RIP Chavez: The caudillo‘s death sends public into “collective hysteria” / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Chavez funeral, 8 March 2013. Photo: Wikimedia commons
Chavez funeral, 8 March 2013. Photo: Wikimedia commons

When my plane took off from Havana, Hugo Chávez was still alive. When I landed in Miami less than an hour later, the Venezuelan president was dead. The Cubans on the plane were celebrating together. Fireworks were soon set off in Miami. From what I saw jubilation was the first response to the death of a caudillo that would have stayed in power forever. Bio-revenge.

It’s possible that Hugo Chávez had already died in Cuba long ago. It’s possible that a corpse traveled from Havana to Caracas. When governments practice secrecy, there are no limits to the insanity or criminal despotism.

On the day of Chávez’s death, a unprofessional presenter on Cuban TV almost cried on camera and beat his chest as he read the Official Statement.

Then came the collective hysteria around the change of government, something that should be only a constitutional process. Later, as macabre as it got, the government announced that they were going to mummify Chávez, although one week later they changed their mind.

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18 March 2013