health began spreading when Nelson Bocaranda, a columnist at Venezuelan daily El Universal, posted an article to his blog and several tweets saying the president’s health had deteriorated and he had traveled to Havana to assess whether he needed surgery. Bocaranda based the reporting on unnamed sources in Miami and Cuba.

The report contradicted official accounts of Chávez’s health. The Venezuelan president has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy since his diagnosis in June and he has said since October that he is free of cancer.

Bocaranda added other colorful details. Chávez relies on steroids to maintain his strength and the appearance of good health as the campaign for the Venezuelan presidency against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles heats up, according to Bocaranda, who does not cite sources for the allegation.


Bocaranda’s blog post wasn’t the only report of Chávez’s supposed deteriorating health to appear over the weekend.

Merval Pereira, a columnist with Brazil’s O Globo, reported on Friday that Chávez’s cancer had metastasized and doctors expected it to spread to his liver. Pereira based the report on unnamed Brazilian doctors who he said had reviewed Chávez’s medical records.

In addition to the above,

unconfirmed reports from numerous sources are indicating that Chavez is suffering from a Stage IV Sigmoid Duke C adenocarcinoma, and cannot undergo chemotherapy because of an abscess in the tumor.

While Venezuelan bloggers speculated on whether the reporters were engaged in promoting rumors, Chávez himself has now come forward with that information.

You can hear him say it (in Spanish),

The next surgery he’s facing must be major surgery or he would not have released this news to the public.

Let’s hope the USA administration has contingency plans in case of Hugo’s demise.


Will that “free Cuban healthcare” do Chavez in?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

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.