It was a question of dates, of choosing a date on the calendar to announce what many of us had already imagined. The news of the Hugo Chavez’s death was produced on Tuesday afternoon, but for months his early end was predictable. The official Cuban media have maintained a version of his slow but increasing recovery, letting slip only in the last weeks the details of some complications. The matter was handled as a neat script, like a script written in the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana by two brothers who, with the death of their disciple from Miraflores Palace, have been left in a very delicate situation.
However, they could not delay they obituary any longer, because information is so hard to keep these days, like water in a bowl formed from two hands. So they finally found a day to tell the world the best kept secret in Cuba, comparable only to the secrecy surrounding the illness of Fidel Castro himself. Now comes the mourning, the black ribbons, the panegyrics over the deceased, but also beginning now is the airing of the incongruities between the published medical reports and the fatal outcome of the Comandante’s clinical situation. The lies will become more evident, the exaggerations will seem more coarse, and the bill for the truth will be passed to the Chavista leaders in Venezuela. The ancient Cuban leaders will also bear their share of responsibility for the lack of transparency with which they handled the convalescence of a foreign president treated in our country. Venezuelan citizens have the right to demand an explanation of how and when the death of their leader really occurred, and it remains to be seen if Raul Castro is disposed to give one.
6 March 2013