Chavez alleges US behind his, and his allies' illnesses

The US consulate in Caracas has declined to comment on the allegation, so I will in my usual rational, reasonable, and logical manner.

This charge that the US has developed a means of infecting anyone - much less Latin American allies of Chavez - with cancer is loony tunes.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez hinted that the U.S. may be behind a "very strange" bout of cancer affecting several leaders aligned with him in South America.

Chavez, speaking a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, said the Central Intelligence Agency was behind chemical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and that it's possible that in years to come a plot will be uncovered that shows the U.S. spread cancer as a political weapon against its critics.

"It's very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America," Chavez said in a nationally televised speech to the military. "Would it be so strange that they've invented technology to spread cancer and we won't know about it for 50 years?"

Chavez, who was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in June and had a baseball-sized tumor removed in Cuba, has called for a regional summit of leaders who have battled cancer including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Paraguay's Fernando Lugo.

"I'm just sharing my thoughts, but it's very, very, very strange," Chavez said. "Evo take care of yourself, Correa, be careful, we just don't know," he said, referring to Evo Morales and Rafael Correa, the leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador.

The "CIA can give people cancer" meme has been a leftist conspiracy staple for decades. The problem is, the experiments the CIA conducted in the 1940's and 50's were massively inconclusive. That is to say, simply injecting cancer cells (or a carcinegenic substance) into someone may or may not give that person cancer and, more to the point, it is impossible to say empirically that the injected cancer cells actually led directly to the acquisition of the disease.

In other words, can't be done, Hugo.

Why waste all that time and effort getting close to a target and inject him or slip him something in his food that may or may not work? If you're going to get that close, there are far more effective ways to kill someone than the crapshoot of cancer transmission.

The fact is, cancer is acquired in a variety of ways both environmental and heriditary. Each person has different immunities and susceptibility to the disease. The notion that the CIA would waste its time by trying to kill Chavez and his left wing cohorts by giving them cancer is absurd on its face.

But it makes a great propaganda tool, doesn't it?