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.
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.