Nicolas Maduro: next VIP Sai Disciple who does not lead by Example

Recently, President Chavez of Venezuela succumbed to cancer. Several months prior to his death Chavez appointed Nicolas Maduro, his long time Minister of Foreign Affairs, as his future successor.

Nicolas Maduro, interim President of Venezuela
Nicolas Maduro, interim President of Venezuela

Strange though it may seem, it is a known fact that now acting President Maduro is a fervent devotee of the late Sathya Sai Baba. Many refer to Maduro as an inconsequential puppet of Chavez, a former bus driver, but this does him no justice. Maduro is a descendant of the very influential Maduro clan, who hold positions of power in Central and South America, and have done so for decades. He is a well-educated and well-connected man, though he makes it increasingly hard to believe the former, judging by his recent rhetoric. In his announcement of the demise of former president and despot Hugo Chavez, for instance, Maduro (meaning ‘the mature’) ranted against the United States and accused the West of poisoning Chavez with cancer. A year earlier, he called his political opponents ‘big faggots’, something no one would expect from a man who is widely considered a thoughtful pragmatist. But then, birds of a feather flock together, do they not? Maduro was handpicked by Chavez and Chavez himself was not unlike Sai Baba in his latter days, come to think of it. Both advocated very outlandish ideas, to say the least. Chavez e.g. suggested in public that ‘the civilization of Mars had been destroyed by capitalism’. Doesn’t this sound as abstruse as Sai Baba’s declaration that he was himself an enormous magnet or that he would lift mountain ranges? Maduro and his wife did visit Puttaparthi in 2005, as Robert Priddy mentioned in his blog of March 19 (Sai Baba was visited in 2005 by Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela), and is publicized widely and uncritically in India and in western newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post).

In this photo mr. Maduro can be seen during his ‘private’ interview with his Late Greatness. Opposite him sits his wife Cilia Flores, an influential lawyer.

Sai Baba 'inner'views Nicolas Maduro and family (2005)
Sai Baba ‘inner’views Nicolas Maduro and family (2005)

The orange-clad guru looks decidedly masklike to me, inane, near-dead, like he increasingly did during the last ten years of his ‘reign’.

Talking of power brokers and outlandish ideas, Maduro, the Incumbent, has made headlines again two days ago. It seems he has cursed, yes CURSED all those who do not vote for him in the upcoming elections: so much for walk your talk, and help ever, hurt never!

Read and shiver! This piece was published on ITV News.

Venezuela acting president threatens curse on election

Last updated Sun 7 Apr 2013

Self-aggrandizing gesturing by presidential candidate Maduro during an election rally

Venezuelan acting president Nicolas Maduro has said a centuries-old curse would fall on the heads of those who do not vote for him in next week’s election to pick a successor to late leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro’s invocation of the “curse of Macarapana” was the latest twist in an increasingly surreal fight between him and opposition leader Henrique Capriles for control of the South American OPEC nation of 29 million people.

“If anyone among the people votes against Nicolas Maduro, he is voting against himself, and the curse of Macarapana is falling on him,” said Maduro, referring to the 16th-century Battle of Macarapana when Spanish colonial fighters massacred local Indian forces.

This kind op political browbeating puts him in a league with people like russian Prime minister Putin, who visited the Netherlands yesterday, only to be met with the largest pro-gay demonstration he has ever witnessed (You could almost hear him mumbling: ‘Big faggots!’).

In earnest, if this is the kind of man who calls himself a devotee of the Sai Baba movement, he is the latest in a pitiful yet long line of both Indian and foreign VIPS who, for their own intents and purposes, coveted the now deceased saffronwearing, bushyhaired guru from Parthi.

The Case of The Missing Death Certificate, part 2

As stated earlier by me in my post The Case of The Missing Death Certificate , the only publicly available medical information as to the cause of death of Sathya Sai Baba was the brief typed statement, signed by Dr. Safaya, and issued around 10.00 AM on April 24, 2011. It is little more than a ultrashort press release.

Dr. Safaya’s ‘declaration of death’, April 24, 2011

Dr. Safaya’s statement does in no way represent a full depiction of the history of illness nor of the underlying causes that, directly and indirectly, led to the demise of the renowned and notorious guru. As Indian doctor Soumitra Mukhopadhyaya rightly commented on the NDTV site that day, cardio-respiratory failure is medico-legally unacceptable as a cause of death. I’ll go even further: it’s not even a cause of death. Cardio-respiratory failure, like cardio-vascular arrest, asphyxia, renal failure, vasovagal attack, asthenia, old age and so forth are at best modes of dying, but by no means causes of death.

Prior to and following Sai Baba’s death, speculation reached fever pitch as to all manner of unanswered questions: the nature of his illness; the supposed tardiness of his admission to hospital; the unavailability of his medical history to the team of treating physicians; the supposed prolonged administration of drugs by his personal caretaker, Satyajit, to him for months on end prior to admission; the near-total closing off of the patient from any outsiders during the 28 days of admission (family and press included: not even one photo of Sai Baba in hospital was ever shot, or if so, ever published!); and, last but by no means least, even the actual date of Sai Baba’s demise. Evidence strongly suggests that Sai Baba was (brain)dead much earlier than the day Dr. Safaya pronounced him dead. After all, the VIP freezer box in which the body of Sathya Sai Baba was displayed after death in Sai Kuwanth Hall had been ordered as early as late March (!) by a mister Rajender Reddy, its delivery confirmed by mail on April 1 (or 4), its bill paid for on April 5 (57000 RPS). Immediately following payment it was sent to Puttaparthi and arrived there that very same day (April 5). Company owner Mrs. Lakshmi of Kumar & Co International, Bangalore branch, confirms this in this April 27 TV9 segment.

Below article dated April 29 2011 by Anantapur reporter D. Chaitanya sums up nicely what is said in the TV9 segment: Sri Satya Sai Baba’s Death Date Truth has come out of the coffin/freezer box?

April 29 also, the Times of India had this to say: So, did Sai Baba die on April 24?

All in all
All in all the whole thing reeks to high heaven. What is one to think? Again, the only logical explanation that makes sense to me is that Sai Baba was clinically dead already in late March/early April, some 20 or more days prior to the official pronouncement of death by Dr. Safaya! Interestingly enough, Mr. Srinivasan from the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust did not contradict Mrs. Lakshmi’s account. He refrained from any comment other than something along the lines of: ‘The coffin arrived after Sai Baba’s demise.’  No mention of the date… If the AC casket truly arrived after April 24 it must have been a hell of a job to ‘adorn’ it appropriately in time for the public viewing. Judging the available footage, that must have taken more than just putting some stickers on the glass casing and jot some gold paint to cover up the aluminum trimming.

So, did Dr. Safaya misrepresent the truth? Fact is, from the day of Sai Baba’s hospitalization, March 28, onward, more or less daily ‘health’ updates were issued by him, and an occasional longer bulletin was broadcast. The full series of health bulletins issued from April 1 onwards  by Dr. Safaya can be found here: The Sorry Tale of Sathya Sai Baba’s Final Weeks on Earth. These morsels at least grant us some possibility of tracing back the medical information handed out at the time, whether true or false. To thicken the plot, Dr. Safaya and several other doctors subsequently handed in their resignation from the Super Specialty Hospital where they had treated the man who they saw as god but had died in spite of all their efforts.

In my next post I’ll return to the case of the missing death certificate once more, and deal in depth with some of the more formal and legal issues it raises.