ABC claims that Chavez, who had returned to Venezuela last month following cancer surgery and a two-month recovery period in Cuba, was sent back to Havana in his last hours after his condition continued to deteriorate amid respiratory complications.
Chavez’s death was reported around 4:30 p.m. local time, at a military hospital in Caracas, but ABC said its sources close to the medical team reported that the death actually occurred several hours earlier, around 7 a.m.
The alleged purpose of the delayed reporting was to conceal the last-minute efforts to save Chavez’s life and the subsequent transfer of his body back to Venezuela, thus providing the government time to carefully manage the announcement of his death.
This scenario is consistent with the level of secrecy that had surrounded Chavez’s illness over the past two years, during which the government declined to disclose what type of cancer he had or provide detailed information about his health status.
On the other end of the conspiracy spectrum, some are saying that Chavez was assassinated by the U.S. government. These Twitter users refer to Chavez's past claims that the CIA may have given him and other Latin American leaders cancer:
Hugo Chavez, Dilma Rousseff, Fernando Lugo, and Lula all just happened to contract cancer around the same time presstv.ir/detail/2013/03…
— Club des Cordeliers (@cordeliers) March 6, 2013
— Evangelline Dubois (@EvangellineD) March 6, 2013
Today's comment of the day on Alex Jones' website: suggesting the CIA gave Chavez cancer via his toothbrush twitter.com/bendimiero/sta…
— Ben Dimiero (@bendimiero) March 6, 2013
Pretty clever how CIA jackals put cancer in Hugo Chavez's drink.
— CJ Werleman (@rationalists) March 6, 2013
I'd rather cry over hugo chavez than Diana. He helped his people and the CIA gave him cancer. Read the real story
— john mcbride (@japanmentalist) March 6, 2013