‘They Are Definitely Not Dead,’ State Media Report
HAVANA – Despite missing his fourth inauguration to undergo cancer-related surgery in Cuba, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is reportedly doing “muy bien” at the island’s premier getaway for socialist despots who just can’t seem to die.
Chavez, who has not been seen or heard from since early December, is said to be enjoying a six-week “siesta” with Cuba’s equally reclusive Fidel Castro at the resort complex, which is disguised as a hospice care center to protect the privacy of its elite clientele.
“We are happy to report that President Chavez has triumphed over the cancer that plagued him just as he triumphed over the neoliberal capitalist cancer that plagued the working man,” said Jorge Maldonado, the surgeon who performed Chavez’s operation. “In other words, he is definitely not dead.”
“Once again, let it be known that President Chavez is 100 percent alive,” Maldonado added, glancing up nervously from his script before being ushered off the podium by party officials.
Venezuelan opposition members have been highly critical of the Chavez administration’s attempts to fill the power vacuum left by their leader’s vacation to Cuba, demanding a special presidential election be held in the event of Chavez’s untimely demise.
But in a move that stunned critics, Fidel Castro, who has been similarly rumored to be on his deathbed for the last fifty years, corroborated the Chavez government’s story in the form of a typed letter, which was read aloud at the press conference by Castro’s personal assistant, Pablo. Attached to the letter was a pixelated photo of two haggard-looking Hispanic men smoking cigars on a beach.
While the photographic evidence may have silenced skeptics for now, Chavez’s cancer scare has raised questions of his ability to rule during his upcoming fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth terms as Venezuela’s president.
In light of the uncertainty surrounding Chavez’s reign, government insiders assure citizens that any concerns about a democratic process emerging in Venezuela will be laid to rest following the inevitable military coup later this year.