- (Reuters/Jorge Silva)
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has turned to everybody from Castro to Jesus Christ to help him fight cancer. Now he is enlisting the help of shamans from the oil-rich nation’s Amazon jungles.
In a ceremony where Chavez wore a crown of feathers as members of the Yekuana, Jivi and Wayuu communities danced, sang, and prayed, the shamans invoked their ancestor to protect the Venezuelan leader, according to AFP.
The ritual was aimed at protecting Chavez "against enemies and bad health," said Miguel Morales, a shaman from the Jivi community.
It also helped to make sure Chavez “is left in peace, politically," he said.
Last month, Chavez announced that he has already been cured of cancer, with the help of Castro and Jesus. Last month he thanked them during a national broadcast, saying, “The first doctor is named Jesus of Nazareth, the highest of healers, the second is Fidel, and the third is the medical team.”
And during the ceremony, was confident that “all gods” will help prevent the cancer from returning.
"The cancer was removed, and with the power of god and all the gods it has gone and will never return," Chavez said.
The American Cancer Society considers shamanism, which varies wildly depending on the geographic area, a safe and acceptable complimentary treatment for cancer. Although the organization does not have hard evidence of shamanism healing cancer, researchers claim that patients who have participated in shamanistic rituals have shown signs of reduced stress and anxiety, as well as changing destructive thought patterns.
Chavez’s cancer has been a point of political contention in Venezuela. He has never announced what type of cancer he has nor has he named his doctors, something that political opponents argue is necessary public knowledge since the health of a nation’s leader is of national concern.
Despite cancer treatments in all its forms, the controversial leader plans on running for re-election in 2012.