Excesses / Fernando Damaso

Photo by Rebecca

Photo by Rebecca

When a famous person dies, respect, consideration, and moderation should prevail at the funeral services, and should not be turned into something dramatic and sad, into a farce. Last week in Venezuela, and even today, they’ve exceeded all limits and have become something more like a folkloric spectacular than a mournful farewell, they have taken possession of the country and flooded the media. A central and disjointed and repetitive discourse, full of maudlin oaths, prayers, invocations to Christ, with pleas for forgiveness and even tears, was the official base of some later demonstrations, closer to collective hysteria and a sincere sorrow.

In the political manipulation of the illness of a leader and, in the last two months, the use of it emotionally to maintain popular support for the government at all costs, reached a catharsis last weekend, with the huge hype raising the figure of Hugo Chavez to Mount Olympus of the Gods, where they use all the adjectives available in Spanish, while his body remains unburied.

Our country was not foreign to him, and for three days, something quite unusual for a foreign personality no matter how close they were to the authorities, Cubans said farewell to him at the Plaza of the Revolution, with artillery salvos, beating of chests before the cameras, speakers and presenters dressed in black, and newspapers printed in black, all in mourning. Clearly it is not impossible to find a happy medium: either we fall short or go too far, and as usual, the latter happens.

Undoubtedly, loss is painful for anyone, and even more so when it is a public personality, whether or not we agree with their ideas but, as a neighbor of mine says: good is good, but not too but not too much of it. Luckily, for the tranquility of many, the election of the new Pope has taken over the headlines.

14 March 2013