From “we will live!” to “please give me life!”

In an extraordinary Good Thursday Mass yesterday in his home state of Barinas, Hugo Chávez broke down and openly asked God to spare his life.

As he customarily does, Chávez turned a religious service into a revival session-cum-political rally-cum-touchingly televised cinematic cliffhanger. He wept, prayed for his life to be spared, and movingly thanked his family for their support.

I don’t want to be too cynical about this, and I am willing to forgive the uncomfortable use of a religious service for … something else. To me, the most noteworthy aspect of this is the shift in tone.

If we measure the progression of Chávez’s disease by the man’s bravado, then his cancer must be advancing, a paso de vencedores. His tumor has obviously spread, but we don’t know where. The only thing we can say is that it seems to have affected his ego.

The blend of humility and fear we saw yesterday can’t be good news for the President’s followers.

115 thoughts on “From “we will live!” to “please give me life!”

    • Not trying to start a big arguement, but, did you hear that in Brazil there is
      a “shaman” -(witchdoctor, whatever) who is behind the scenes -and at least
      contributed to Lula being cured of cancer)- Ok, maybe it is just a rumor.
      I have no evidence or references…Ok, ask Nelson-ha.

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      • well then, if the voodoo healer worked for Lula, he’ll certainly turn the cancer switch off for Chávez (…)
        Frankly, I wouldn’t blame Chavez for trying this route. He could use it to political/regional advantage, at the added expense of Vz taxpayers. But I hope that somewhere, in the pea brain collective, there are enough who realize that every cancer presents a host of variables, in terms of location, severity, and aggressiveness. And that Chavez’ CA may not be helped at all, by any shamans or invocations to Christ.

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      • He is João Teixeira de Faria. João Teixeira de Faria (born June 24, 1942), known also as João de Deus (“John of God”), is a self-described medium and “psychic surgeon” from Brazil. He is based in Abadiânia, a small town in the state of Goiás, southwest of Brasília.

        On July 14, 2005 the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) ran a news report about de Faria on Primetime live.
        The program featured five people with various medical conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease and an inoperable brain tumour. Each patient saw de Faria and ABC claimed that in three of the cases there had been an improvement. A young female athlete who had been paraplegic was shown beginning to move her legs.

        On November 17, 2010, Susan Casey wrote in O Magazine about her trip to see de Faria in Brazil and was subsequently covered on the The Oprah Winfrey Show. The article was entitled “Leap of Faith: Meet John of God” while the show was entitled “Do You Believe in Miracles?” In both she discusses her need to deal with the traumatic loss of her father.
        Your mind and faith can heal you, although it does work for every body.

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  1. Fear yes, but at the same time the ego is still overblown as he compared again himself with Bolivar, Jesus Christ and Quixote!
    But you are right. his malignancy must be very advance and/or spreading at a very fast pace.
    Tought, the humble expresions about his early years and the holding hands with his parents are completly out of this character! Must be dreadly scare.
    Any political afterthoughts from you?

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    • Dr marquina is a great information source… be aware of him and the latest news about the chavez caner… meanwhile we pray for him and all people that are suffering the same…

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  2. Well I just wonder how many chavista watched the performance…I bet that many are spending Semana Santa in the beach savoring a “polarcita”.However, it is amazing how Chavez always find a way to manipulate the situation and send his message.

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  3. Yep, something was found last time in Cuba, there were no more phone calls, he came back to Barinas and not to Caracas. I think it’s really bad now. His children were not there (or I’m wrong?), he had sure spoken to them before.
    We will see, if he could try to do his best in handling the power when he is able to do. Or maybe he goes until the last second.

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  4. That was very strange. If he’s in a tent at his parents finca in Barinas, he’s going to get dengue.

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  5. He will be dead in six months. To me, an important element in the coming political struggle will be to suppress any expression of celebration. Chavez is the elected President, supported by almost half of all Venezuelans. His death will be felt as a personal tragedy for many; no good will come of glee.

    “President Chavez’s untimely death has brought a great change to our country. While I disagreed profoundly with him, I regret his passing, because I know he tried to do what he thought was right. But now, as Venezuelans, we must confront the future together, in unity and in peace.”

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    • I strongly disagree. There will be a party at my house for 3 days and nights!
      -How can you mention “right and wrong” -example- he tried to do what he thought
      was right”- are you crazy! How about working with cyberterrorists- ?
      I believe like most criminals-Chavez knows somewhere in his pea brain that
      he is wrong.

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      • Mr House’s point might be: celebrate if you want, but please do not post videos of the celebration on YouTube.

        I believe like most criminals-Chavez knows somewhere in his pea brain that
        he is wrong.

        You give Mr. Chavez too much credit. Psychopaths or narcissists- categories which may well describe Mr. Chavez- do not believe they are wrong.

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      • I tend to agree with VIP, but then I am an outsider…The Tascon List (and its expansions) constitutes the cyber version of Stalinism because it resulted in the blacklisting of nearly half the Venezuelan population (if you include the families of the people on the list) which suffered various persecutions. However, the public discourse, even here, appears to support the idea that the good intentions of Chavez toward the 50% of Venezuelans not on the list override that persecution against the other 50%. Indeed, from the lack of importance of the Tascon List in the public and political discourse, one might conclude that the public at large considers the people on the Tascon List (and their families) to be truly non-entities (apatridas). The persecution they suffer does not exist. That the resources that ought to have been assigned to them were used to double the assignment to people not on the list is appears to be felt as …. justice… Am I wrong?

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        • The 50% towards whom he has “good intentions” still get murdered or die of other causes for lack of medical attention at alarming rates, I might say, much higher than the “oligarchs” he allegedly hates.

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    • I know he tried to do what he thought was right.?
      For whom? for his personal ambitions, for his desire to push
      communism down the throats of Venezuelans, to stay in power at all cost?
      Even if it meant destroying PDVSA the livelihood of the country?
      All I can say is good riddance and there is a God after all.
      He offered “socialism or death”, at last he was able to accomplish one
      of his promises, unfortunately for him.

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    • So….what you’re saying is that I should cancel the victory parade I had arranged for that day, hang up the bombos y platillos and tell the strippers and burlesque dancers I’d hired that their services are no longer needed? Because I paid a pretty penny for those, I don’t mind telling ye!

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    • Absolutely! An immense number of our paisanos have invested their last reserves of hope in chavez and they will be deeply distraught. There will be time to wake them up later and hopefully to also find them a new source of hope, and so glee is the last they need or deserve, though I suspect that glee is what they first and foremost will get… it is not being a good people which brought us a chavez…

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  6. Humility, wasn’t that the card he played in April 2002?
    Superstition make people repeat behaviours that seem to have “worked” before…

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  7. I don’t know man, I think it is all wishful thinking. Chavez is a media genius. If any of those prayers were sincere why would he do it on TV? Why all the clapping? It is all a show. Chavez can transfigure himself in order to incite whatever emotions he wants to incite. Now, he is going for sympathy. Look at second 45 when they focus Christ. It is all a big show. I am really skeptical.

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    • For me, this was la despedida. Why would he show himself weak? He looked absent at times (I did watch all the mass), there were people crying (his mother and at least two women), Adan looked very distressed, even the children looked serious (like they would if this was the surrounding atmosphere before the event), his daughter weren’t there. He talked about feeling “el costillar de Rocinante”, that cancer put the end of the life for many people, that only a miracle would save him (like the hurricane don’t touching Havanna) what more would you want?

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        • right, but no one at the mass, at least I didn’t see anyone and I watched all. For me he spoke with them before and they preferred to stay away/were unable to be there. Something very unusual would I say.

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        • Yes, he is seeking sympathy and comfort, but because he is feeling so badly and lost, otherwise he would be opening (or reopening) schools, hospitals, industry or giving houses to “his” people. Money is there, just ask the chinese. He just can’t.

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    • I am with you Rodrigo. We have been watching this soap opera for about a year now.
      One month he’s sick, another one he’s cured and so on and still there is no official report on what he has.
      I will believe he is dying when he actually dies.

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    • Rodrigo you are right Chávez is a media genius, he knows the media decalogue inside out. But he’s got a convoluted personality and he can’t hide his fear. There’s an element of media manipulation in every speech he gives, but on the other side there’s clear fear. I honestly see fear in his face… fear of death. He’s clearly sick, he’s also clearly human. All powerful and mediatic beings are indeed also human beings. Therefore the human side rises, that’s why the new found religious fervor. He feels a bit more mortal these days clearly so… Its actually fascinating, but the fact we are watching makes it morbid. Its so bloody morbid to watch him begging for life … and yet we can’t help clicking the play button.

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      • But you are watching also because is shoveling it to your face. Appearing in tv and then the media covering it left and right. I am not arguing the he is sick, but that the mass is not carefully planned and scripted, that bs. He might be sick and he is trying to get a much political gain from it. Using his mother’s tears, forcing himself to cry, the close ups, the arrangements, all of it is just trying to get sympathy.

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  8. Prescient of Capriles to add some seriousness, before or during the bufoonery in Barinas. Capriles reminds his twitter readers, not only of the hypocrisy of those who exhort hate, confrontation and violent speech, but also gets down to business while providing stats and numbers to call, in case of security issues .. http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid=225228

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  9. This is half Mision Lastima, half an admission that things don’t go well. I’m on the fence on this.

    He wants to get to October 7th no matter what and not just win, but to win by the mother of all electoral landslides. If he’s on his way out (and this is only an if, because to be honest I just don’t know for sure), he wants to go triumphant.

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    • I seriously hope his plan is not to run and win the October elections, spending the rest of his days in Cuba, having the VP as the defacto President. This could work as the “ausencia Presidencial” is so loosely defined in the constitution. If he is able to survive the first 3 years of his new period they won’t even have to call elections if he dies.

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  10. He asks Christ to give him His thorns, His blood and 100 of His crosses! Now I really do feel sorry for Chavez, only because he hasn’t a clue of what he’s asking for.

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  11. Dios mío, con razón el Gabo decía que eso de realismo mágico era pura paja, lo nuestro es la realidad absoluta

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    • I think it’s time to reread Otoño del Patriarca. It may seem like a Roman à clef nowadays- but that is just rephrasing what you wrote. The Chavez era will provide ample material for an enterprising novelist.

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      • Yes, he probably saw it on Fidel and liked the look. It goes well with a limitless ego.

        As I recall, the track suit first showed up in a big way with Chavez’ first state visit with President Santos in Cartagena, a while back. At least, that’s when it first struck me: the guy’s reviewing these Colombian troops in a track suit. It wasn’t the look you’d expect. I thought then it was just to hide a large metal plate on both sides and maybe an uzi. But now I think its actually the look he’s after.

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  12. Told you he would be running on heavenly grounds. And this is getting properly scripted tears and all. Calling Ibsen and Leonardo to write the Behinds the Scenes reveal all piece.

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  13. I loved your summary, Juan, including the title. But might it not be: From “death (to all)!” to “we will live!” to “please let me live!” ?

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    • Well, I left the “death” part out of it because it’s pre-cancer, and because he himself seems to be genuinely sorry for using it in the first place.

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      • Fuck him in any case.
        Maybe you can forgive him, I honestly cannot. When you are the ruler of millions and use that kind of language, and then you are in death risk, I have only schadenfreude.

        PS: I understand the need to keep it cool and not gloating when the man goes down. But I will be singing “Ha ha, you’re dead”

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        • One thing that we, Venezuelans have to realize is that even if Chavez dies tomorrow…his legacy (bad or good) will be there for years…Chavismo is a product of all Venezuelans directly or indirectly. For the record I have never been “chavista”, but I feel responsible.

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            • Anytime that we apply the “viveza criolla” we become responsible … and in a small or large scale we all are responsible.

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            • Maria,

              I think you have drank his koolaid. You have bought his discourse and mission Lastima seems to be working. Now you are blaming yourself for him not building his ideology from someone like – lets say Mandela – but intead on the teachings of Stalin, Castro or Marulanda. Boy is he good.

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          • Berlusconi and Berlusconismo are a condensate of the bad traits and not-so-hidden desires of many Italians, including many who are formal opponents.

            Chavez and chavismo are a condensate of our destructive traits, maybe a good trait or two, but mainly the destructive ones. Probably even of many Venezuelans who oppose them out of ideological conviction.

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  14. Forgive my lack of sentimentality, but there are people right now in Venezuela who cant get the basic medicine they need to survive in their own country, much less fly around the world for treatment and ruminate on their feelings of mortality on national tv.

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  15. I will feel a bit of sympathy if he just would just accept his mortality and reflect on his life. But the faux humility of a man asking to be kept alive because he is so transcendent and important that the world cannot continue without him just left me cold and cynical.

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  16. It must be bad as he did not talk up a Five Hour Mass. But, he is not ready to ask all Venezuelans to pray a Novena to Saint Marx patron saint of dictators for his recovery so he can have six more years. Hard to imagine filling churches for El Comandante.

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  17. Two possibilities:

    1) Chavez is very ill and realizes he is likely to die. His prayer is a sincere request of God.

    This seems unlikely, because he did it in public. Maybe I underestimate his vanity. But ISTM that an egoistic man, whose pride and confidence are broken by the onset of lethal illness, who has turned to the religion that in the past he has disdained (Has he? Certainly his Cuban friends disdain religion, and I would think also the left-intellectual chavistas like Eva Golinger) would not be carrying on like this in public. This sense of weakness, fear, and religiosity (all new to him) is not something a man of his history would put on display.

    Perhaps some of his henchmen pushed this performance. Or perhaps he is incapable of not performing.

    2) Chavez has (or thinks he has) recovered completely. He wants to portray his recovery as a god-given miracle, thereby demonstrating that God favors him.

    The question is whether he is enough of an actor to convey 1) when 2) is the reality.

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    • Also, to add to your comment, Chavez has a Cabrujas level of understanding of the true venezuelan, and even though we are not as conservative as a nation, religion is deeply entrenched in the venezuelan culture. I am not surprise that he is resorting to it for his political gain.

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  18. I just saw the complete video as posted in Telesur. In it, Chavez amused me somewhat for the first time. I learned that Che Guevara was a Christ and Paez and 100.000 llaneros could have conquered Europe! Also that we descend from Giants because we “expelled” the Spanish (notwithstanding the fact that this descendant of giants had to contain a diarrhea while hidding in the Military Museum), so we must be “gigantes” y “gigantas” (This again, RAE anyone?) not only for Venezuela but for other countries too, lest we become selfish people. I have also learned that the muslim and atheist worlds are praying for him (yes, you just read that) and that his prayers made Katrina deviate from its destructive path sparing most of Cuba!

    I know that this guy is a malignant narcissist that has progressed to psychopathy, therefore, he feels nothing and has no qualms lying over and over again about very important and even sacred things. A narcissist’s sense of grandiosity do explain his remarks. But he is noticeably breaking down and becoming delusional.

    I do not know if he has what he is said to have. I have serious doubts about that. I think he looks too well, taking into account what he is said to have (Navarrete, Marquina, et al). I am thinking that a hematological malignancy is more likely. We will never know. However, something is apparently not going well. I hope that is what is happening instead of a show designed to win sympathy, something that a narcissist is very capable of doing.

    Nonetheless, he looked cagaiiiiito!!!!

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  19. One Possibility

    To advertise any weakness would be fatal for his longevity in his political geographical environment. If he was ‘recently’ cured it would be in his interest to state that now and dismantle the hopes of many of the opposition. Politically that would be an astute action however more so likely an outcome bearing in mind we are speaking about a macho Latino, coup leading democratically elected President, ex military man to boot.

    Men of such disposition have no need for sympathy for future political security particularly when

    a. They are ahead in the polls, such as they are.
    b. They can manipulate with ease the outcome of any election.

    I suspect the tone of his reaction and future reactions is inversely proportional to his timeline.

    It’s the medium term that bothers me. Venezuela is not Cuba. Castro and co. ran aground with about 160 turnips and they are still there fifty odd years later. The legacy of Chavez is that he will leave behind a few million. Indeed the Revolution may see this episode as a hiccup, or two.

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    • Exactly. This trolling for sympathy cannot hide any good news, and any faking. Call the man and his supporters insane all you like, but that they are not.

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  20. This was simply emblematic of his progression through the five stages of grief:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

    He was initially in Denial. In fact, he hung on to that for almost a year after his first diagnosis and treatment. For the last month or so, he has shown his Anger at the unfairness of it all, taking it out in his gross verbal attacks on the Opposition. Now it appears that he has moved on to Bargaining. Since he doesn’t truly believe in any religion, I expect this stage will not last long. The next stage will be Depression. During this stage, he will probably disappear from public view for extended periods, or he may even just go to Cuba, where he won’t feel the demands on him, so much. The final stage is Acceptance, and only if and when he arrives at that point, will he consider the succession issue.

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      • I agree and his “friends” know that without CHavez winning in Oct 7 will not be possible…so they hope that his depression and acceptance phase will be after the elections.

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        • I think more danger of us being in denial, anger, bargaining and so on when assessing the characteristics and actions of such a rare rare breed of lowlife.

          All very well being honourable in the circumstances but the bottom line is we have a problem, one which we have denied and continue to deny by camouflaging our inactivity as personal integrity.

          No doubt his human rights will be aired along the way.

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    • Ojo! Not everyone goes through these stages of grief. And that stands to reason, for the human psyche is complex, and much less prone to patterning than is the physical state. Since there’s plenty of criticism surrounding the thesis surrounding the 5 stages of grief, I wonder if Chávez isn’t taking a page from the theoretical playbook, and stringing us all along. A for instance follows …

      — Sí, sí, Fidel, ya voy por la 3ra etapa del dolor.
      — bzzzz, bzzzzz
      — Claaaro, que sí. Ya verás como hago el pacto con Jesús. Menos mal que mañana es Jueves Santo. Hecho a la medida, no crees?
      — bzzzz, bzzzzz
      — Qué por cuánto tiempo voy a asumir esta postura? Yo diría que algunos meses, pero no tantos como durante la primera fase de negación. Acuérdate que no falta mucho para las eleccciones. Bueno, entre comillas. Jejejejee. Ya hablaremos más al respecto.
      — bzzzz, bzzzzz
      — Dentro de una semana y pico, si no antes. Hasta pronto, comandante.

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      • THAT would be Machiavellian and Chavez, for all his natural political instincts, is no Machiavelli. And will the “Five Stages” model may not be perfect, it is close enough for Bolivarian government work.

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  21. The man upstairs must be thinking: “I am waiting for you to get here so we can discuss some of these remarks.”

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    • Sorry, Carl, but Juan is right. Extraordinary is an adjective, qualifying a noun or noun phrase, in this case, “Good Thursday Mass”; extraordinarily is an adverb, used to qualify an adjective, like an extraordinarily good actor. (Sorry, too, if I sound pedantic.)

      Of course, this is neither here nor there. More on topic is whether or not he cried. I watched it too and, though he went through the motions, I couldn’t swear that he actually cried. After all, he is an extraordinarily good actor. I tend to doubt that his mother is but 1) she might have been coached or 2) simply fooled..Either hypothesis could explain the daughters’ absence on camera.

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    • If you click on The Guardian story in one of the links, there is a more complete video where he is shown shedding a tear.

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  22. I almost shit my pants when he said that he needed more time cause his work isn’t finished yet. Could you imagine his ‘masterpiece’ when is complete? I mean, come on buddy! Please stop working on your ‘masterpiece’! Please be kind and quietly die today so we could start cleaning your super mess.

    I am just incapable of feeling any sympathy for el Comandante Presidente.

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    • [Chavez] said that he needed more time cause his work isn’t finished yet.
      For example:
      Iran and Venezuela are feverishly building ICBM bases on the Paraguana Peninsula, a thumbnail shaped spit of arid land around a thousand square miles in size, 250 miles northwest of Caracas. These bases are designed to house missiles with nuclear tipped warheads capable of reaching large portions of the United States.

      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/01/iran_building_missile_base_in_venezuela_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz1rLgxSJ8P
      .
      “.. the clandestine agreement between Venezuela and Iran would mean the Chavez government would fire rocket at Iran’s enemies should the Islamic Republic face military strikes.”
      Chavez even said that sleeper cells in the USA would be activated (by Chavez) to perform
      terrorist attacks within the USA if Iran is attacked

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      • VIP Nights, that article is a bit off-base. The actual threat is WMD smuggled across Mexico. Low-yield nuke or dirty bomb. The Iranians don’t need Chavez for this. The Ccs-Syria-Iran flight is major concern. Recently the top US military general was visiting Brazil and Colombia to talk about this (it’s in the news) but they openly don’t mention Venezuela.

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        • Dave-the point is -Do you want a “President” (Commandante) who stands in
          front of the world and threatens another country with terrorist actions?
          Do you want a “President” (Commandante) who -the article claims allows another
          country-Iran-to build facilites for nuclear tipped missiles on Venezuelan territory?
          Dave-maybe it is true-as you say “the Iranians don’t need Venezuela” but
          the point is CHAVEZ WANTS IRAN.
          Finally, I agree the US State Department especially and even the President of the USA
          do not openly say anything about Chavez…

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          • I did not say the Iranians don’t need Venezuela! If US bombs Iran next year, the Iranian presence in Venezuela becomes worrisome, with or w/o Chavez.

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  23. Regardless of whether or not we feel any personal sympathy for the man, one of the hallmarks of a successful constitutional democracy is respect for the office of the presidency. If you spit too much on the man who sits in the office, you sully the office too, and that makes the job of the next president that much harder.

    While, I might lift a glass in private, in public, I will show and express the minimum required to demonstrate my respect for the office.

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    • Also, it’s not about what one feels for the man, it’s about respect for what others feel for him. Freedom of expression does not justify inconsideration.

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      • Exactly! It is going to be hard enough to heal the social wounds of this nation, without the Oppo people throwing it in the faces of the Chavistas.

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    • However, having a hope that your country will NOT enter the Roster of Rogue Countries, Failed States and Fourth World Hellholes, entitles you to a sigh of relief when he dies, there being no other sane way to make him quit in this lofty purpose.

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  24. All the talk about his motives – to me his only motive is his cowardice which is well documented.

    He leaves all his beliefs behind and grabs at straws because he can’t face his reality like a man.
    He doesn’t believe in god or heaven. He said so on May 26, 2008. He is a total hypocrite.
    I personally will celebrate through the night when he is gone. For the hate & division that he sowed he deserves no sympathy.

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  25. And what about the two priests hand clapping while Chavez orchestrates the service.

    You might say they are friends, family or maybe just caught between a tumor and a hard place.

    Nevertheless it leaves a sour taste.

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  26. The use of religion in this pre-campaign race is starting to get out of hand. On one side, we have Chavez begging for his life, selling himself as some sort of Christ 2.0 llanero recio de Sabaneta, and mentioning him time after time whenever he decides to talk to VTV.
    On the other side, there’s Capriles Randonski, who is constantly reminding us that he’s a Christian of Jewish heritage, but by no means is he really Jewish.
    The irony is that all this will have a positive impact on both guys’ numbers. Our state is perhaps secular, but our society is far from that.

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  27. Yes, you could let the man have all your sympathy, however much you disagreed with him. If he behaved from now on like a private citizen with a terrible illness.

    Anyhow it’s not proper and not humane to celebrate if he dies. Breathing a sigh of relief is well deserved however.

    Because he asks for more time to complete his masterwork. A quite costly piece as art goes. In lost wealth, in personal suffering and in death. It consists in tearing Venezuela apart and throwing it to all manner of predators. Some people, me included, half-hoped, half-wishful-thought he would stop after contemplating his own mortality. That is clearly not and shall not be the case. Forgive me for caring for my country and for being somewhat callous, but… Querida Pelona, LLEVATELO, MAS TEMPRANO QUE TARDE!

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  28. loroferoz said-“Some people, me included, half-hoped, half-wishful-thought he would stop after contemplating his own mortality. That is clearly not and shall not be the case. ”
    I had those exact thoughts last year..and I bet youare right-many, many others did too..
    Instead somebody thought up “why not use this for political purposes”…

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    • Seriously, I thought Chavez may use his fake-double to go back to Cuba and
      secretly fly on another plane to Rio..Chavez can get away with any lie, any
      rediculous behavior-that has been proven.
      Also, as I have been taught- once you start lying- it is hard to stop…
      And, last week I posted a rumor-yes I said it is a rumor-from 2 sources, -one
      Venezuelan and one Brazilian- that Chavez was also going to Brazil to visit
      a shaman that had threated Lula….

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    • Something strange is going on…Bocaranda is sticking with the Pope meeting story. They threw him some red herrings?

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  29. Large numbers of your venezuelan brothers and sisters up here in the frozen north have been going to pretty extraordinary lengths to register to vote this weekend. HOPE!

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  30. How can anyone going through a radiation treatment look that good, and have so much energy? I don’t get it.

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