Scientists to Test Chávez for Poisoning

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Supporters listen to the speech of acting president Nicolas Maduro during the official registration of his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election at the National Electoral Council (SNE) in Caracas, on March 11, 2013.

It sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, but according to Venezuelan government officials, recently deceased President Hugo Chávez could have been purposefully infected with cancer—and the world’s best scientists will investigate the potential poisoning. “We have this intuition that our commander Chávez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted to be rid of him,” President Nicolás Maduro said in an interview. He explained that the U.S. had labs creating cancer in the ’40s and ’50s, and thinks they could have advanced—though stressed he wasn’t blaming America. “An assertion that the United States was somehow involved in causing President Chávez's illness is absurd, and we definitively reject it,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell last week.