Caracas, Venezuela (TDN) -- The Venezuela government is giving credence to persistent rumors that former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was poisoned. Acting President Nicolas Maduro says his government will pursue a serious investigation into the claim.
Shortly after his diagnosis with cancer in 2011, Chavez himself made the allegation and it has continued to swirl with the death of the populous leader. Maduro said it was too early to say who is responsible but pointed to the mysterious death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who was allegedly poisoned by Israeli agents.
"He [Chavez] had a cancer that broke all norms and everything seems to indicate that they affected his health using the most advanced techniques , Maduro told regional television Network Telesur.
Maduro told the network that no amount of effort will be spared in getting to the truth. His government will employ a panel of international experts with varying expertise in order to thoroughly examine the claim. "We will seek the truth. We have the intuition that our commander Chavez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way," he said.
Although not pointing the fingers of suspicion at any country, except to say that “dark foreign forces” were responsible, Maduro told the interviewer that the United States had many laboratories with experience in producing diseases.
The Venezuelan government never really revealed the exact location or type of the cancer that led to Chavez’s death except to say that it was in his pelvic region. Following four unsuccessful surgeries in Cuba the 58 year old charismatic leader succumbed with the official cause of death given as a massive heart attack.
Chavez, 58, was diagnosed with cancer in his pelvic region in June 2011 and underwent four surgeries in Cuba before his death last week, which sources have attributed to metastasis in the lungs.
In a strange twist, Maduro’s efforts at convincing the world that Chavez was poisoned is not unlike Chavez’s own attempts to tell the world that the hero of the Bolivarian revolution Simon Bolivar was poisoned to death in 1830.
After Maduro’s announcement the opposition accused him of using this intrigue for political gain by keeping the focus on Chavez in an effort to gain sympathy votes for the upcoming general elections.