Chavez Still Alive but who does the kicking?
A 'détournement' of a cartoon by the Venezuelan cartoonist Weil (*) after the faked scoop of the Spanish newspaper El País of last thursday January 24. With in the centre of attention the Hospital Island of Cuba and all the great leaders that come there for longevity and extension of their reign... it seems that by now two countries in Latin America are hospitalised over the last three years, dependent on an ailing leadership, postponing change. Criticism on the manipulative sensationalism of the news editors of El País, is just a a short lived deterrent, the 'caudillismo infection in this part of the world is endemic and needs a transfusion with a wider participation of citizens in the running of society for the whole society to be fully alive and kicking.
(*) Weil is drawing for several years now Hugo Chavez his head as a military boot. this pictureis based on one of the many cartoons of Weil; the original version can be found at:
NYT: "Spanish Newspaper Apologizes for Printing Fake Photo of Chávez
CARACAS, Venezuela — The eye-catching photograph on the front page of a major Spanish newspaper on Thursday showed a man with a shaved head who appeared to be lying on an operating table, with a large tube coming out of his mouth. The caption identified him as Hugo Chávez, the cancer-stricken president of Venezuela, and said he was undergoing medical treatment in Cuba.If authentic, it would have been a scoop, as Mr. Chávez has not been seen in public for over six weeks. But soon after the newspaper, El País, hit the streets, the photograph was revealed as a fake, prompting an apology from El País to its readers."
Reuter had on January 24th 2013 more details and this comment:
"MANY VENEZUELANS SCEPTICAL
Officials say his condition is improving after he suffered multiple complications including a severe respiratory problem following the surgery.
But, unlike after his previous visits to Havana, officials have not published any evidence of his condition. In 2011, with great fanfare, they had broadcast footage of the president reading a newspaper and chatting with ex-leader Fidel Castro.
In the absence of any proof, many Venezuelans question the official bulletins and suspect Chavez's extraordinary 14 years in power could be coming to end. Chavez has never said what type of cancer he is suffering.
Venezuelan opposition leaders have long accused the government of secrecy over his illness, while supporters accuse "bourgeois" local and foreign media of being in league with the opposition to spread rumours that he is close to death.
The handling of information on Chavez's health has become as contentious as the man himself and official medical updates have been confusing and contradictory."
The "alive and kicking" news form Cuba is a recurring event, like in this April 24 2012 news item in the Buenos Aires Herald:
"Chávez 'alive and kicking' in Cuba, pictures released
Photos released by the Venezuelan government showed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez wearing a track suit and strolling in a garden in Havana with Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, playing bowls with his brother, Adán, and kissing a crucifix as he hugged his daughter, María Gabriela.
Information Minister Andrés Izarra posted the photos on his Twitter page with the title "Chávez alive and kicking."
Moreover, a healthy sounding Chávez had called Venezuelan state television from Cuba on Monday to dispel rumors fanned by a nine-day silence that he had died undergoing cancer treatment at a hospital in Havana.
"It seems we will have to become accustomed to live with these rumors, because it is part of the laboratories of psychological war, of dirty war," the 57-year-old socialist leader said in the telephone call.
Since leaving for Cuba on April 14 to undergo radiation treatment for an undisclosed cancer, Chavez had only addressed Venezuelans by short messages on Twitter to cheer supporters and hail the advances of his socialist "revolution.""
In 2009 it was almost the other way around with Hugo Chavez denying rumours about Fidel Castro having died:
"Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is "alive and kicking", Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said on Saturday.
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Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is “alive and kicking”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said on Saturday, apparently backtracking from his statement a week ago that put the ailing Cuban revolutionary in the past tense.
“There go the rumours again that Fidel is dead. Fidel is alive and kicking. Let’s all send him a big shout, a hug. Three cheers to Fidel,” Chávez told supporters as he campaigned for the “yes” vote in an upcoming referendum on a no-term-limit measure."