And now we have a video of Hugo Chavez, which only raises more questions

June 28, 2011

So now we get a video of Hugo Chavez “in a fresh Havana morning” talking to Fidel Castro. But just to make it obscure, there is no audio, many pictures, careful montage and “proof of life” via a picture of today’s Gramma, not in the video. Chavez does look thinner, only seven stars in the Venezuela suit.

But the loquacious President remains silent and the video/pictures is too professionally staged for anyone’s taste. The video discards the triumphal return mystery story. Not also that the video clip is shown at a fast speed as if to hide abnormally slow movements by Chavez (or Fidel)

Once again, I think he is ill, not dying, but severely restricted, don’t think we will see him before the 5th. and doubting the fifth. Something is clearly wrong.

102 Responses to “And now we have a video of Hugo Chavez, which only raises more questions”

  1. Lilleira McKenzie Says:

    Señores que se puede decir de un Presidente y un Contralor que no confian en los servicios medicos de Venezuela? Aunque la cirugia de Chavez fuese de emergencia, una ambulancia aerea lo hubiese trasladado ya a su pais. Pero como los servicios que el mismo Gobierno provee son una pesadilla no se molestan ni siquiera de dar el ejemplo de usarlos…pero para el pueblo si. Les pido que por favor hagan un enfoque en la situacion del hospital de Maracay, ejemplo de como los hospitales se manejan en Venezuela. Seria bueno que investigaran cuantas personas mueren alli.. entre ellas mi hermana… su compañera de cuarto y por lo menos 4 personas mas durante su estadia. Agradezco su atencion y mi familia y yo les podremos contar, avisenme como puedo dar a conocer al mundo como se ve el piso de cuidados intensivos de esa institucion y como son los cuidados que se le dan a los pacientes… mientras el Presidente pasa su convalecencia en otro pais.

  2. Just “proof of life”: kidnaped!

  3. LD Says:

    Look at this, on the report about CELAC
    “como es bien sabido por la opinión pública nacional e internacional, el Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías, se encuentra en medio de un proceso de recuperación y tratamiento médico sumamente estricto”
    Also: Se encuentra en medio de un tratamiento médico (I think I’m not reading too much here, but only using logic) This is, he is beeing treated.
    Como es bien sabido, hahaha!

  4. moctavio Says:

    Well, the summit, not the 5th. of July parade, Chavez could still show up for that

  5. LD Says:

    What about the 5th July Desfile, will be under Jaua or postponed or cancelled? Maybe they announce that on Friday (bad news always on Friday…) or are they really going to put 14 extra days in June? 😉

    • Roberto N Says:

      Like Chiguire Bipolar said, they’ll add 14 days to the month of June. So next Mondya will actually be the 35th of June.

      That’ll give Chavez enough time to recuperate and be there on the new 5th of July, about 2 weeks from now. 😉

  6. Dillis Says:

    I just drove past the Cumbre venue and they are still painting all the road markings. It makes me laugh, they only do it when there’s a Summit!

  7. LD Says:

    And in this picture you can see the ex-Cuba strongman Fidel Castro of and the ex-Venezuela strongman…

  8. Beto Says:

    On the minute mark 3:20 of the latest video you can see how they bring a Chair (an office style chair) with wheels, and they later take it out, as if someone told them, Not yet, not yet… and they retire the chair, later on you see the chair is for Castro, cause he is seating on it. By the way, if someone looks really really bad here is Castro, he seems to be lost.. my god, when is he going to take off…! and Chaves Daughter, whoms affraid of reading the news paper loud..!mmm i guess the girls are not really in to reading.

    PD: my dad used to take Qhemotherapy at Jacson memorial during the weekend and work on Monday..! so no surprise there with Chavez..! Now the question is if he is doing Fine, why not come back now.?

  9. extorres Says:

    chavez starring in a proof of life video. Yeah, very convincing; everything is fine and dandy.

  10. Olban Says:

    If H. Ch is supposed to be walking talking and joking what on the great heaven is he doing in Cuba………….C´on!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Roy Says:

    Here in Venezuela, a small group of friends and I meet for coffee each morning, where we discuss the news, politics, gossip… normal stuff. Lately, we have decided that living here is like being trapped in the play “Waiting for Godot (a tragicomedy in two acts)” by Samuel Beckett.

    This is truly “theater of the absurd”.

  12. syd Says:

    socialismo ciéntifico. what a load of nonsense to maintain a power base.

  13. GWEH Says:

    the body language experts need to look at this video … Dr. Glass!

    • ErneX Says:

      Also: the romantic music MAKES this video.

      • Kepler Says:

        well, that music is the kind of music Venezuelan soap operas had in the seventies.
        * Two blokes to prevent Hugo from falling…
        * Rosainés as “reserva”
        * at the end Chávez relieved he was able to show he was still alive by displaying those newspapers, as if he were kidnapped by Hamas
        * Fidel completely with dementia
        Sad thing.

      • syd Says:

        The choice of music is perfect for two wounded anti-heroes from a spaguetti western.
        The 2 blokes behind Chavez wear the same uniform. Parecen ser enfermeros cubanos.
        Fidel está mascando agua.

  14. GWEH Says:

    very staged… wobbly walk, no cane, two bodyguards to catch him. Video shot with high quality video camera on tripod. Video is edited and processed down to lower image quality.

    • LD Says:

      a wheelchair at 0:09 behind Chávez and advancing with him

    • LD Says:

      the bodyguards for Chávez are really prepared to catch him, hands in position. Chávez and Castro remains in contact all the time, who supports who?

      • ErneX Says:

        And he’s still needing a wheelchair, you can see a guy carrying it behind Chávez on the first seconds of the video. He’s not fit for a long speech of his just yet.

    • LGL Says:

      Good job, you guys. Wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t called it out. the wheelchair by itself wouldn’t be evidence, but the guy behind HCh at 0:14 is tensed, his attention is focused on Hugo’s back, and he appears ready to catch him.

      …And the VP has been saying that he needs more time to recuperate.

      …And reuters now has confirmed the cancellation of the Celac meeting.

  15. island canuck Says:

    Don’t you get the feeling that we are being set up?
    Promises to appear for July 5 & now it’s cancelled.

    What is truly going on?
    Is it possible that he is still really sick but had enough energy to make this video?

    • loroferoz Says:

      He IS really sick. Or was in a serious condition, at the very least.

      It should have been quite easy to present Hugo Chavez a week earlier, if it were only a pelvic abscess.

      And, of course, for whoever believes the tale of the unscheduled operation when Hugo was visiting Cuba, well, they should try their hands at real estate, I have some nice mountain properties on Delta Amacuro for them…

  16. Dillis Says:

    According to local media in Margarita, the Cumbre next week has just been officially suspended until further notice.

  17. jau Says:

    Could somebody please explain to me how 39.5% of Venezuelans do not mind if Chavez governs from Cuba?

    Do these ‘Venezuelans’ have a proper brain?

    Embarrasing time to be Venezuelan. These Chavistas are just dragging our collective sanity and pride through the mud since 1998. But this secret about Chavez health and governing from Cuba takes the cake. It is just too much. What a shame!

    • amieres Says:

      Maybe they figure he would do a better job. You know, a tweet here, a call there, a videito with Fidel, we can already feel the improvement.

  18. […] Notice how the video shows Fidel and Hugo talking, but the soundtrack of the video has music and a voiceover by an unknown speaker saying that “the lighthearted exchanged included the presence of [Hugo Chavez's] relatives. Cuban television will offer tomorrow, Wednesday, expanded coverage of this private meeting, on its noon broadcast.” Not[e] also that the video clip is shown at a fast speed as if to hide abnormally slow movements by … […]

  19. island canuck Says:

    Well it looks like we can stop celebrating.
    VTV is now showing a video where Chavez confirms the date & is speaking relatively clearly.

    • ErneX Says:

      Yeah, but it seems that at the moment the guy can’t walk really well and in one part he had 2 guys behind him like ready to catch him if necessary.

  20. LGL Says:

    Comic Relief: Newsweek photoshopped pictures of Diana to show what she would have looked like at 50. Note the picture with Kate M. Makes you wonder who in cuba is still alive.

  21. LD Says:

    Can somebody confirm this?:
    “Unos 150 técnicos y personal de prensa del canal del Estado enviados a Margarita, para cubrir la esperada Cumbre de Estados Latinoamericanos y del Caribe (Celac) comenzaron a retornar hoy a Caracas por “órdenes superiores”, dijeron a Emen fuentes confidenciales vinculadas al alto Gobierno. “

  22. deananash Says:

    The video isn’t current, that’s obvious. The only people who would buy this as a ‘proof’ that Chavez is okay are his base – his uneducated supporters. Who else would buy a corny montage as proof?

    I’m thinking Chavez is truly incapacitated or dead and the Castro’s are buying time to plan how to continue to milk the cow. Fidel has always been smart, in his own crazy ways. Very much the opposite of Chavez’s megalomania.

    M.O. – What happened to the constitutional argument regarding the President’s powers during a prolonged absence, etc…?

    And shouldn’t the opposition be marching about that? I agree with Mike, NOW is the time to strike while the iron is hot. And this constitutional argument seems to be the perfect reason.

    The oppo can feign concern for Chavez, while at the same time, HONOR him and his little red book. What am I missing?

    • LGL Says:

      the guys at the major Chavista forum are ecstatic with the photos and video, no speculation thus far on why there is no sound or why he’s not here or when he’s coming back. Lots of well-wishing. Concern that he’s lost weight. Outrage and happiness that the “lies” of the opposition have been refuted.

      god, what an easy audience…

      • syd Says:

        Easy doesn’t even begin to describe the audience. Here’s the email I got this morning from a friend who knows a few (ex) chavistas …


  23. LD Says:

    Yes, that could be. Interesting he doesn’t speak with other presidents, Lugo, Mujica, they didn’t speak with him, Correa, Evo don’t tell anything. Hmmm. If he is fine, why is he not doing his duty as president? Shouldn’t take Jaua the position, por ahora? If he don’t show for the 5th, then definetely there is something bigger. But the opposition should concentrate in leading the opinion, not on the disease of HCh. We can do the speculations…

  24. island canuck Says:

    Count down to new announcement that he won’t be back on July 5 for – put in a logical reason – to give him more time to recuperate. 3…2…1…

  25. Carolina Says:

    I’m amazed about how cheesy all this is. “On a fresh havana morning, chatting kindly, surrounded by the birds that are so happy, and the comandante Fidel who is also so happy, and we are here, so happy in the island of happiness”.

  26. Roy Says:

    Is anyone else reminded of the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”?

  27. Kepler Says:

    Chávez is rather small.

    • Roy Says:

      Fidel Castro is quite tall: 6′ 3″ (1.91 m)

      Hugo Chavez is of average height: +/- 5′ 8″ (1.74)

      Movie makers are famous for using various methods for making their often vertically challenged leading men look taller.

      • Kepler Says:

        1 74? I was once next to him and he looked smaller than that. What’s your source?

      • island canuck Says:

        Have a look at the 2nd photo released this morning.

        Chavez is actually taller than Fidel.

      • Beto Says:

        It is part of the cult of personality, my dad was 6′, (180) and went to the same school as Castro. Like i said part of the Cult is that Castro is this super tall guy, when in fact he is not that tall, he is at best 6′ on a good day, I remember seeing him once very close when i was in cuba, and he didn’t look more than 6′ at all, i even rememnber comenting it with my dad. So No issue there with the high, remeber castro have extremelly shrinked with time, he is also hunched because of age. So the pictures are good, chavez is clearly on a wheel chair, that is standard for someone with cancer, getting qhemo, but he can walk arround from time to time, the pics and vido don’t prove anything with the exeption that he is a live.

      • albionlodboy Says:

        Average, for who? average US male hight is 5’10

  28. LGL Says:

    Well, they seem to have bought themselves a little time. Since they produced evidence that the man is “OK,” they don’t need to produce him for the 5th, nor do they need to make a transfer of power to the VP, because one of the messages is that HCh is managing his ministers via teleconference. There was a quote yesterday (before this video came out) from Ramirez saying that it was too early to tell when Hugo is coming back:

    I also recall seeing on VTV quotes from the usual suspects, saying that HCh has the right to take time off for recovery without any undue pressure.

    So, If and when he’s able, Hugo will be able to continue working and campaigning for the elections without being haunted by the cancer. And this prevents Disodado or Adan from making their move just now. And we know Hugo is the only one who within the party who can win the elections.

    It a delay and pray move, i think.

  29. Groucho Marxist Says:

    Freeze the frame at any point in the video where it shows Chavez standing and talking to Fidel (e.g., at 0:48), then go back to MO’s June 22 post, where you can see the picture of Chavez with the two Castros. Notice something funny? In the video, Chavez looks taller than Fidel, but in the photo, he looks shorter.

    • syd Says:

      I’m not a physician, but I do have a few years’ worth of lay knowledge on osteoporosis (OP). I also have anecdotal evidence that in certain cases, OP follows treatment for prostate cancer. My former neighbour was receiving, in his 90th year, aggressive (injectable) treatment for prostate cancer. We used to chat often. And I noticed about a month or two after his treatment began that he was smaller. I didn’t say anything, but the link between OP and hormone therapy for prostate cancer came to mind. A year earlier, when I discussed aspects of OP with my family physician, he revealed that his father had developed OP after receiving aggressive treatment for prostate cancer. Here’s the non-lay view of things: .

    • Kepler Says:

      Groucho, he can and is probably on another level. As Roy said, Castro is definitely tall (but I am not so sure about Chávez being 174cm, I thought he was smaller…or perhaps it is because he has the Otomaco complexion)

  30. loroferoz Says:

    They should have added the eight star. It really gives the guy away.

    I can only speculate that those actually responsible for the video, and for many other collages made in communist states, would want most of all to be in another country and in another job.

    Rather than in a communist capital, doing a hack job for some party hack, providing proof of life for some clueless imbecile whose very sight is enough to make them sick to the stomach.

    With the joropo music, the shadows, and the cheesy effects, this video manages to look like an old style commemorative newsreel for a dead person, for movie theaters. The effect is opposite the intended.

    I wonder how that got by Andres Izarra, he genius of communication! Or are they sending subliminal messages that Hugo is to be referred in past tense? Could be a trick, you know.

  31. Glenn Says:

    Whose the woman in the background at the beginning? Family?

  32. clamto Says:

    I don’t know if this is the original video, but the speed of it is a little faster than how these characters are moving. Is meant to accentuate their gestures and make them seem more assertive. Just look how fast fidel is pointing his finger at chavez.

    I agree that this is a sad period for the republic. It seems more like north korea, than the Venezuela I new

  33. LD Says:

    It is weird, but what if the pictures and video are authentic? He looks in a better condition as he cames to Cuba (thinner, knee healed, face looks better, hey, he looks younger!). Maybe he likes to get more attention *without* saying anything?
    I think it’s better to act as he is healed and go further.
    Like this guys:

  34. JunCTionS Says:

    As for the stars, it’s probably under his “sobaco”: for example this case on his right side

    So let’s not focus on that.

    We should focus on the evident facts, it’s a creepy video considering that it didn’t provide audio (and we know Chavez loves to talk) and it’s odd that VTV or some venezuelan network didn’t go there and take a direct statement.

    Something is odd.

  35. bobthebuilder Says:

    Very strange. You’d have thought they could have got him to say even just a few words.

  36. GeronL Says:

    Like that one news report I heard a couple of weeks ago where a woman woke up from surgery with a British accent. How embarassed would he be?

  37. Pedro Says:

    My theory is that Chavez suffered from hypoxia because of incorrect anesthesia during the operation or postop care. This happened to my grandmother, unfortunately, after an operation to remove a cancerous growth. The operation went fine, but the nurses gave her too much anesthetic. What happens is a mild form of brain damage where (for example in the case of my grandmother) memory is affected. Sometimes she is confused as to where she is and who the people around her are (sometimes she even forgets her husband of 60 years). I bet something similar happened to Chavez. He looks fine, and I’m sure he can even interact reasonably well with other people, but he would suddenly forget things, not recognize people, forget his train of thought, not know where he is. That is why everyone around him looks so depressed. Of course, some would say he had memory problems even before, and that he was already living in his own alternate reality……

    • Gringo Says:

      Your theory seems plausible to me. This is a man who time and again during the last twelve years has talked for hours on end on television. Hasn’t he gone as long as seven hours at one time- a pace which would exhaust ordinary mortals?

      Judging by his actions, Hugo’s motto would seem to be not “I think, therefore I am,” but “I talk, therefore I am.”

      Hugo is a man with a marathon mouth, with an exceptional “gift of gab,” who can talk for hours on end without breaking a sweat. Yet his handlers don’t want him talking for even five seconds? Not even “Saludos a mis amigos?”

      I wonder if the reluctance of Hugo’s handlers to have him speak for only five seconds is an indication that his speech is currently slurred.

      A silent Hugo is abnormal. (Not that we don’t appreciate his silence, mind you..)

      By July 5, we will know more.

      • loroferoz Says:

        A silent Hugo is a blessing to Venezuelans.

        If Sauron became an unblinking, watching Eye after he was de-incorporated, Hugo would become an ever talking Mouth.

  38. Kepler Says:

    Hair cut someone?

  39. amieres Says:

    That gramma newspaper is so interesting!

  40. amieres Says:

    He looks very stiff.
    So now we know he can stand up and sit up at least for brief moments. But he can’t walk or talk for any long periods of time. It probably hurts a lot to move or stay in one position for any length of time.

  41. Roy Says:

    I am with ds on this. This is maddening and insulting. By now, everyone knows that something is seriously wrong with Chavez. Venezuela deserves to know the real condition and prognosis. The presidency exists for the country, not the other way around.

  42. ds Says:

    All this is frigging ridiculous!

    A whole country analyzing these absurd
    clues, trowed in by god knows who.

    This country is functioning like a
    hamlet directed by a shaman.

    What a sad, and pathetic chapter in our history.

    How many Venezuelans can accept this buffoonery??
    How pathetic this country can be?

  43. Last night I had a vision in which Persephone was telling the comedian chavez, in vernacular Venezuelan “Ven a mi que tengo flor” while showing him a funeral wreath.

  44. m_astera Says:

    My theory that they are cloning him gathers strength. The clone has not yet been taught to speak.

    “The Hugos from Havana”

  45. LD Says:

    Good to see that the knee has healed…
    Could somebody bring him also a new t-shirt?
    But, why don’t speak to the venezuelan people then??

  46. chiguire Says:

    The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.
    Mark Twain (1835 – 1910), Advice to Youth

  47. Oso Negro Says:

    Totally staged. The “moviemaker” montage is hokey.

  48. Mike Says:

    Looks like HC 5 or more years younger. Not a video shot today. I still say for some reason the bocón can’t talk.

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