Bloomberg News

Mayan Nobel Menchu Says She Talked to Chavez Spirits

February 22, 2013

Chavez Health Condition ‘Hasn’t Been Favorable,’ Minister Says

A woman carrying a poster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez crosses the street in front of the military hospital where the ailing leader has been hospitalized following his return from Cuba in Caracas on Feb. 20, 2013. Photographer: Geraldo Caso/AFP/Getty Images

Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu said she has been in contact with President Hugo Chavez’s spirit and that the ailing Venezuelan leader’s ancestors are protecting him in his fight against cancer.

“We’ve been in communication with Chavez’s spirit, and we have very positive signs,” Menchu, a Guatemalan who won the Nobel Peace Price in 1992, said in Caracas during a national TV and radio broadcast. “We’ve spoken with his ancestors, and they are protecting him.”

Chavez, who is being treated for an undisclosed type of cancer at a Caracas military hospital, is continuing to have breathing troubles that have worsened, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said today in comments made in Equatorial Guinea and broadcast on state television. The former paratrooper isn’t suffering significant adverse effects from the treatment of his “base illness,” Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said yesterday, adding that he was in contact with his family and political team.

“Menchu has brought blessings, energy, spiritual strength and love from the Mayan people to our Comandante,” Vice- President Nicolas Maduro said as he introduced Menchu before she spoke. “When she found out that Chavez was here in Venezuela, she immediately came.”

‘Base Illness’

Chavez returned to Caracas on Feb. 18 after more than two months of treatment in Cuba. Apart from photos released last week and Twitter messages sent by Chavez upon arrival, he hasn’t been seen or heard from since traveling to Havana for his fourth cancer surgery in 20 months. No images of his arrival or hospital stay have been released by the government.

“The respiratory insufficiency that arose during the post- operative phase persists, and the tendency hasn’t been favorable,” Villegas said yesterday. “The treatment for the base illness is continuing without any significant adverse effects.”

He said on Feb. 15 that Chavez is suffering from a “delicate” respiratory infection that has left him speechless and requires the use of a tracheal tube.

“Chavez is maintaining his faith in Christ,” Villegas said. “He has the maximum will to live and discipline in his health treatment.”

‘Difficult Moments’

Chavez has endured the “most difficult moments of his life,” Bolivian President Evo Morales, who didn’t get to see his close ally during a visit to Caracas this week, said Nov. 20 in New York.

“Yesterday they announced a respiratory complication, and even though the respiratory deficit has increased in the last hours, the continued treatment for the base illness is being positively tolerated by the patient,” Jaua said today, adding that Maduro would not attend the Africa - South American Summit in Equatorial Guinea this weekend because he had work to do with Chavez in Venezuela.

Chavez’s deteriorating health triggered a 32 percent rally on Venezuelan dollar bonds over the past year as investors boosted bets he’ll be unable to complete another term, opening the door for a new regime that will introduce more market- friendly policies.

Venezuela’s bonds had the third-best performance among emerging markets in the past 12 months, after the Ivory Coast and Belize, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index.

“I’m here as an ancient Mayan ancestral guide,” Menchu, a campaigner for indigenous rights, said, adding that she would send Chavez a Mayan calendar. “I’m sure that Chavez has already received the cosmic energy and strength from Mother Earth.”

For Related News and Information:

To contact the reporters on this story: Nathan Crooks in Caracas at ncrooks@bloomberg.net; Corina Pons in Caracas at crpons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net


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