Chavez: Alive, Well, and Recuperating in Caracas – by Stephen Lendman
Responding in longer form to erroneous reports of his death, Mark Twain now is quoted saying, “Reports of my death death were greatly exaggerated.”
Recently, major media managed (made up) news suggested that Hugo Chavez is seriously ill and close to death. Recuperating from illness, yes. Potentially terminal, absolutely not. From Caracas, Eva Golinger’s July 1 article explained – headlined, “Chavez Overcomes Health Issue: Alive and Well, Despite Myths,” accessed through the following link:
More on her article below.
Throughout his tenure, major media in America, other Western countries, and Venezuela mercilessly bashed Chavez. In fact, they’ve shamelessly vilified him with slanderous pejoratives, while ignoring his popular support for over 12 years for providing vital social services fast disappearing in America and other Western countries.
As “the newspaper of record,” perhaps New York Times reports have been most deplorable, notably from Caracas-based Simon Romero, who sees one thing yet reports another, producing agitprop, not real news and information, suggesting Chavez is more despot than democrat.
How former Times journalist John Hess once described the broadsheet, applies to him, saying:
“I never saw a (US) foreign intervention that The Times did not support, never saw a fare….rent….or utility increase that it did not endorse, never saw it take the side of labor in a strike or lockout, or advocate a raise for underpaid workers. And don’t get me started on universal health care and Social Security. So why do people think The Times is liberal?”
Moreover, why should anyone think its so-called news and information is anything more than propaganda for the imperial interests it serves, Romero in Caracas included. In his and other Times reports, truth is always the first casualty. Readers beware.
After the Miami Herald owned El Nuevo Herald cited an unnamed US intelligence source calling Chavez’s condition “critical – not on the brink of death, but critical….complicated (and) terminal,” major media reports, including Romero’s, began hyperventilating sensationalist accounts about him.
On June 23, he headlined, “Chavez’s Stay in Cuba Stirs a Debate at Home,” saying:
Opponents “already chafing at (his) reliance on Cuban advisers for military and intelligence affairs” now question his legitimacy “to oversee national affairs for an undetermined stretch of time from outside the country.”
In fact, while visiting Cuba on the last leg of his Latin American tour he took ill, complaining of pelvic area pain that, in fact, required emergency June 11 surgery. More on that below.
On June 24, Romero headlined, “Venezuela: Chavez Breaks Silence; Says Little,” saying:
He “broke an unusual stretch of silence with four brief Twitter messages….laden with references to military glory, Venezuela’s national anthem,” and other comments unrelated to his health. In fact, he and Venezuelan officials kept the public informed with regular reports on his condition, even though major surgery makes it hard for anyone to do it.
Then on June 28, Romero headlined, “Venezuela, Like Castro, Has Brother at the Ready,” saying:
“To the many comparisons….between Venezuela and Cuba – two close allies, both infused with revolutionary zeal, driven by movements that revere their leaders – consider one more: the presidential brother, stepping in during a time of illness.”
Stepping in? Apparently, Romero sees something diabolical about a brother with another one during illness. Only major media hacks could manufacture scenarios out of their imagination or home office orders.
In this case, Romero called Adan Chavez “a physicist whose radical thinking has often been to the left of the president,” while failing to say he supports social justice and democracy like his brother – anathema ideas, in fact, for his Times bosses.
Through July 3, Chavez was in Havana, recuperating from major surgery, in fact, expected to remain there for one or more months. However, on July 4 at 2:00AM Venezuelan time, Telesur showed him arriving home. In footage aired about five hours later, he said, “I’m fine, I’m happy. A perfect landing.”
In a later telephone interview, he said he was having breakfast, “devouring everything.” He also explained he went through “very difficult days” but his recovery is going well. In fact, he arrived a day before the 200th anniversary of Venezuela’s declaration of independence from Spain, establishing the Republic of Venezuela.
Today’s Bolivarianism, in fact, symbolizes Simon Bolivar’s defeat of Spanish colonizers, liberating half of South America from what he called the imperial curse “to plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty.”
Swallowing some crow no doubt, Romero headlined, “Chavez Returns to Venezuela,” saying:
“He’s back….making an unexpected, but well-choreographed, return after nearly a month away” on tour, including emergency surgery in Cuba.”
Reluctantly perhaps Romero said he even “log(ged) onto Twitter,” saying:
“Good morning, my dear Venezuela! Thank you, my God! It is the start of (my) Return!”
Earlier, Romero exaggerated his condition post-surgery, a testimony to his misreporting.
Truth v. Fiction about Chavez’s Health
Reporting from Caracas, Golinger called major media accounts “hype” and “myths,” the usual way corporate news misreports, cheating, not informing, their readers, viewers, or listeners.
As a result, they “perpetuated numerous unfounded rumors claiming (Chavez) is in critical condition, has cancer, is in a coma or passed away….wild myths” with no corroborating evidence, just unsubstantiated hype.
In addition, anti-Chavez social networks engaged in “a frenzied orgy of fictitious stories.” Some “killed” (him) several times….while others have invented every possible ailment,” hyping falsehoods, not facts.
“Private Venezuelan media have been equally as disgraceful,” inventing stories, circulating rumors, misreporting flagrantly, some even claiming Chavez faked his illness.
“Even State Department officials” told a House Foreign Relations Committee “they had information about (Chavez) they couldn’t ‘make public.’ ”
In fact, top US officials routinely misinform Americans on what they most need to know, especially about war and peace, the economy, embedded corruption, corporate favoritism, electoral fraud, and America’s global imperial ambitions, including vilifying and toppling independent democrats to achieve them.
Venezuelan Government Health Reports
On June 11, Chavez had emergency pelvic abscess surgery, essential immediately to avoid bursting and potential serious complications.
The same day, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro explained live on Telesur that Chavez underwent successful surgery, but needed time to recover.
On June 12, in fact, “Chavez himself called into a live (Telesur TV) show, speaking “for about 20 minutes about the operation and his current status, as well as his road to recovery and full capacity to continue leading the government from his hospital bed.”
He was temporarily, not permanently, incapacitated as is everyone post-surgery. He said a precautionary “deep” incision was needed to drain his abscess, followed by biopsies checking for cancer that “came back negative, nothing malignant.”
However, during post-op recovery, major media fabrications practically pronounced him dead or close to it instead of accurately relating readily available truths. In fact, Chavez “had surgery on a very sensitive part of his body and is in recovery and rehab. Everything he had has been removed and he’s healing well.” Minimally he’ll need one or more months to recoup.
On July 1, Romero headlined, “Chavez Can Remain Outside Venezuela for Months,” saying:
He “shocked” Venezuelans “by revealing that he had a cancerous tumor removed and would ‘continue battling’ (from) seclusion in Cuba for as long as six months if necessary, his vice president (Elias Jaua) said Friday.”
In fact, he explained that in or out of Venezuela, Chavez remains in control as president, even if he’s away recuperating for months. He didn’t say he’ll be gone six months in seclusion, implying that Venezuela will be in limbo during his absence. Romero got that wrong, as well as mischaracterizing Chavez’s illness, typical of his sloppy misreporting.
The same day, Reuters headlined, “Venezuela army assures calm after Chavez surgery,” saying:
“Army chief General Henry Rangel Silva” quashed “talk of unrest or infighting,” explaining that Venezuela’s “military would guarantee constitutional order during Chavez’s absence, (and that he’s) still in charge” as head of state.
On television, Rangel said he’s “thinner than usual” from his ordeal “but still standing. The truth is he is getting better. He’s fine. The country is calm” and functioning as usual in his absence.
Golinger added that Chavez’s pelvic abscess was detected before it could dangerously spread to other parts of his body. “The subsequent tumor was luckily detected during his recovery period and removed. He himself said the tumor cells had not been detected or didn’t exist before the second examination during recovery.”
Thanks to his excellent care (what Cuba’s noted for), “they found and removed it all” in time. Though recuperating, he’s “running the government at a normal pace, signing bills into laws, approving budgets and overseeing his cabinet member’s activities. Everything has been moving forward as usual” despite major media misreporting claiming otherwise.
Excepts from Chavez’s June 30 Address
On June 8, after arriving in Havana on his final Latin American stop, he began feeling discomfort so “a set of diagnostic tests started. Hence, a foreign mass in the pelvic area was found, leading to an emergency surgery (to avoid) widespread infection.”
Intensive antibiotic treatment followed with “positive progression, which brought along notable improvement. Nevertheless….some suspected additional cell masses thus far undetected arose.” Tests “confirmed the existence of an abscessed tumor with cancerous cells.”
“This made a second surgery necessary which allowed us to fully remove said tumor. It was major surgery without complications. After that, I have continued evolving satisfactorily, (heading for) full recovery. In the meantime, I have kept up and continue to be informed and in command of….government….and all my government staff.”
Adding much more, he ended saying, “Thank you very much. Until my return.”
Whether well, ill or recuperating, at home or away, propagandists like Romero always find ways to misreport about him. In fact, that’s precisely what they’re paid to do, producing fake made up managed news, not real information and analysis only found through alternative print and broadcast sources, doing it daily as a public service.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.