Hugo Chavez Dies, Venezuelan VP Blames U.S. “Cancer Attack”, Country Faces Uncertainty, Expels 2 US Diplomats.

Tracy Connor
NBC News
March 5, 2013

Hours before Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died, his second-in-command accused enemies of giving him cancer and announced the expulsion of two U.S. diplomats for an alleged plot to destabilize the government.

“There’s no doubt that Commandante Chavez’s health came under attack by the enemy,” Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in an address to the nation from the presidential palace.

“The old enemies of our fatherland looked for a way to harm his health,” according to Maduro, drawing a parallel to the illness and 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, which some supporters blamed on poisoning by Israeli agents.

He said a special commission would investigate how Chavez, 58, ended up with the unspecified cancer that months of chemotherapy and radiation and four surgeries failed to tame.


With Chávez Death, Country Faces Uncertainty

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Venezuela enters an uncertain future with Tuesday’s announcement of the death of President Hugo Chávez, who led the country virtually as a one-man show for the past 14 years, using oil money to launch popular spending programs for the poor and putting much of the economy under government control.

Vice President Nicolás Maduro broke the news to the country on Tuesday in a televised address.


Venezuela Expels 2 US Diplomats; Vice President Claims Hugo Chavez was Poisoned

After reiterating that President Hugo Chávez’s health is looking grave, Venezuela’s vice president lashed out at the country’s “enemies” and expelled two U.S. diplomats whom he accused of spying on the country’s military.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Vice President Nicolás Maduro also pointed to the U.S. and other foreign countries of somehow poisoning Chávez with cancer.
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