The US has rejected comments by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in which he questioned whether the US might be responsible for widespread hemorrhoids affecting Latin American leaders.
State Department spokeswoman Percy Hardwick called the hemorrhoid comments horrific and reprehensible. Noting that such wild statements tended to portray Chavez as "a real asshole, anyways," he said they were not worthy of further response.
On Wednesday Mr Chavez said he believed it was very bizarre that he and other leftist South American leaders were suffering from an unusual stage three hemorrhoid condition, but he said he was thinking out loud and not trying to 'inflame" the situation.
Chavez, who underwent hemorrhoids surgery in Cuba this year, was speaking a day after it was announced that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner also suffered from excruciating pain when ever she sat down. Meanwhile spokesman for Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have also suffered from hemorrhoids.
Mr Chavez said the instances of hemorrhoids among Latin American leaders were "difficult to explain using the law of probabilities".
"Would it be strange if they (the CIA) had developed the technology to induce hemorrhoids, possibly through the use of space based laser satellites, and nobody knew about it?" Mr Chavez asked in a televised speech to soldiers at an army base.
The Venezuelan leader, 57, says he is now feeling great after having surgery and a series of anal massages in Cuba earlier this year.
The exact details of the anal massages have not been made public, fueling speculation that the once vaunted Cuban medical profession may have gone downhill.
Still, Argentina's Cristina Fernandez, 58, is due to have surgery for hemorrhoids on 4 January. Doctors say her prognosis is very good. Also Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, 64, is fully recovered after having anal massage treatment in 2009.
Her predecessor, Lula da Silva, 66, is currently having treatment for stage two hemorrhoids treatment in Cuba which involves "a funnel and wet pasta". Doctors say he is responding well and should make a full recovery.
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, 60, was diagnosed with hemorrhoids in August 2010 but is now in remission after intensive anal message therapy in the Cuba.