Yep, it's another controversial statement from Hugo Chavez -- but he really seems to dial up the Nut-O-Meter to 11 with this cancer conspiracy theory. Late yesterday Chavez decided to go on national TV and drop the mild suggestion (not an outright allegation, he insists!) that the U.S. maybe, just maybe, gave five current and former South American heads of state cancer. "It would not be strange if they had developed the technology to induce cancer and nobody knew about it until now ... I don't know. I'm just reflecting," Chavez said, according to Reuters. "But this is very, very, very strange ... it's a bit difficult to explain this, to reason it, including using the law of probabilities." Cancer ray guns from space? Carcinogenic handshakes? Chavez's tin-foiled tale comes off of Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez cancer diagnosis being made public yesterday. She, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and Chavez himself have all recently been diagnosed.
So, five is trend. That's all the science you need for a conspiracy theory. It couldn't possibily have anything to do with those leaders' average age being 61. What's odd is that this (and other) crazy claims from Chavez undermine any legitimate grievance Venezuela may have against the U.S. (and there have historically been enough). In any case, it looks like 2012 endorsement is out of the picture for President Obama.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.