That’s the headline today, but first, a fable,
An Ox came down to a reedy pool to drink. As he splashed heavily into the water, he crushed a young Frog into the mud. The old Frog soon missed the little one and asked his brothers and sisters what had become of him.
“A great big monster,” said one of them, “stepped on little brother with one of his huge feet!”
“Big, was he!” said the old Frog, puffing herself up. “Was he as big as this?”
“Oh, much bigger!” they cried.
The Frog puffed up still more.
“He could not have been bigger than this,” she said. But the little Frogs all declared that the monster was much, much bigger and the old Frog kept puffing herself out more and more until, all at once, she burst.
Back to the headline, Hugo Chávez Says His Cancer Is Gone, Simón Romero, writes,
President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela declared on Thursday that he had beaten cancer, less than five months after he stunned Venezuelans by revealing that he had undergone emergency surgery to remove a tumor while in seclusion in Cuba.
This is not the first time he’s said that. Back in July he was saying exactly the same thing; now he continues to assert,
“No abnormal cellular activity exists,” said Mr. Chávez in comments broadcast on state media while on a visit to western Venezuela, where he was preparing to visit a Roman Catholic shrine. “I’ve begun to exit the cave,” said the president, dressed in a green military uniform.
Despite Mr. Chávez’s announcement, which he made after a brief trip to Cuba for a checkup, mystery still shrouds his condition.
Clearly, Hugo is sick – no doubt about it. Whatever condition he has is manifesting itself in many clear ways that he can not hide. Obviously it is a severe medical condition. Rumors have been flying on the nature of the illness(es), the most recent include kidney failure and medullary aplasia.
Is it cancer?
He’s the one who’s saying it’s cancer, he’s the one saying he’s cancer-free. However, as I pointed out in the past, “cancer” is a good smoke screen (there are some 200 types of cancers), elicits compassion – we all have family/friends who have been devastated by it – and explains a multitude of therapies and absences (and trips to Cuba).
Ask yourselves, with the decades-long propaganda on “Cuba’s excellent health care”, if Cuban doctors had actually cured Chávez’s cancer, wouldn’t both regimes (Cuba’s and Venezuela’s) be parading a team of oncologists on innumerable press conferences confirming this “cure”?
He has never publicly revealed what type of cancer afflicted him. Altogether, Mr. Chávez, 57, underwent four chemotherapy treatments, including three in Cuba and one in Venezuela, according to the government.
Physically, he still looked like a changed man on Thursday, appearing bloated and with a green military cap covering a bald head. Spiritually, Mr. Chávez also seems to have acquired a more religious air. “I’m more Christian every day,” he said Thursday. “Socialism is the road to Christ.”
Hugo must think that having close ties to Iran and moving Venezuela’s gold to Caracas may bring him closer to heaven, then. Hugo also spent some time beating up on the rich and mangling Biblical parables (video in Spanish)
Salvador Navarrete is the only physician who has dared to speak about Chávez’s medical condition (emphasis added),
a prominent Venezuelan doctor who describes himself as the president’s former personal surgeon, said this week that Mr. Chávez had less than two years to live, attributing his illness to a “very aggressive” tumor in the pelvic area.
Dr. Navarrete, a former militant in Mr. Chávez’s political movement, said he drew his conclusions from recent discussions with Mr. Chávez’s family.
It’s not clear if Navarrete has treated Chávez during this “cancer” occurrence – and, from a public-relations point of view, Navarrete’s statement that Chávez has been treated for bipolar disorder may be more damaging than a “cancer” (yet another reason for Chávez to bang the “cancer” drum loudly).
What is clear is that Navarrete has had to leave, along with his family, Venezuela suddenly (apparently going to Mexico) because of the fallout. Romero reports,
agents from the Sebin, Mr. Chávez’s secret intelligence police, had appeared at Dr. Navarrete’s office this week to question him.
Navarrete’s private practice and his teaching position are ended.
The moral from the fable at the start of this post? Take everything coming out from Chávez’s mouth as so much puffery, particularly when it comes to his health.
Cross-posted in The Green Room.