An appalling story has been circulating throughout news outlets this week, and it’s really made me stop and think. In case you haven’t heard, Hugo Chavez, the socialist leader of Venezuela, speculated that the U.S. might have developed a way to give Latin American leaders cancer.
On Tuesday, Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez was diagnosed with cancer, while Chavez, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva were also recently diagnosed.
As I'm sure many of you know, when faced with a cancer diagnosis a lot of things go through your mind. Anger is of course one of the feelings, and Chavez is clearly embracing this emotion as he points fingers. Chavez was careful not to blatantly accuse the U.S. of giving the leaders cancer, but he made a comment that the situation is strange and "difficult to explain."
First of all, I shudder to think that the U.S. is spending any time, money or effort figuring out ways to give people cancer when we are still in the process of finding a definitive cure to a disease that affects so many Americans each and every year. Additionally, I have never been a conspiracy theorist, so I couldn't imagine the U.S. government purposely spreading any disease that has such a serious impact. I know many will disagree with me on that point, but it’s the holiday season so I like to think positively.
What's more disappointing, is that Chavez has failed to consider that perhaps the cancer diagnoses were related to something that might be an issue in Latin America, such as the environment. Or, perhaps the lifestyle that these leaders are living has had an influence on their health. These individuals have a lot more in common than simply the fact that some members of the U.S. government might not like their political styles.
Last, but certainly not least, pointing fingers will not help Chavez, or any of the other leaders, head toward the road to recovery. According to the Associated Press, doctors have said that Fernandez, the most recently diagnosed, has a very good chance of recovery and will not need chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This is positive news! What Chavez should spend his time focusing on his health and the health of his colleagues, rather than spreading ridiculous rumors.
I would love to know your thoughts on this subject that is getting a lot of press as of late. To read more about Chavez and his relationship with the U.S., click here.