Hugo Chavez Battles for Life in Cuba

January 4, 2013 | Print Print |

By Circles Robinson

HT archives photo of an athletic Hugo Chavez by Caridad.

HAVANA TIMES — Twenty four days since his last operation to extract cancerous cells, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez “has the same fighting spirit, of strength, with his usual energy and confidence,” said VP Nicolas Maduro upon returning from Cuba to the South American country on Thursday.

Out of the public eye since the December 11th operation in Havana, with no recorded messages broadcast, Chavez has suffered a setback in his recovery process “having confronted complications as a result of a serious lung infection,” informed the Venezuelan government on Friday.

“The infection has caused a situation of breathing insufficiency that has required Chavez maintain a strict medical treatment,” added the press release that did not state whether Chavez was using any life support equipment.

No mention has been made by the Venezuelan authorities as to the success of the operation in Chavez’ battle against cancer or the course of action to follow when the respiratory crisis is resolved.

“The government of Venezuela reiterates its confidence in Chavez’ medical team, which maintains an ongoing monitoring of the evolution of the patient and has acted with the utmost thoroughness with each difficulty presented,” said the press statement.

Maduro sharply criticized the Venezuelan opposition for their speculation as to the true state of Chavez’ health calling it a right-wing necrophilia, “when they long for a disastrous announcement.”

He noted that Chavez’s vital signs are stable despite the respiratory problems “that have affected him seriously”.

 


What's your opinion?

  • Griffin

    Maduro has a macabre sense of humour in calling the Venezuelan opposition calls for full information, “right wing necrophillia”. Please recall Hugo Chavez’s midnight communion with the dead when he openned Simon Bolivar’s grave, a ghoulish scene broadcasted on Venezuelan television, a grotesque form of “left wing populist necrophillia” . So please drop the false pretense of “respect for the ill” which serves only those who wish to evade the truth.

    Unless and until Maduro and the Cuban authorities allow representatives from themVenezuelan opposition and media to visit Chavez the only rational conclusion is that they are hiding something. Either Chavez is in a coma or he’s dead. Either way, Chavez is unfit to be sworn in as president. The Venezuelan constitution requires a fresh election be heals within 30 days. Is that the outcome Maduro and the Cubans are so desperate to avoid with this ghoulish puppet show?

    • Luis

      Don’t be a hypocrite. Both you and Moses are the necrophiles here, long awaiting for the deaths of Chavez and Fidel.

      • Moses

        Wrong again. If I am “obsessed” about anything it is with the possibility that Cubans may someday be able to enjoy at least the same political freedoms that you and I have. I could not care less about Fidel or Chavez beyond the roles they play which impide that hope I have for Cuba. By the way, Starbuck’s is about to open a store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Since Vietnam is the socialist model currently being emulated by the economic planners in Cuba, a Starbucks in Havana can’t be far behind. My coffee invitation remains open to you.

        • Luis

          Do you think those who have observed the commentaries in HT since you came in are simply idiots? Do you want me and everybody to ‘forget’ how much you said about ‘Fidel meeting at the Pearly Gates’ and all? Please.

  • Moses

    My Cuban in-laws are genuinely saddened that Chavez appears near death. They see Chavez as a good man who is a friend and patron of Cuba. My mother-in-law served a two-year engineering mission in Venezuela in 2004 and is convinced that the CIA had something to do with Chavez getting cancer. Against this backdrop, it comes as no surprise that Maduro and the Chavez-controlled media is able to obcure the truth about Chavez’ condition without much resistance. Cubans and Venezuelans do not want to hear bad news! There is another interesting element here. Cubans have been told that Cuban cancer treatment is the best in the world, certainly the best in latin america and the third world. Should Chavez die from his cancer and it appears he will, the famed Cuban medical staff will have to accept the blame.

    • Griffin

      Moses,

      There was a report several months ago that the Cuban doctors botched the radiation treatment. They had neglected to tattoo the targeted zones and because of that error missed the tumors with the radiation beam. The efficacy of radiation treatment is based on delivering the ionizing radiation to the tumors and avoiding the surrounding tissues. To compensate for the inaccurate targeting, the doctors increased the duration of the treatments, but this resulted in burns on healthy tissue. These burns and destroyed tissues then became infected. This series of screw-ups required the intervention of medical specialists from Spain, Russia an Brazil.

      How much of all this is true is unknown. But what is certain is that Chavez is in Havana now to help facilitate a smooth transfer of power to a pro-Cuba successor. The Castro regime is not willing to risk losing their oil lifeline.

  • To Moses

    To Moses:

    Sometimes doctors do everything they can do and patients still die because their diseases are severe and advanced.

    Without knowing the details don’t blame the doctors.

    I don’t like Chavez and I don’t like the Cuban regime, but your criticism of doctors is uninformed.

    Respectfully yours.

    • Moses

      This is weird. I feel like I am writing to myself. I apologize if I did not express myself more clearly. I DO NOT blame the Cuban doctors. I believe they WILL BE BLAMED given the rumors already swirling regarding the criticisms that they permitted Chavez to use and abuse steroids to maintain a public image of strength at the peril of his recuperation. I was not aware of the other accusation expressed by Griffin above. Finally, the strategy to maintain secret the details of his cancer have only served as fodder for the rumor mills and will only encourage those inclined to engage in a blame game should he die from this cancer.

  • Michael N. Landis

    Why all this bootless speculation?! I hope he recovers. If he succumbs at his relatively young age it will be a tragedy, like that of another great populist who died before her time–Eva Peron! Still, if he succumbs, he will have led an outstanding life, redistributing his country’s great natural wealth to most of its citizens, so that they might have a better life, rather than to the 1% who, before Pres. Chavez, for the most part, ignored the plight of their compatriots.

    • Griffin

      The problem with redistributive programmes like that of Chavez is that in the process of redistributing the confiscated wealth, they destroy the economy. All the people end up sharing is poverty. Except of course, for the Boligarchs & the Bolibourgeoisie, the clique of party officials and military officers around Chavez who have grown rich by making sure a good deal of the “redistribution” flows into their pockets.

      http://schott.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/boligarchs-the-bolibourgeoisie/

  • Rogelio

    I happen to work at the radiotherapy department where Chavez got his treatment in Havana. I was not personally involved in that, however, as only a few of the most trusted, skilled and experienced physicians and physicists were in. One thing I can garantee: those guys, friends of mine, usually do not make mistakes. In a case like this, you can bet, they did just perfect. If some thing went wrong, it was not their fault. And forgetting tatoos for targetting the zone of the radiation fields is a mistake so big, that not even a beginner would make. It is also a mistake that can not go unnoticed more than one day, as in the second time the technician would find it and report it.

  • hcduley

    The bottom line is that he may die. I feel sorry for him even though I don’t necessarilly like him. He must be afraid of the future because I have the same disease and it looks like it is going to take me out.

  • Yesme

    Who cares!