Chavez croaking? Well, maybe.....

UPDATED (twice).   Yesterday I was dismissing the situation of Chavez extended absence as at least part showmanship; but today I am forced, courtesy of a post from Gustavo, to rethink that things might be much, much worse than I thought.  I do not know how trustworthy is Gustavo's source, but the thing is that his "conspiracy theory" matches so many things so well that, that as Italians would say, si non e vero, e ben trovato.  And thus, even if this blogger is always reticent on reporting rumors, for once he will make an exception.

In short, Chavez would be suffering from a prostate cancer that has metastasized.

This already would explain several things: why Chavez never remarried; why he occasionally seems to get all bloated; why his ample clothing when he does an extended cadena as it could hide adult diapers better; why the mystery around the whole thing as prostate surgery for a macho man is tantamount to recognize that he is not that macho anymore.

Since the post of Gustavo is in Spanish, follows my interpretation of his text in English.

Apparently the "knee" problem was a way to hide the prostate surgery which today can be dealt well enough in a couple of weeks.  But if we are to believe Gustavo the post biopsy was not encouraging and they decided to do some advanced body scans which in Venezuela can only be done in a couple of private clinics.  Not only Chavez entourage would not trust the discretion of private clinics but it would have been also an admission that the "socialist" care was not as performing as the "capitalist" care since the regime had not been able to match the equipment of the private sector for "el pueblo".  Thus the trip to Cuba.  One caveat here: where would have Chavez got prostate surgery in full discretion?  Has he set an O.R. inside Miraflores or Fuerte Tiuna?

Before, for show, Chavez stopped in Brazil and Ecuador and that must have been a mistake because he got a post op infection.  And also some people found him walking strangely well for someone with an alleged serious knee injury.  Arriving in Cuba he got feverish soon and they had to drain the abscess.  That would  have been the real "emergency" part.  In a way that was a convenient excuse to justify Chavez stay while the real stuff was being done, namely the body scans.

He seems to have recovered well enough form his infection but apparently the scans were not good and they decided to start radiotherapy.  Another caveat: why not chemotherapy?  The more so that he has metastasized.  A explanation is that under chemo he would have had to resign temporarily since you might go bonkers during the treatment.  Chavez cannot go for an interim prez to preserve his tough image of caudillo.  Whatever it is, the lone photo of him in Havana shows him rather gaunt and leaning on both Castro brothers.  Some people said it reeked of Photoshop but then again...  it matches the symptoms.

According to Gustavo's source, the radio therapy will take 25 days twice, with a ten days rest, which explains quite well how they keep postponing the return announcement.  In fact they are trying to postpone the traditional July 5th parade to the eight which pretty much would fall in between two treatments, maybe allowing Chavez to set foot in Venezuela for a couple of days.  After all if you travel in a plane with a medical bed incorporated, well, you can manage the round trip with a minimum of damage.

The problem is that radio therapy also leaves visible sequels that must be explained (I do not think it includes loss of hair unless it is coupled with some form of chemo).  Thus the regime is faced with the unavoidable problem to have to fess up and admit Chavez sickness.  And this for sure explains all the nervousness within the grandees of the regime left behind to mind the joint.  That is, the drastic reactions to events that do not deserve such reactions, the mistakes in handling the jail crisis, etc,..  as the regime upper echelons know what is going on, or suspect it considering the shroud of silence which is worse than any serious medical communique.  In other words within chavismo there is at the same time a succession war open, probably where Cuba is trying to pick its next viceroy, AND a sauve qui peut (1) as all the corrupt fortunes are bailing out of doge before they get arrested in a post Chavez regime, even if led by a chavista.

Do I believe it?  Not yet but it is awfully tempting.  However let me make something perfectly clear: THIS WOULD BE POSSIBLY THE VERY WORST CASE SCENARIO FOR VENEZUELA.

With such an end for Chavez, he will become a hero of sorts, a mythical figure and chavismo will last for decades more.  Exactly as it happened in Argentina when after his return Peron died just before things started getting worse and as such peronism could survive Isabelita, Lopez Rega, Videla, the Falklands, etc, etc...  as it was, of course, not of Peron's making.  That Peron was at the source of all of this did not matter, he was not alive during these crisis. If Cristina is at it today it is becasue Peron died conveniently 4 decades ago.

To get a chance to be a renewed country Venezuela needs to oust Chavez in such a way that he can go to trial, alive and well to understand the charges, and collapse in nerves on the accused stand.

At any rate, there you have your conspiracy theory du jour, one that could lead us straight into a lot of conflict and economic crisis.  NOT that Chavez is indispensable, he is not, but the way he and the Cubans have handled the situation they are, willingly or not, setting the stage for a lot of trouble that could have been avoided if from the start they woudl have fessed up and name Jaua interim president for, say, three months.

Just as it was for Hitler in the end, Chavez personal agenda and glory wishes trump any consideration for the well being of the country.


1) "save who may"

UPDATE: it seems that the prostate cancer is getting credibility.  The Wall Street Journal reports it.

UPDATE2:  Chavez twitter @chavezcandanga is back to life after 20 days silent.  Unfortunately it is posted through blackberry and those in the know say there is no berry service in Cuba.  I put up a little picture of the return of Chaevz for those who wish to verify that information which wold prove that there is at least two people managing @chavezcandanga: himself and an "assistant" not in Cuba.

Chavez back on twitter?

Correction: it is not blackberry that does not work in Cuba, it is twitter (follow Yoani Sanchez on her twitting through SMS). I meant to write "twitter through Blackberry".  But then again Chaevz might have come with his own berry transmission system, no?