- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Venezuela governing officials are opening a formal investigation into America’s role in the death of President Hugo Chavez, following conspiracy theories that claim U.S. hit-men took him out with a cancer implant.

Doctors, however, are calling that theory “pure insanity,” The Daily Caller quotes. It’s impossible to inflict someone with cancer, said Steven Rose, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University.

Mr. Chavez died from a heart attack, while recovering from cancer. But before his death, even he suggested that so-called American imperialists had it out for him and were concocting means of his demise — and other high-ranking Venezuelans — through medical means.

“It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” Mr. Chavez said, during 2011 remarks about Latin American leaders who had been diagnosed with cancer, The Daily Caller reports. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer, and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”

On Monday, acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro seized on that line of thought.

“We will seek the truth. We have the intuition that our Commander Chavez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way,” Reuters reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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