Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is Hugo Chavez suffering from delusional paranoia?

Typical headline from the corporate media: "Hugo Chavez Nuttily Claims the U.S. Gives South American Leaders Cancer". The article explains:
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
Hahaha, laughable, isn't it?

Well, yes and no.  That five out of twenty Latin American leaders would have cancer at the same time is statistically irrelevant, if only because the of very small overall total (20).  I am fairly sure that the laws of probabilities have nothing at all to say about such a 'statistic'.

However, there is no need to talk about "cancer ray guns from space" or "carcinogenic handshakes".  Let me remind you of a few undeniable facts:

Fact: Both Apartheid South Africa and Israel have worked on ethnic bioweapons (see here and here).  In this case, the purpose of the weapons is to target specific ethnic groups, such as Black South Africans or non-Jews.  This is, in fact, harder to do than to target one specific individual.

Fact: The Russians have openly admitted that they killed the notorious Wahabi terrorist Ibn Al-Khattab by using a special poisoned letter whose toxic agent was specifically coded to harm only somebody with Khattab's DNA.  Many other people touched the letter and suffered no harm at all while Khattab died with 24 hours of touching the poisoned letter.

Fact: According to Cuban officials, the CIA attempted to kill Fidel Castro a total of 638 times.  This figure is probably bloated, but it is safe to assume that such attempts were numerous indeed.

Fact: the list of individuals assassinated by the CIA worldwide is too long to be compiled, but from 1967-1972 Phoenix Program to the quasi-simultaneous 1981 murders of Panamanian President Omar Torrijos and Ecuadorian President Jaime Roldós Aguilera, the CIA has a long history of assassinations of foreign leaders and an even longer history of overthrowing regimes it does not approve of.

Fact: Venezuela is, along with Cuba, Iran and the DPRK, one of the few countries deserving a special "task force" headed by a special "mission manager" officially tasked with "collective timely intelligence" independently of the CIA or the Department of State.

So what is there to laugh about?   The USA have the means, motive and opportunity and they have a long history of doing exactly that in similar circumstances.

None of this proves anything, of course.  In fact, if the USA is targeting Latin American leaders with genetic bioweapons this would be extremely hard to prove.  And one could even argue that the way Hugo Chavez has recently accumulated mistake after mistake does more damage to the Bolivarian Revolution and the ideals of "Chavismo" then any CIA plot (I personally get emails from some hard left-anachists friends who live in Venezuela who are totally disgusted by Chavez almost every week).

All I am saying is that Chavez's hypothesis (it's not even a theory) is not laughable or ridiculous at face value.  No, Hugo Chavez is not suffering from delusional paranoia and that there is no reason to ridicule Chavez over this statement. 

The Saker