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Chavez: Is U.S. responsible for Latin American leaders’ cancer?

This news story was published on December 29, 2011.
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By Helmut Reuter and Nestor Rojas

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speculated late Wednesday that the United States may be responsible for a spate of cancers among Latin American leaders.

The left-wing leader, who earlier this year underwent an operation to remove a tumor, did not rule out the possibility that the United States had developed a secret technology to cause cancer in individuals.

However this could only be verified in 50 years’ time, Chavez claimed.

The comments came hours after it emerged that Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is to undergo surgery for thyroid cancer.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is recovering from cancer of the larynx, while current Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo have also been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.

Chavez said he did not want to point the finger of blame, and was merely speculating, but added that it all seemed “very, very strange.”

The 57-year-old, a fierce critic of the United States, faces presidential elections in the coming year.

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