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Rumors of Hugo’s Death: Exaggerated

Via the BBC:  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismisses death rumours

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has spoken on state TV for the first time since he arrived in Cuba for more cancer treatment nine days ago.

Mr Chavez, 57, dismissed rumours that he had died undergoing radiotherapy for a second tumour in his pelvic region.

Speaking over the phone from Havana, he said rumours about his death were part of a psychological war against him.

Well, I have no doubt that his political opponents are trying to capitalize on his situation.  However, when a very prominent leader has a serious illness and then decides to go out of country for treatment (multiple times) in an obvious attempt to control information, rumors are going to start.  Toss in nine days of silence and someone, somewhere is going to think that you might be dead.

And I find the following metric amusing:

Mr Chavez had sent around 30 tweets over the past nine days – far fewer than usual.

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter