Venezuela: Wikileaks publishes new details on Chavez cancer and succession struggle
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is currently in Cuba where doctors operated on a lesion in his pelvic area. According to reports obtained by Wikileaks his cancer could be very serious, and his life expectancy could be from one to two years. (photo: flickr quecomunismo)
The health condition of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be worse than what has been published so far, with possible carcinogenic tumors in both prostate and colon, and a potential metastasis to lymph nodes and bone marrow according to an intelligence report leaked Monday.
Chavez, who has publicly said that he has been cured from cancer, could have a life expectancy ranging from two years, according to Cuban doctors who treat him, to a year, according to the testimony of Russian doctors who participated in the first two operations in Cuba on the Venezuelan president, said the report, which was sent to consulting agency Stratfor and is attributed to a “well-connected Venezuelan source who works with Israel.”
The report describes an internal struggle for succession within the Venezuelan government, and also the participation in that struggle of countries like China and Russia, which allegedly has a team working in Venezuela to prepare the country for a “post-Chavez transition.”
The information is among the 5 million emails leaked today by the global anti-secrecy organization Wikileaks, from the servers of the Texas-based Stratfor (Strategic Forecasting) Global Intelligence, a private intelligence-gathering firm that has been labeled as a “shadow CIA” in the past.
The emails, dated from July 2004 to December 2011, describe what was categorized by Wikileaks founder and president Julian Assange, as “corrupt dealings” with “various international media organizations,” and reveal secret information that shows the way Stratfor “has recruited a global network of informants”.
In a response to the leaks, Stratfor president George Friedman said it was “another attempt to silence and intimidate the company,” adding that “some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies,”and “some may be authentic,” without elaborating.
According to one of the leaked emails, dated December 5th 2011, the medical team that is treating Chavez is composed of specialists from Russia and Cuba, who have been at loggerheads over how to treat the Venezuelan president.
“The Russian team blamed the Cubans for an improper surgery the first time in trying to remove the tumor. The second surgery over the summer [of 2011] was basically the Russian team trying to clean up the Cuban team’s mistakes,” the e-mail said.
The Russians also complained that the Cubans did not have the appropriate scanner technology for cancer treatment, and predicted that because of the Cuban’s mistakes, Chávez’s life span “is less than one year”. Cubans anticipated a maximum of 2 years of life.
The report described Chavez as a “bad patient” that “does not listen to their doctors,” and that “ceases treatment when he has to make a public appearance.”
The document also mentioned the incorporation of Chinese experts in natural medicine to treat Chavez, a decision criticized by the Russian medical team as “horse shit.”
The analysis focused on establishing the possible successors to Chavez and names Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, the National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, and the president of state oil company PDVSA, Rafael Ramirez, among others.
Regarding an upcoming transition period, both China and Russia are more interested in “preserving Chavismo, the regime”, rather than “Chávez, the personality”.
The report revealed that Russia is so worried about a Venezuela without Chavez that it “has set up a specific task force to help manage the post-Chavez transition.”
The sources cited by Stratfor reported that the candidate favored by Chinese, Russians and Brazilians is Nicolas Maduro, while Cubans tilt more toward Chávez’s brother Adam, mainly because they don’t believe Maduro will guarantee the oil subsidies they have enjoyed so far.
The email mentioned Venezuela’s “military elite” as being “easy to bribe,” “living the good life,” and surrounded by “lots of women” and “booze.”
“They don’t care about Chávez. They care about maintaining their current lifestyles. We’ve seen a lot of these military elite reach out to us lately, trying to insulate themselves in a post-Chavez scenario.”
The analysis argued that a new law that controls the prices of products nationwide, could have been passed by the government as a tool to “intimidate” private companies and prevent them from funding the opposition.
It says that the law enables the government to punish companies that provide too much support to opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, by controlling the prices for their products.
The email finally offered a sketch of alleged transactions between PDVSA and Iran that are taking place in Ankara, Turkey, as part of an effort to circumvent the UN and U.S. sanctions on Iran.