Rumor: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez fighting for his life in Cuban hospital

With little official information coming out on his condition or location, focus has turned to a secretive hospital in Havana

UNCONFIRMED: That Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is near death in a Cuban hospital

 

It’s no secret that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is recovering from his latest operation in December to remove a cancerous tumor -- an operation so serious he has not spoken since and was forced to miss his own inauguration. His condition and his location, however, have both been well-kept secrets. Now, an Associated Press report says that he is fighting for his life inside a heavily guarded hospital in Cuba, near the rumored home of Fidel Castro.

 

A reputation for privacy

Chavez is said to be in the Centro de Investigaciones Médico Quirúrgicas (CIMEQ) hospital in Havana -- a blocky, pastel-hued building that’s known for maintaining the absolute privacy of its patients. Castro himself, as well  as other South American president such as Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Evo Morales of Bolivia have sought treatment there. Chavez has gone to great pains to keep his recovery from cancer a secret would seem and would to be a natural fit for the place.

 

Read about why Chavez’s signature on an official decree is being questioned

 

Venezuelan diplomatic cars spotted

No journalists are allowed inside CIMEQ and, in fact, no one at all is reportedly being allowed inside without documented business at the hospital. But several cars in the parking lot which had black diplomatic license plates identifying them as belonging to the Venezuelan Embassy have reportedly been spotted. Unofficial reports say that Chavez is in a particularly isolated wing of the building. Venezuelans, meanwhile, are left to wonder about their leader’s fate and about who is running the country in his absence.

 

Video: PBS America profiles Hugo Chavez

 

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