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Chavez Poison Theory Being Investigated

Nicolas Maduro hints that he's accusing US
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2013 12:39 PM CDT
Chavez Poison Theory Being Investigated
Supporters of Venezuela's acting President Nicolas Maduro gather outside the national electoral council as he registers his candidacy for president in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, March 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

(Newser) – Apparently Venezuela is taking this whole Chavez-was-poisoned theory pretty seriously: Acting President Nicolas Maduro told a regional TV network last night that the country will launch a formal inquiry into just how Chavez ended up with cancer, Reuters reports. "We will seek the truth," Maduro said. "We have the intuition that our commander Chavez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way." Foreign scientists will be asked to join the probe, he added, likening this situation that of Yasser Arafat, who some suspect was poisoned in 2004.

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Critics of the government say the whole thing is a conspiracy theory a la Chavez himself (who was actually the first to float the poison idea). And opponents of Maduro accuse him of exploiting Chavez's death in an effort to benefit from the nation's grief as he faces an April 14 presidential election. As for who theoretically poisoned Chavez, Maduro wouldn't specifically say, but he did mention that US labs have sophisticated disease-related capabilities, reports Reuters. "He had a cancer that broke all norms," Maduro said. "Everything seems to indicate that they affected his health using the most advanced techniques ... He had that intuition from the beginning." (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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