After Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, the president of Argentina, was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's disturbingly kooky president, has begun insinuating that perhaps the United States is running around secretly infecting his region's leaders with the disease. His proof? Five Latin American presidents have recently suffered from cancer, a number which includes Mr. Chavez himself. He claims he's been cured of his disease, though he never disclosed what kind of cancer he had. (Probably the secret American kind!) Here's what Chavez said in a speech to the military on national TV:
It's very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America. Would it be so strange that they've invented technology to spread cancer and we won't know about it for 50 years?
Actually, yes, it would be pretty strange—for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, it's not that easy to sneak up on a sitting president and inject them with some kind of magic cancer potion. (And we would have had to invent a bunch of cancer potions, since all of the Latin American presidents have suffered from different kinds of cancers.) And second, if the U.S. did have a way of killing people with a sneaky cancer juice, don't you think Saddam Hussein would have mysteriously developed a brain tumor instead of requiring a massive invasion to oust him? And wouldn't Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be dead from convenient case of rectal cancer by now?
If you're wondering where—other than from the depths of his convoluted mind—Chavez gets these ideas, the answer is obviously from his brother in paranoia, Fidel Castro:
Fidel always tells me, "Chavez be careful, they've developed technology, be careful with what you eat, they could stick you with a small needle." In any case, I'm not accusing anyone, I'm just using my freedoms to reflect and issue comments on very strange events that are hard to explain.
Reflect away, friend! You know, even if he came right out and accused us of this right to our sneaky faces, we probably shouldn't get too offended. On the insult scale, this is somewhere between a child calling you a poopyface and a parrot telling you to fuck off. If anything, we should be flattered that he thinks we're capable of such a sophisticated and nefarious plot. Here we are a country that can barely keep our own government operating, and Mr. Chavez believes we're organized enough to run around secretly giving people diseases. Would that we were, Hugo, Would that we were.