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WikiLeaks: Doctors of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez disagree over his health

  • The Miami Herald
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, at 8:06 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 8, 2012, at 7:06 a.m.

Doctors from Russia, Cuba and China have been bickering over the president of Venezuela’s health and are at odds about the leader's prognosis, according to a confidential email published by WikiLeaks.

On Monday, the controversial website released a cache of emails stolen from the Austin-based Stratfor analytical firm.

Among the communications was one from December 2011, describing how Russian doctors blamed Cuban medics for botching Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's first cancer surgery and how they had to "clean up the Cuban team's mistakes."

According to the report, Cuban doctors thought Chávez had two years to live, while the Russian team gave him one year.

The analyst who wrote the report said her source was a “well connected” Venezuelan who is “anti-Chávez” and “working with Israel.” She gave him a “B” rating and said some of his information about the administration had checked out in the past.

In a statement Monday, Stratfor CEO and Founder George Friedman said his company’s email servers were hacked in December, and he called WikiLeaks’ decision to publish the emails “a deplorable, unfortunate — and illegal — breach of privacy.”

Friedman also said some of the email may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies and that the organization would not verify any of the communications.

In June, Chávez announced he had a cancerous tumor the size of a baseball removed during a procedure in Cuba. He returned to the island Friday, after a new lesion appeared near the site of the previous tumor. While he admitted the new lesion may be malignant, he has denied reports that the cancer had metastasized.

According to the WikiLeaks document, the source believed the cancer had started near the prostate and had spread to the colon, lymph-nodes and bone marrow.

To read more, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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