5 Hugo Chavez Death Conspiracy Theories
For over a year, the health of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s president, has been deteriorating. Then, yesterday, came the unsurprising official announcement of his death.
Just as unsurprisingly, the controversial socialist leader leaves behind a series of mysteries and conspiracy theories.
5. Chavez Has Been Dead for Weeks
When a government is founded on personality politics, the death of a leader can be fatally disruptive to the administration.
This theory lends credence to the belief that Chavez actually passed away sometime in February and the administration has kept it a secret until succession plans were firmly in place. Yesterday, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced that snap elections would take place in 30 days, but few feel that the current list of candidates can fill Chavez’s shoes.
4. He Died Months Ago (At Least)
Hugo Chavez was such a popular leader that he was able to convince the Venezuelan people to amend the constitution to allow him more terms in office. He was, once again, elected in October of 2012 to lead the country for another six years. However, at the time, there were whispers that Chavez was gravely ill, which turned out to be true. He was not available for his swearing in on January 10th, and has not been photographed in public at all in 2013. The news of his death was suppressed in order to ensure his hand-picked successor would be swept into office on a sympathy vote.
3. The CIA Did It
Rumor has it that the CIA has been experimenting with cancer-causing viruses since the 1960s. At one point, they (unsuccessfully) tried them against Cuba’s Fidel Castro. But in the 21st century, the Agency has apparently perfected the formula – no less than five South American leaders have gotten cancer, often suspiciously close to the time they spoke out against U.S. imperialism. Chavez, long known for his anti-American stance, was diagnosed with a particularly virulent strain of cancer in 2011.
Lending credence to the CIA-assassination theory is the fact that just hours before the announcement of Chavez’s death, two American diplomats were expelled from Venezuela based on accusations that they were secretly meeting with members of the military and plotting to destabilize the country.
2. Chavez Almost Was Assassinated by the CIA
In 2009, Chavez went public saying “the CIA, and all of its tentacles” were behind a plot to kill him and Bolivian President Evo Morales as the two men flew to the inauguration of leftist President Mauricio Funes in El Salvador. Purportedly, the CIA supported the plans of a former operative, Luis Posada Carriles, to shoot down the plane carrying Chavez and Morales with a rocket launcher.
1. The CIA Orchestrated an Anti-Chavez Coup
Despite U.S. media coverage to the contrary, Chavez was an extremely popular president. He was in power for 14 years and only once did it momentarily slip from his grasp. In 2002, pro-business elites and select military officers ousted Chavez from office for 47 hours before massive popular protests got him reinstated. However, during the 47 Chavez-free hours, both the IMF and the U.S. expressed support for the new government, leading some to believe that the CIA was instrumental in planning and executing the coup.
Image: Victor Soares/ABr
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