After expelling the Bodies exhibit from Venezuela a couple of years ago, Hugo Chavez held his own grotesque and unnecessary version, opening the casket of Simon Bolivar so that his Government could play two century CSI and determine if Bolivar was murdered with arsenic or just died of tuberculosis. Of course, arsenic was given for TB at the time, so that the whole thing may prove nothing in the end and Bolivar’s remains will stay trapped in the same labyrinth they have been since his death.
The whole scene looked like a combination of of Close Encounters and Rosemary’s baby, with all sorts of people that should not be there present, from the Minister of the Interior to Chavez himself, who said he had been there (we did not see it) and cried when he saw this “live” body (His words, not mine)
A foreign scientist was imported, not Cuban, but Spanish, who knows for what reason since accprding to the official version, Venezuelan science is booming, but we still dont trust our own I guess. Ask Pudreval, where Cubans made (make?) all decisions.
After opening the casket a very well built Venezuelan flag was removed, it looked brand new to me in the video.
Reportedly some bones were broken, after the skeleton managed to stay in the same place for such a long time, no internal displacements, despite being moved to Venezuela, etc.
Chavez told us all sorts of pseudo scientific facts, like the body will be put in a plexiglas case with gold screws, which would “preserve” the body in the vacuum. He never said how the vacuum would be created, how the plexiglas would hold it or what gold screws had anything to do with it.
Thus, another Chavez whim has used resources, time and effort, when the living in Venezuela get little attention. Ministers up and around at early hours of the evening helping Hugo stage his show, instead of working to straighten out the dozens of very severe problems in the country. It is all show, smoke and mirrors for Chavez, who brought the remains of Bolivar’s lover Manuelita Saenz next to him in Caracas two weeks ago and who narrated the opening of the casket last night as he watched the video, as if it were a ball game.
We now await to see if we will break relations with Colombia over the results, or if the Venezuelan Prosecutor will symbolically charge any historic figure with murder over this matter. If not, another excuse will be invented to create another crisis with our neighbors.