Washington: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's comment that Washington may have been involved in the cancers of South American leaders are "horrific and reprehensible", the US State Department said on Friday.
Chavez, who is known for his anti-US rhetoric, told a ceremony for the Venezuelan Army on Wednesday that the US could have developed "technology to induce cancer without anyone knowing about it", reported RIA Novosti.
Chavez, who had been suffered from cancer, voiced his suspicions after Argentine leader Cristina Kirchner announced this week that she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as well as the incumbent, Dilma Rousseff, and Paraguay's leader, Fernando Lugo, have all been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.
First Published: Friday, December 30, 2011, 15:48