A former official in the Bush administration said in a column that President Hugo Chávez is in worse health than he has let on.
President Hugo Chávez’s cancer is spreading faster than expected and his doctors fear that he may have only a few months left to live, a former U.S. government official said Wednesday, citing sources inside the Venezuelan government.
“The international team of doctors in charge of treating Hugo Chávez’s cancer does not expect him to live more than six months,” said Roger Noriega, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States.
Noriega’s opinion came in a column titled “Hugo Chávez’s Big Lie and Washington’s Apathy,” published on the Internet portal of Inter-American Security Watch.
“Sources who have given me privileged information and documents from inside the Venezuelan government indicate that Chávez’s cancer is spreading faster than expected and could kill him before the presidential elections in October 2012,” added Noriega, who was also undersecretary of State for Hemispheric Affairs in the Bush administration.
According to Noriega, U.S. officials knew that Chávez was suffering from cancer six months before the Venezuelan president acknowledged it publicly and now they know that it is unlikely that he would be the candidate in the next presidential elections.
Noriega said that high-ranking leaders of the Chávez regime are worried that his most fervent followers would feel betrayed once they learn what he referred to as the Venezuelan president’s “big lie.”
“Chávez wants his people to believe that he was ‘healed’ months ago and that the recent visits to Cuba have confirmed his miraculous recovery,” he said. “However, his physical deterioration is speeding more rapidly than his doctors had predicted and, despite this serious situation, Chávez has insisted on receiving low doses of chemotherapy to avoid long absences from the political scene during this fragile period.”
He added that Chávez’s political advisors are worried that he will die soon and leave his successor with the incredible task of explaining why the leaders of the country instigated such a big lie.
According to Noriega, the doctors believe that the decision of receiving a lower dose of chemotherapy to try to continue his public functions is suicidal, but they have no alternative but to follow the plan.
And what is worse, “the treatment to fight the cancerous cells in the Venezuelan leader’s bones has not started yet,” he said.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Noriega: Chávez cancer progressing faster than expected
from the Miami Herald by Antonio Maria Delgado