Hugo Chavez Chooses Capitalist Medicine!
Hugo Chavez had been in Cuba when he and Fidel Castro claim that his cancer was found accidentally during a routine doctor’s visit. According to Castro, Chavez had been in Cuba for unrelated reasons. What those reasons might have been, what prompted Chavez to inexplicably visit a Cuban doctor instead of returning home first, and how cancer was diagnosed remain questions that neither Chavez nor anyone in Cuban government will elaborate on. Nobody has even revealed what type of cancer Chavez has or how severe it might be.
General speculation and educated guessing in the U.S. and elsewhere have suggested it is most likely a colorectal cancer, it is most likely at an extremely advanced stage since it was detectable without colonoscopy, and it has probably spread to other organs. It is also widely assumed that Chavez was indeed in Cuba purposely to receive the treatment, and Chavez very likely did end up receiving some limited treatment while in Cuba. He has confirmed, for example, that he underwent surgery to remove a tumor. Even this, however, sounds fishy because advanced cancers are usually treated with chemotherapy and radiation before any surgery.
Staff at a Brazilian hospital seem to have addressed some of the confusion and unanswered questions earlier today. The hospital says Chavez returned from Cuba to seek full treatment for his cancer in Brazil; the hospital is one of the best at treating cancer in Latin America. In fact, it may only be second in the Western Hemisphere to the treatments offered in the U.S.A.!
Given Chavez’s socialism and dictatorial aspirations in Venezuela–which include, obviously, complete socialization of the Venezuelan healthcare system–he couldn’t very easily have traveled to the United States or any other place without socialized medicine without revealing himself as a complete hypocrite. So he evidently chose the only remaining Communist nation in the West: Cuba! His plan apparently backfired on him when he and Castro realized Cuban medicine could do nothing for him.
Instead of being upfront about, well, anything at all, Castro and Chavez did what dictators do best: controlled free media reporting and concocted a bunch of lies to give the appearance that Chavez just so happened to be in Cuba on unrelated business when it was magically discovered he had advanced cancer. In fact, it’s likely that no surgery even occurred, since even relatively early stage 2 and stage 3 colon cancers (Experts believe Chavez has advanced stage 4 colon cancer) are now usually treated with radiation and/or chemo prior to any surgery. Any other cancer in the lower internal organs would undoubtedly be treated initially or solely using chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor(s) before attempting to remove pieces of organs.
In being treated in Brazil, Chavez all but exposes that the more socialized (i.e., monopolized) a medical market is, the less likely anyone is to receive proper treatment. Even if Chavez is not lying about what transpired in Cuba, it exposes the idiocy and backwardness of the Cuban medical system in not adhering to the standard medical procedures that have been proven most successful at treating an illness. Either way, Chavez’s ordeal exposes the dangers of socialized–or monopolized, in whatever form that might take–healthcare.
My guess is that if Brazil cannot help him, Chavez may decide to seek help in Canada or Scandinavia, where he can still manipulate the press and create lies about their systems being high quality “government-controlled” medicine. This would be only a half-truth, at best, since those nations’ entire medical systems are not monopolized by their governments; only certain aspects of them are, namely that the governments subsidize their peoples’ care. But what else would we expect from Hugo Chavez? Unless his cancer spreads to his brain, it’s foolish to think we could ever expect any truth or rationality to come out of such a person’s mouth.