While Hugo Chávez continues to ruin the country and persecute his opponents, he needs a distraction or two, and since the Colombians are not obliging him by declaring a war, he decided to exhume Simón Bolívar.
“But,” you may ask, “hasn’t Bolívar been dead and buried for almost 200 years?”
Indeed he has. Never mind, not even the corpses get to rest in the Bolivarian revolution, if it serves a political purpose:
Venezuela exhumes hero Bolivar’s bones for tests
Venezuela exhumed the remains of 19th century independence hero Simon Bolivar on Friday and will test them to see if he was poisoned by enemies in Colombia.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez rejects the traditional account that Bolivar, a brilliant Venezuelan military tactician who freed much of South America from centuries of Spanish rule, died of tuberculosis in Colombia in 1830.
Hugo of course had to do a cadena with a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings (video in Spanish. I’m not translating it but take my word that it’s all bs).
And Hugo may even get to taunt Colombia some more, while :
He insists Bolivar was murdered by a Colombian rival,
Hmmm… isn’t that some coincidence?
So, pray tell, who’ll be doing the forensics? An impartial third party with plenty of experience on 200 year old relics? Of course not:
and Venezuela’s newly inaugurated state forensics laboratory is taking as its first case the death of the hero some call Latin America’s George Washington.
Now that the Colombians have even more evidence that Chávez is hosting FARC and ELN, Chávez has his own theories on Bolivar’s death:
Chavez says Bolivar was murdered by a Colombian general, Francisco de Paula Santander, and some analysts have warned that revisiting the case could put more pressure on strained ties between the neighbors.
You don’t say?
The Colombian government informed in great detail about the presumed whereabouts of top level FARC men in Venezuela. This comes at a moment when inflation in Venezuela is going through the roof, when the murder rate remains out of control (the highest by far in South America) and when scandal after scandal about rotten food or anything else pop up (just a random selection of anything else here).
What does the military regime in Caracas do? Caudillo Chávez declares the government opened Simón Bolívar’s grave to examine the skeleton inside and find out whether semi-God Bolívar really died of tuberculosis or US Americans murdered him. Never mind we are not sure those are Bolívar’s bones. Never mind the vast majority of Venezuelans think there are a zillion other priorities. The personality cult around Bolívar (and as usual linked to the current caudillo) has taken new dimensions.
Go read the rest.
This is just the latest attempt of Chávez to revise history in order to declare himself Bolívar’s heir. In real life, Simón Bolívar was a pro-American free-marketeer, known as a keen supporter of Adam Smith’s economic theories. He did become an authoritarian dictator after the revolution – but he was far from the wild-eyed socialist Chávez claims him to be. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that Bolívar would have been disgusted by Chávez – and he would have rolled over in his grave today were he still in it.