[Marxism] Chávez's cancer announcement

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Fri Jul 1 03:19:12 MDT 2011

  As had been suspected for some time, Hugo Chavez had more than minor 
surgery for an abscess. In a taped statement, recorded in what appears 
to be a small studio, Chavez described how it was Fidel's personal 
intervention, cross examining him on the evening of June 8 about certain 
health problems that the Venezuelan leader said he had been trying to 
hide, that led to an immediate, urgent round of medical exams and to a 
first emergency operation very early on Saturday June 11 to remove an 
abscess that could have evolved into a generalized infection.

In the course of the follow-up treatment and exams, a second anomalous 
mass was detected, requiring major surgery to remove it. Chavez 
described it as an abscessed tumor with cancerous cells but he did not 
say where nor what type of cancer was involved, only that it had been 
Fidel that had brought him the news about the cancer, and that it now 
looks like he will be able to beat it.

The statement was extremely formal, read word for word. In presenting 
it, Chavez himself called it a communique, and it sounded like it had 
been drafted for the printed rather than the spoken word. Chavez looked 
thinner, but his voice was strong and he appeared to be standing without 
any problems behind a podium for the 15 minutes it took to read the 
statement. There were references to other major crisis Chávez has faced, 
including the defeat of a military rebellion in the early 90's and the 
attempted coup in April 2002 when he was taken prisoner. There were also 
deeply religious references. While quite obviously evading a very 
precise description of his condition, these sorts of statements and his 
entire tone made clear that he had received an extremely grave diagnosis 
and a not very reassuring prognosis, and while the trees have begun to 
thin out, he is not out of the woods yet.

U.S. imperialist intelligence agencies and the Cuban and Venezuelan 
gusanos have been saying that Chavez has prostate cancer, with some 
claiming he is close to death. Some of Chavez's people in the Venezuelan 
government had categorically denied that Chavez had any sort of cancer. 
The first part of Chavez's statement was a firm  insistence on the need 
to tell the truth in these situations, that not doing so showed a lack 
of faith and respect for the people, it seemed to me in a response to 
what some officials in Venezuela had done.

There are clips from Chavez's statement on YouTube and the recording of 
the entire statement is on the Telesur web site.


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