Hugo Chavez has struggled through cancer over the past year, losing his hair, gaining weight and traveling repeatedly to Cuba for surgeries. Chavez has never said precisely what stage of the disease he has, but on Wednesday the Venezuelan president suggested that he knew the source: A secret U.S. cancer-causing machine.
With Argentine President Cristina Fernandez announcing that she, too, has cancer, Chavez said the number of Latin leaders with the ailment was too great for coincidence. "It would not be strange if they had the technology to induce cancer," Chavez told an Army base.
Chavez is correct that a number of left-leaning leaders have come down with cancer over the past few years; in addition to the Bolivarian strongman and Fernandez, the list includes Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and Lula de Silva, and Fernando Lugo of Paraguay.
"But this is very, very, very strange ... it's a bit difficult to reason it, including using the law of probabilities," Chavez said, according to a Reuters report.
So if not chance, what explains the cancerous outbreak in Latin American government palaces?
"It would not be strange if (the U.S.) had developed the technology to induce cancer and nobody knew about it until now," Chavez speculated.
Who knows? Maybe the Pentagon is hiding a secret, cancer-beaming death ray. But that begs the question: How the hell has Fidel Castro avoided it all these years?
Oh wait -- it turns out that Fidel actually "alerted" Chavez to the plot.
"Fidel always told me, 'Chavez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat ... a little needle and they inject you with I don't know what,'" Chavez said.
Hmmm, actually the CIA did try that whole exploding cigar routine on Fidel, so maybe he's got a point after all ...
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.