In which the “Chávez has cancer” rumor mill grinds to a halt, once and for all

You know something? When the president of Paraguay (above, at right) says something about Chavecito, I’m much more likely to believe him than the English-language whore media. Why? Well, for starters, he actually knows the man better than they do. And for another, he’s no media whore. Thirdly, he’s had cancer himself (and been cured of it, happily), so he knows the signs and symptoms. He’s also, amusingly, managed to do a helluva lot more fact-checking of the story than THEY have:

The president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, assured on Monday that his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chávez, was not suffering any grave illness, and is in a good state of health. This after various media of the opposition spread the rumor that the Venezuelan leader has cancer.

“I’m surprised at the headlines of the newspapers regarding Chávez, so I tried to contact him,” said Lugo, after a tour of the installations of the South American Soccer Federation (Conmebol), located in the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital, Asunción.

The Paraguayan president, who not long ago underwent treatment for lymphatic cancer for some ten months, commented that “they told me that he’s in very good health, and is recuperating” in a hospital in the Cuban capital, Havana.

For his part, the Venezuelan minister of communications and information, Andrés Izarra, considered that many media outlets have distorted and told lies regarding the health of President Chávez.

“We’ve seen the quantity of manipulations, distortions, and lies which have been told about the situation of the President, the latest being that of the Miami Herald,” said Izarra in an interview with a local radio station.

Izarra’s remarks concern a story in El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish-language counterpart of the Miami Herald, which is openly opposed to the Venezuelan government. The story, published last Saturday, was based on supposed reports by US intelligence that Chávez “is in a critical condition, not grave, but critical, complicated.”

The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Fernando Soto Rojas, denied on Sunday that the president has cancer.

“I will be the first to tell it to the country: Chávez is recuperating, and we will have him back here, thank God, by July 5,” said Soto, referring to the Venezuelan independence day, in a speech in Aragua state.

Soto Rojas explained that Chávez’s condition is exactly that which has been reported: he is recovering well from a surgical intervention for a pelvic abscess, which was discovered during his stay in Havana, Cuba, during a tour of Latin America.

On June 10, the Venezuelan foreign minister, Nicolás Maduro, speaking from Cuba, read a communiqué informing of the president’s operation in Havana.

Since that day, and despite repeated explanations by spokespersons for the government, including Chávez himself, Venezuelan and international media have raised a campaign of speculation over his state of health.

Translation mine.

They’re not kidding. Look at this screen grab I took just now:

The media are all fucking NUTS, kiddies.

And they’re also wasting their time in a major way, because no matter what US “intelligence” operatives have to say (and what WOULD they have to say from Havana, since they’re not privy to the conversations of the president and his doctors?), this “he’s dead/he has prostate cancer/he’s dying” story doesn’t pass the most basic of sniff tests.

If anyone in the whore media were to do their homework on the nature of prostate cancer, they’d find out a number of inconvenient facts that would throw their neat little narrative into utter disarray:

Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40.

People who are at higher risk include:

*African-American men, who are also likely to develop cancer at every age
*Men who are older than 60
*Men who have a father or brother with prostate cancer

Other people at risk include:

*Men exposed to agent orange exposure
*Men who abuse alcohol
*Farmers
*Men who eat a diet high in fat, especially animal fat
*Tire plant workers
*Painters
*Men who have been exposed to cadmium

Hugo Chávez doesn’t fit this profile. He is very healthy himself, as a general rule. He has no family history of the disease (his dad is still fit and healthy, as are all his brothers), he doesn’t drink much alcohol, and he doesn’t work in any of the occupations that are considered risk factors. He is under 60, which is probably the most important factor of all.

And here’s why I say that: Having lost a grandfather to this disease myself, I know the nature of the beast. Prostate cancer doesn’t affect the young or the middle-aged. It is an old man’s disease. In fact, a lot more old men die with this cancer than of it; it is very slow-growing, and when discovered in time, it is highly curable. Nobody dies a sudden, painful death of it. It is easily and readily tracked over the years as it develops. My grandfather had it in his sixties, was operated on, underwent regular testing, and lived another fifteen years in relatively good health before the cancer returned, metastasized to his spine, and eventually killed him in March 1987. He was, at the time, just a few days shy of his 79th birthday.

Now: We know that Chavecito, as a head of state, must have the best healthcare available to any citizen of Venezuela. He probably receives regular monitoring from his personal physician, including PSA testing and digital prostate exams. Are we to believe, as the media speculators would have us do, that he just “suddenly” came down with a deadly case of prostate cancer that forced him to fly to Havana…a disease easily detected by routine testing, easily treated and cured if detected early, and generally afflicting men several years older than himself, with a family history and/or professional risk factors at play?

Pee-yew, what is that smell? Kind of like…dead red herring? Oh, surely not the media’s usual little shark-feeding frenzy where a certain uppity brown Venezuelan is concerned?

Nahhh…couldn’t be.

Now: The official version is that Chavecito came down with a pelvic abscess that required emergency surgery while he was on the last leg of his tour, in Havana. Let’s take a look at what that means:

A pelvic abscess is a collection of pus in the pelvis or lower abdomen caused by infection, appendicitis, a burst ulcer, or complications after surgery. An abscess usually appears 2-3 weeks after the initial infection or complication and can become mulitiple abscesses if left untreated. Sometimes healthcare providers do not recommend treatment until until it has ‘ripened’ enough to be easily opened and drained.

Pelvic Abscess: The Operation

A 3-inch incision is made in the stomach close to the pelvic abscess. The cut is deepened until the surgeon reaches the abscess. The pus is drained, the area is washed out with antibiotics, and a rubber drainage tube is placed to drain any additional pus. The tube remains in place until x-rays confirm that the abscess space is becoming smaller. It is shortened bit by bit and the wound dries and heals within 5-6 days.

Pelvic Abscess: Alternatives

Do not ignore a pelvic abscess as it may drain through your skin. It can also drain into organs, such as the bowels, and spread inside the stomach. If the liquid pus in the abscess is not very thick, the healthcare provider may place a drainage tube inside without surgery. A small area on top of the abscess is numbed with local anesthesia, and a tube is directed inside, using imaging technology as a guide.

Pelvic Abscess: Post-surgery

Most patients are able to walk within 24 hours after pelvic abscess surgery, however, they often experience some discomfort for several days. Sometimes the drainage tube needs to stay in place for 2 weeks. Patients can usually bathe normally, so long as the tube and incision area are kept dry. Driving is often possible within 3-4 weeks, assuming no discomfort or pain occurs.

All of this seems to tally rather nicely with the length of time Chavecito has been in hospital. He’s been in for more than two weeks now. During that time, no doubt the Cuban doctors have been monitoring his drainage tube and making sure he gets intravenous antibiotics, all of which is crucial to a full recovery. You can’t rush a thing like this. A pelvic abscess not properly cured can lead to peritonitis (for all you trivia buffs out there, that’s the disease that killed Harry Houdini.)

Gee…could that be the “serious, but not grave” condition the so-called intelligence reports were talking about? Is this what’s fueling the insane flurry of speculation as to who’ll succeed Chavecito should he take a turn for the worse?

Hmmm…could be!

Now, as for the question of succession: The Bolivarian constitution of Venezuela lays that all out plain and clear. We already saw that much in The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. In 2002, when the president’s life hung in the balance for real, he was temporarily succeeded by his then vice-president, Diosdado Cabello, and in the event that anything should have happened to him, the then national assembly president, William Lara, would have taken over.

The same pattern pertains now. Should Chavecito die or become incapacitated while in office, the vice-president will be sworn in to replace him. Currently, that’s Elías Jaua. Should he also be unable to govern, the succession then falls to the national assembly president — Fernando Soto Rojas. This means that regardless of what happens to Chavecito, the PSUV, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, is still in charge. In other words: The oppos are shit out of luck, even with their imagined best-case scenario — the death of Chávez — coming true. They will NEVER be elected to anything resembling a parliamentary majority.

But that imaginary best-case scenario is not gonna happen, because Chavecito isn’t dead, or dying, or anywhere near it. And he certainly doesn’t have prostate cancer, much less a critical, terminal stage of it. He’s getting the best care Cuban doctors can give (and they are as good as any medicos you’ll find anywhere on Earth). And, oh yeah: he’s receiving some rather prominent friends in his hospital room, too:

Gee…for someone allegedly terminal with a wasting disease like cancer, he sure looks plump and healthy, does he not? And gee, don’t Fidel and Raúl Castro look strangely unworried?

So much for that stupid rumor. I wonder what dumbassery the media will cook up for us next. Whatever it is, I’m not eating it…I don’t want to end up with an abscess in MY gut, too.

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This entry was posted in Crapagandarati, Cuba, Libre (de los Yanquis), Good to Know, Huguito Chavecito, Law-Law Land, Paraguay, Uruguay, She Blinded Me With Science, Spooks. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to In which the “Chávez has cancer” rumor mill grinds to a halt, once and for all

  1. dz alexander says:

    From today’s Nation wikileaks blog —

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/161757/wikileaks-news-views-blog-thursday-june-30
    10:50 From my associate Kevin Donohue: As speculation continues about Venezauelan President Hugo Chavez’s health,The Guardian notes that, “among the latest revelations to emerge from WikiLeaks is that, in 2002, as plotters in Venezuela’s capital Caracas were liaising with the US authorities about the conspiracy to topple President Hugo Chávez, the leaders of the Catholic church in that country were defying the instruction of Pope John Paul II to desist from having anything to do with the coup d’état. Instead they threw their lot in with Pedro Carmona, the extremist rightwing businessman, who took office for less than 48 hours during a brief military coup in April 2002.” This is the latest in a series of revelations about tensions between the Vatican and an increasingly recalcitrant Latin American Catholic Church.

    • Sabina Becker says:

      I’m not surprised at that. The cardinals in Venezuela are openly allied with the opposition, in defiance of their required official neutrality, and various Venezuelan media critics have pointed as much out. Their rhetoric is also a dead giveaway. The cardinals are well-known to toady to “high” society, and that means adopting the political positions of the oligarchs, particularly the most devout and conservative ones, and pretending that Chávez — a sincere Catholic himself — is some kind of Castro-communist atheist. It makes for very ridiculous and blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Venezuelan ecclesiastical conference.

      It’s clear to me that the Vatican is, however unofficially, allied with the oligarchies of countries all over the world, and its influence on foreign governments is all too obvious in any case. Let’s not forget that they gave their stamp of approval to Hitler and Mussolini for years, and even in death, the dictators were never excommunicated — probably because they were in line with the Vatican’s conservative (and often blatantly antisemitic) political lines. Even here, in Canada, it’s tried to force members of Parliament who are Catholic to vote in line with its dogma (unsuccessfully, especially in matters of same-sex marriage and abortion rights), and also urged Catholic voters to abandon any candidate who is pro-choice or LGBT-positive–with limited success, since we’re not a predominantly Catholic country, so their influence is dilute at best. And our Catholics tend to be more liberal than those of Latin America and Africa, or the predominantly-Catholic countries of Europe.

      It’s funny, though, that even with its hard-conservative influence sharply on the wane worldwide, the Vatican is actually not as far right as cardinals from some countries — and in the case of Venezuela, apparently powerless to stop them making fools of themselves when they openly cavort with fascists. I suspect that the conduct of Venezuelan cardinals alone is making for a lot of atheists, Protestants or other non-Catholic believers in that country!

  2. carlos says:

    so…it is cancer, no?

    • Sabina Becker says:

      No.

      • Paul says:

        Whoops! How embarrassing.

        • Sabina Becker says:

          Not really. He did have an abscess, and what there was of cancer, was pretty well gone by the time this cropped up. Ultimately, this is gonna be more embarrassing for the opposition, who tried so hard to make political hay out of this and failed. He’s still president. That’s what’s embarrassing…for some, anyway.

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