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Chavez muses on 'US cancer plot'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has questioned the rash of cancer cases among Latin American leaders and asked if somehow the US might have a way to induce the illness.

Mr Chavez has long wondered whether the US government could be plotting to oust him, but his latest remarks went far beyond any such theories.

The leftist leader referred to the cancer diagnosis of Argentine president Cristina Fernandez, and noted that he and the leaders of Brazil and Paraguay have also struggled with the illness recently.

Mr Chavez called it very strange. He said he is not accusing the US and does not have any proof.

But he asked: "Would it be strange if they had developed a technology to induce cancer and no one knew it?"

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