After nine days MIA – missing in action – in Havana, President Hugo Chavez finally surfaced in photographs and video.
Chavez’s re-appearance was staged, but the Cubazuelan production crew couldn’t hide the visible signs of his failing health.
Watch the video carefully.
Chavez is wearing thick pancake, so much that there’s zero perspiration on his face. Look at brother Adan’s face at the start of the video as he jokes with Hugo. Adan’s face and forehead shine, sunlight reflecting off humid skin; but the president’s face is dry except for a small spot high on his forehead near the hairline.
Chavez walks slowly and unsteadily; he tries to toss the bolas with some force but his aim is off – unusually clumsy for a man who has played baseball all his life.
In the video he also appears to favor his left side, at one point holding his left arm against his left side/abdominal area as he leans or bends slightly; a sharp flash of pain, perhaps? He also bends over very slightly and is visibly stiff.
The president’s torso appears thicker around the middle, but his hands appear thinner and his legs look spindly in the video. Weight gain or abdominal distension caused by the painkillers, radiation and other treatment that Chavez is receiving?
Chavez’s face looks very puffy in the video, which was shot at a greater distance from the president than previous videos made in Havana earlier this year. The puffiness and pancake is more obvious in the photographs.
Chavez and gang want the general public to believe he’s coming back soon in fine fettle. In fact, Chavez announced a 48-hour commute to Caracas within days, presumably to decree the new Organic Labor Law and inflict more harm on Venezuela as he tries to spend his way to re-election.
But Nelson Bocaranda reported this week that Chavez was given the definitive bad news in Havana last Saturday. Separately, Dr. Marquina reported that Chavez is now walking with a cane and suffers severe hip pain because the cancer has metastasized into his hip bones and he suffered burns from radiation bombardments improperly applied by the Cuban doctors.
Dr. Marquina also said a month ago that with proper treatment in the US or Brazil, and complete rest Chavez might live until next April. But if Chavez doesn’t do the sensible and prudent thing, he could be felled by his cancer well before the 7 October presidential elections.
However, Chavez reportedly is determined to die with his boots on. It’s not his nature to act sensibly or prudently.
The president’s will to slog forward with his campaign to the bitter end means that Venezuela could be plunged into political and social turmoil this year.
Chavez has been giving Fidel Castro up to 100,000 b/d of crude oil for almost a decade. He gives the Cuban regime about $5 billion a year in oil, cash and other goodies – all paid for by the Venezuelan people. Chavez also gave the Cuban regime full access to Venezuela’s passport and identification entity (Onidex), the civil and mercantile registries, the armed forces and intelligence services, Pdvsa and other state-owned enterprises, key ministries and government entities…
…in short, Chavez gave Fidel the whole Venezuelan enchilada, and what did Chavez receive in return?
Cuba’s doctors helped the cancer kill Chavez even faster.
What a letdown for Chavez.
My gringo attorney friends say that Chavez, clearly, is the victim of major medical malpractice.
In the US or even Brazil, the Chavez family would have a good shot at winning a huge medical malpractice suit against the doctors that botched the president’s initial diagnosis, surgeries, post-operative treatment, using the wrong chemo, etc.
Of course, if Chavez had sought treatment instead in the US or Brazil, he likely would have received the correct medical treatment and possibly his life would have been saved, or at least prolonged for years.
But Chavez, always driven by deep-seated paranoia, placed his life in the hands of Cuba’s revolutionary medical establishment.
Now the Chavez family can’t sue Cuba’s revolutionary CIMEQ and the Cuban doctors for killing him more quickly because the revolution doesn’t allow malpractice lawsuits, especially against the state.
But Chavez – that is, Venezuelan taxpayers – still reportedly must pay the Cuban regime over $200,000 a day to cover the costs associated with his treatment plus meals, lodging, retinue, etc.