Following the news that Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the United States may be behind the disease and could be afflicting South America's leftist leaders on purpose.

It would not be strange if they had developed the technology to induce cancer and nobody knew about it until now ... I don't know. I'm just reflecting, Chavez, who recently had a cancerous tumor removed from his pelvis, said in a televised speech to troops at a military base.

But this is very, very, very strange ... it's a bit difficult to explain this, to reason it, including using the law of probabilities.

Along with Chavez and Kircher, Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, Brazilians President Dilma Rousseff and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have all been diagnosed with cancer.

Chavez suggested that Bolivia's President Evo Morales could be next.

We'll have to take good care of Evo. Take care Evo! he said.

Fidel [Castro] always told me, 'Chavez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat ... a little needle and they inject you with I don't know what.'

Chavez cited recent reports that U.S. scientists infected 1,400 Guatemalan prisoners with syphilis and other venereal diseases in the 1940s to research penicillin as evidence of past plots.

The bombastic Venezuelan leader added that he was only speculating and was not making accusations. In the past, Chavez has accused the United States of trying to assassinate him.

Doctors are optimistic about Kirchner's diagnosis and think the Argentinian will have a very good chance of recovery following surgery next week.