Hugo Chavez, “battling for life”?

posted at 3:31 pm on March 3, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won reelection to his fourth six-year term last October, insistent that the cancer he’s been publicly batting since June of 2011 would not get in the way of his continuing presidency. Since absconding to Cuba for a cancer-treatment operation last December, however, the America-hating, Assad-backing, socialist-Marxist hasn’t been seen in public and his lieutenants’ testimonies that their leader is on the mend have gotten progressively less rosy.

Venezuelans have been getting restless with the lack of specifics surrounding their president, and there are all kinds of rumors floating around, including that Chavez might already be dead — which his supporters fiercely deny.

Senior aides and relatives of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez countered on Friday a crescendo of rumors that the socialist president may be dead from cancer, saying he was still battling for his life.

“There he is, continuing his fight, his battle, and we are sure of victory!” his brother Adan Chavez, the governor of Barinas state, told cheering supporters during an event.

Speculation about Chavez, 58, has reached fever pitch this week, fed in part by assertions from Panama’s former ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Guillermo Cochez, that the Venezuelan leader had died.

“The launching of absurd and bizarre rumors by the right wing simply discredits them and isolates them further from the people,” Chavez’s son-in-law Jorge Arreaza, who is also Venezuela’s science minister, said via Twitter.

But are the rumors really that “absurd” and “bizarre”? Fausta Wertz points out reports suggesting that Chavez’s cancer is getting even more aggressive, and even that he has been a brain-dead vegetable since the end of December and that his family has decided to take him off of life support — and the opposition is not pleased with the dishonest public representation:

Translation: We’ll see how they explain all the lies they’ve been telling about the president’s situation in the coming days. Via Reuters:

So it is hardly surprising that both sides of Venezuela’s bitter political divide, while publicly wishing Chavez a full recovery, are also feverishly preparing for a snap campaign.

“A presidential election has not been called yet, but you have to be prepared and we are ready,” said Henrique Capriles, the most likely opposition candidate.

Chavez beat Capriles when he won re-election in October, but the opposition leader has defeated two former vice presidents in regional votes and would probably face the current vice president, Nicolas Maduro, if Chavez dies or steps down.

“I’ve thrashed two vice presidents already … . Bring on the third!” he said this week.

It definitely seems like a pragmatic general consensus is finally forming that Chavez is not going to come back from this, and the respective parties are manning their battle stations without Chavez at the top of the ticket. However this plays out is going to have some mega implications for both Venezuela and all of Latin America; as the WSJ asks, what now?

Few people around the world are more keenly interested in the health of cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez than a pair of brothers in Cuba: Fidel and Raúl Castro.

Since becoming president of Venezuela in 1999, Mr. Chávez has developed an exceptionally close bond with Fidel Castro, who has served as the Venezuelan’s mentor, medical adviser and father figure. The personal relationship between the old dictator and his younger autocratic pupil has evolved into a web of economic and political ties that today bind together the destinies of the two countries. It has given the poor, almost bankrupt island enormous power over its far wealthier and more populous oil-producing neighbor. …

If the relationship between Havana and Caracas were to end or falter, many Cubans fear that the island’s threadbare economy could be pushed into depression, as in the early 1990s, when Cuba lost Soviet aid and its economy plunged by about 40%. “It could lead to a social upheaval,” said Riordan Roett, the head of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University.


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Can you imagine how amazing Cuba could be in a few years if it opened up, reformed, and started taking in tourist dollars?

MikeknaJ on March 3, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Guess those cancer drugs in cuba must be GOOD to keep that worthless slug alive? Wonder how one might tell if chavez is or is not ‘brain dead’? Hasn’t he always been ‘brain dead’?

It will not make me shed a tear when that worm kicks the bucket and may lots more just like do the same!
L

letget on March 3, 2013 at 3:39 PM

as the WSJ asks, what now?

Break out the champagne?

rbj on March 3, 2013 at 3:39 PM

If he dies, will it actually be reported?

To at least some of his supporters, he’s immortal.

22044 on March 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

well……..bye.

portlandon on March 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Francisco Franco is still dead. This is always how dictators die.

Illinidiva on March 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM

There has been a spike in “Weekend at Bernie’s” rentals in Caracas.

tdarrington on March 3, 2013 at 3:46 PM

He’s just going to be replaced by a new Commie.

thuja on March 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Francisco Franco is still dead. This is always how dictators die.

Illinidiva on March 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Was he wearing his boots?

tdarrington on March 3, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Brain dead

pretty much a given for a long time……

Just need to stop the pulse at this point…..just sayin’

RealMc on March 3, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Good riddance, the sooner the better.A shot or two of Jaegermeister is in order when it happens.

jeffinsjvca on March 3, 2013 at 3:51 PM

African – Venezuelans hardest hit. As always.

VegasRick on March 3, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Say, was he ever not brain dead?

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

If he were brain dead, how could you tell?

trigon on March 3, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Meh. Send in Michael Moore. He knows where all the good doctors are.

pat on March 3, 2013 at 3:57 PM

What exactly will change in Venezuela?

dogsoldier on March 3, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Can you imagine how amazing Cuba could be in a few years if it opened up, reformed, and started taking in tourist dollars?

MikeknaJ on March 3, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Could you imagine what the US could be like?

trigon on March 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Too Bad…

Not shedding a tear here…

Good Riddance I say.

Scrumpy on March 3, 2013 at 3:58 PM

A little tune on the way out.

Bmore on March 3, 2013 at 4:03 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela — Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Venezuela’s capital on Sunday, demanding the government provide complete details about the health of ailing President Hugo Chavez. At the same time, Chavez supporters staged their own rally in the city.

Protesters waving Venezuelan flags chanted “Tell the Truth!” as they marched through eastern Caracas. They accused government officials of keeping from the public a full account of Chavez’s condition.

“They don’t tell us the truth,” complained Mildred Moreau, a 64-year-old woman who said Chavez isn’t healthy enough to govern the country. “We feel that they are trying to trick us.”

The protest was staged a day after Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez has been receiving chemotherapy while recovering from a severe respiratory infection.

Chavez underwent cancer-related surgery on Dec. 11 in Cuba and has not been seen or heard from since, except for several “proof of life” photos released Feb. 15 before he returned to Venezuela.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/03/3264510/protesters-demand-details-of-chavezs.html#storylink=cpy

J_Crater on March 3, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Sean Penn hardest hit.

ButterflyDragon on March 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

he dies, will it actually be reported?

To at least some of his supporters, he’s immortal.

22044 on March 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

…Sean Penn maybe has an old pager?

KOOLAID2 on March 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Hell, if he’s dead, just stuff him and keep the party going. It’s not like he ever had anything intelligent to say.

GarandFan on March 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

You got your farewell tune. Bye.

Bmore on March 3, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Chavez is dead or brain dead. They are covering up.

wildcat72 on March 3, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I am beside myself with grief. [/flat, emotionless voice]

BigGator5 on March 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Bmore, photoshop this, pls.

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM

My prayers for quick recovery… for Queen Elizabeth II.

Chavez… meh. If God wants to talk to him about his sins sooner rather than later, fine with me.

Gingotts on March 3, 2013 at 4:27 PM

Huge geo political implications. He’s chummy with all of our enemies, NK, Iran, Russia (yes they are the enemy), China. They have a great opportunity if he or his followers stay in power. They can and probably already have established a strong negative presence in our hemisphere.

hip shot on March 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

What’s taking so long?

Philly on March 3, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Prior to Castro, Cuba Haida standard of living higher than that if the U.S. It was truly a paradise.

Here’s hoping Chavez’ death leads to a loss of oil-money for Cuba which leads to a loss of Castros for Cuba as well!

JadeNYU on March 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Okay, I downloaded the link, what do you want done with it?

Bmore on March 3, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Dennis Rodman better hurry up if he wants to extol Chavez’s virtues.

John the Libertarian on March 3, 2013 at 4:46 PM

May he die very, very, very soon..

mnjg on March 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM

We’ve been “Charley Brown and Lucy with the football”-ed on this so many times I kind of feel like I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

Count to 10 on March 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

If being brain-dead made you ineligible for public office, the White House, most of Congress, and several SCOTUS judges would be gone.

The Rogue Tomato on March 3, 2013 at 4:55 PM

“…the America-hating, Assad-backing, socialist-Marxist…”

“We’ll see how they explain all the lies they’ve been telling about the president’s situation in the coming days.”

Why is every story about Obowma…?

… Oh, wait!

Seven Percent Solution on March 3, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Hasta la vista Hugo. Pudrirse en el infierno.

RadClown on March 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Chavez has been DEAD FOR A WEEK OR MORE!!

The only thing is – our Obama-Slobbering Media have been too busy trying to get a shot at “Obama Slobbering Duty” to notice – not to mention that they REFUSE to report “bad news” on any of their heroes like Chavez.

williamg on March 3, 2013 at 5:07 PM

The big question… If Chavez dies, does Obama attend the funeral?

myrenovations on March 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM

well……..bye.

portlandon on March 3, 2013 at 3:41 PM

+1

cptacek on March 3, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Can he smell sulfur where he’s at?

Philly on March 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Hell, if he’s dead, just stuff him and keep the party going. It’s not like he ever had anything intelligent to say.

GarandFan on March 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

.
Could he pull-off a reenactment “El Cid”?

listens2glenn on March 3, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Good riddance.

avagreen on March 3, 2013 at 5:54 PM

…as the WSJ asks, what now?

Chavez damn near wrecked his country. Send Obama down there to finish the job.

petefrt on March 3, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Chavez is on his way out. As they would say in Venezuela, “AMF”.

petefrt on March 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Sean Penn weeps, he weeps a smarmy weep.

SparkPlug on March 3, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Well Penn is Smarmy but his weeping is real.

SparkPlug on March 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Sean Penn building a shrine to go with his whine.

SparkPlug on March 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Brain dead…I thought you guys were talking about the democrats….Hey hugo, you are about to meet your Maker….Judgment is a coming…….

crosshugger on March 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

“It could lead to a social upheaval,” said Riordan Roett, the head of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University.

On the bright side………I’m guessing it would NOT wind up in a worse government for Cubans. AND……probably NOT be Islamic terror based.

So, bring on the sunshine.

PappyD61 on March 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Here we are, all awaitin’
for Hugo’s soul to visit Satan
he’s been scum since his birth
may he rot beneath the earth

I rejoice in his demise
as his corpse is full of flies

SparkPlug on March 3, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Illinidiva on March 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM

I was going to university in Madrid when that weasel Franco kicked the bucket. I stood in line for EIGHT HOURS to see his shriveled up little body. Now, I can tell you that all of us waiting in line to pay our “respects” had the biggest party EVER! My “senora” in the pension I was living in gave everyone a drink and toasted “Viva la muerte de Franco!” One of the big jokes about his death was that a 40 ton stone (true) was placed on top of his casket so that the little bastard wouldn’t be able to come back from the dead! A joyous time was had by all.

I would imagine Venezuela could be like that. Let’s hope.

NavyMustang on March 3, 2013 at 6:28 PM

The light, Hugo.

Walk toward the light.

(Judgment awaits, maggot.)

Solaratov on March 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Leaders in the old Soviet Union all died of bad colds, don’tchaknow.

WannabeAnglican on March 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM

“brain dead”

At first I thought this was another Joe Biden thread.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on March 3, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Leaders in the old Soviet Union all died of bad colds, don’tchaknow.

WannabeAnglican on March 3, 2013 at 6:41 PM

The Soviets kept Lenin’s mummified body for decades but even they did not have the gall to claim he was still alive. How long will a brain dead Chavez rule?

KW64 on March 3, 2013 at 6:48 PM

I’m waiting for them to mount his stiffened corpse standing up on a dolly that they can run out to a balcony, with a wire attached to his hand so it will look like it was waving. Kind of a Weekend at Hugo’s kind of thing.

Tom Servo on March 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Everything he owned will be given to someone else. His money, his property.. all of which he most likely took from others anyway, is now no longer his. And he will stand before judgement and the books will be opened.

JellyToast on March 3, 2013 at 8:05 PM

A slow, painful, excruciating death is something we can ALL hope for for each and every socialist extremist.

TeaPartyNation on March 3, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Sean Penn hardest hit.

ButterflyDragon on March 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Everyone, please keep Sean Penn in your prayers.
He must really be hurting now.

dverplank on March 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Son-in-Law is Science Minister (appointed)
Brother is a state governor (elected or appointed? Anyone know?).

Marxism is a family affair.
North Korea, Cuba (pronounced “Cooooba” for those Night Court fans), China etc.

I seem to remember Sean Penn wishing that those who opposed Chavez die screaming of rectal cancer.
Looks like Penn got some of his wish, though not quite in the way he wished it. Someone get Sean a box of tissues.

Hugo, I strongly suggest you make things right with God if you are still able to do so.

Bubba Redneck on March 3, 2013 at 8:50 PM

I’m waiting for them to mount his stiffened corpse standing up on a dolly that they can run out to a balcony, with a wire attached to his hand so it will look like it was waving. Kind of a Weekend at Hugo’s kind of thing.

Tom Servo on March 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Weekend at Hugo’s!

Bubba Redneck on March 3, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Pining for the fjords?

mchristian on March 3, 2013 at 9:59 PM

He wanted to be President for Life.

Looks like he gets his wish.

Wander on March 3, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Everything he owned will be given to someone else. His money, his property.. all of which he most likely took from others anyway, is now no longer his. And he will stand before judgement and the books will be opened.

JellyToast on March 3, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Yep.

22044 on March 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Francisco Franco is still dead. This is always how dictators die.

Illinidiva on March 3, 2013 at 3:42 PM

But has it been interpreted for the hard-of-hearing yet?

Myron Falwell on March 4, 2013 at 12:32 AM

It certainly sounds as if it is one of those situations where the underlings are scared for their own fates without the Dear Leader and delay disclosing his demise while they make some contingency plans.

Chavez will only be missed by the Castros, Sean Penn, and MSNBC.

Adjoran on March 4, 2013 at 1:48 AM

Doesn’t Venezuela have the best medical treatment in the world? A liberal told me that.

azrael on March 4, 2013 at 2:03 AM

What will happen to his poor parrot?

profitsbeard on March 4, 2013 at 2:20 AM

Generalissimo Hugo Chavez is still delicate. Of course, so are corpses.

Steve Eggleston on March 4, 2013 at 7:43 AM

Food … for worms.

Missilengr on March 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Venezuela could take a page out of the book of Scientology and keep the body hidden. They hid the fact that L Ron Hubbard had been dead for years before finally revealing the fact that he was dead. After all…all you need is the right props and lighting to make his dead body sitting at his desk look lifelike. Visions of Weekend at Bernie.

logicman_1998 on March 4, 2013 at 11:27 AM