U.S. calls Hugo Chavez cancer speculation 'reprehensible'

State department responds after Chavez suggests the US might have the technology to induce cancer

The United States has responded strongly to speculation by Venezuelan President Hugh Chavez that it may have the technology to induce cancer, AFP reports. “With regard to the Chavez statements, let me simply say that they are horrific and reprehensible,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said. The statement follows a rhetorical question Chavez posed at an armed forces ceremony on Wednesday, regarding the U.S.: “Would it be that strange if they had developed technology to induce cancer without anyone knowing about it?” In the same speech, Chavez had questioned the odds of “what has been happening to some of us in Latin America.” Chavez, a cancer survivor, referred to Argentine leader Cristina Kirchner, who recently announced she has thyroid cancer. Both the current and past presidents of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as well as the Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, have had or are currently dealing with cancer.


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