Vice President Nicolas Maduro confirmed at 4:25 p.m. EST that Hugo Chavez has died.
The former Ambassador of Panama to the Organization of American States (OAS), Guillermo Cochez, says his sources have confirmed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is dead.
Chavez was in a vegetative state since December 30 or 31, he says.
For the first time since Chavez left Venezuela in December for cancer treatment in Cuba, he tweeted his arrival to his homeland.
Hemos llegado de nuevo a la Patria venezolana. Gracias Dios mío!! Gracias Pueblo amado!! Aquí continuaremos el tratamiento.
— Hugo Chavez Frias (@chavezcandanga) February 18, 2013
He also thanked Cuba, Fidel and Raul Castro and Venezuelans for their support. But Cochez isn’t convinced it. He says the Venezuelan government is lying to buy themselves time for a re-election.
Cochez lost his position in the OAS on January 17, after he made statements about the Venezuelan government not being forthcoming about Chavez’s health and alleging the leader was dead.
Cochez says his sources are within the Venezuelan government and in military circles, and not part of the opposition. He told CNN en Espanol, that Chavez was transported back to Venezuela because Cuban officials did not want him disconnected there. During the transfer he was maintained on life support and was “a vegetable,” Cochez said.
He supports his claim by stating that Bolivian President Evo Morales and Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner were not allowed to see him upon their visit to Cuba.
Kirchner met with Chavez’s family and Raul and Fidel Castro on her visit to Havana on January 11. On February 19, Morales made a stop in Caracas to visit the ailing Chavez in the military hospital where he was being treated, but did not meet with him personally.
“I wasn’t able to meet him,” Morales said at a United Nations press conference, reports Panorama. “I was only able to meet the head doctor and his family, but my understanding is that they are very encouraged.”
Cochez offers evidence Hugo Chavez is dead
Cochez insists that Hugo Chavez is dead and he offers up some supporting evidence.
The photos of Hugo Chavez with his two daughters is fake, he says. One of Chavez’s daughters underwent a rhinoplasty about a year ago and is seen in the photo with her old nose.
“It’s not the same nose,” he says.
Cochez doesn’t specify whether it is María Gabriela Chavez or Rosa Virginia Chavez, who are both in the photo.
“They don’t look the way they look today,” he says. Another inconsistency is the photo released by the Venezuelan government shows Hugo Chavez with more weight than when he left for his cancer treatment in Cuba.
“They will call me a liar,” he said of the Venezuelan government. But the only way to prove it, is to “Show President Hugo Chavez. Show him alive.”
“They won’t be able to do it because President Hugo Chavez is dead,” Cochez said.
Guillermo Cochez: Hugo Chavez is dead