Venezuela Denies Chávez Is In “Critical Condition”; Foreign Minister Porras Calls Out Miami Herald


Hugo Chávez speaks to Fidel Castro and Raúl Castro during his convalescence in Cuba.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez dismissed rumors that he is sicker than the government claims and warned his enemies to “stop dreaming” of his death. Chávez has not been seen in public since his June 10 operation in Cuba to remove a pelvic swelling and his prolonged absence has stirred speculation that he may be receiving treatment for prostate cancer. The Venezuelan government insists Chávez is fine and denies a report by the Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper, which cited unnamed U.S. intelligence officials saying Chávez was in “critical condition” at hospital in Havana. “President Chávez is recovering well from his surgery. His enemies should stop dreaming and his friends should stop worrying,” Vice Foreign Minister Temir Porras said on his Twitter page Saturday. “The only thing that has metastasized is the cancer of the Miami Herald and the rest of the right-wing press.”

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Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • A Vatican expert on Cuba told U.S. diplomats in 2007 that Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega had pushed to shutter a highly regarded Roman Catholic magazine that often criticized the communist system, according to a State Department cable made available by WikiLeaks.
  • Former Haitian president Jean-Claude Duvalier was summoned before an investigating magistrate for the second time in as many months.
  • Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño says he is running for re-election next year.
  • Cases of cholera are on the rise in Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, the United Nations World Health Organization reported Friday, saying more than 18,000 new cases in Port-au-Prince have been recorded recently.

Central America


  • Venezuelan Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami announced on Saturday the seizure of five and a half tons of cocaine in the eastern state of Bolívar, in the biggest drug bust so far this year.
  • More than 250 women in a remote town in southwest Colombia are refusing to have sex with their partners until the central government follows through with a decades-old plan to pave the town’s only access road.
  • Canada’s Bear Creek Mining is threatening a legal challenge against Peru after its mining rights were revoked in a move that raises the risk for other resource companies doing business in the mineral-blessed South American country.
  • Federal prosecutors in Miami say a retired Bolivian general and another Bolivian national have pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges.

Southern Cone

Image: CubaDebate.

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