Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s 9th elected President, died at 4:25pm on March 5, 2013. He was 58 years old (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013). His funeral is today, Friday March 8, 2013. Those who will miss the opportunity to attend need not worry.
Forever the showman, Chavez is not to be out done. Just like other dictators, his body is to be embalmed and placed on display “for all eternity”.
This macabre practice was inspired in 1924 when Soviet founder Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was placed on permanent display in Moscow’s Red Square. It began a custom still followed today.
Soviet dictator Josef Stalin received similar treatment, though his body was later removed. Others to have received this honor are China’s Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong, North Korea’s father-and-son team leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and now Hugo Chavez.
While this practice may puzzle some people, to me its design is obvious. It keeps a restless populous in line with a constant reminder that old and dead ideas will never be buried.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro broke the news when he said,
On hearing that the late president’s body would be put on permanent display, a 51-year-old street food vendor, whose name is to remain anonymous, replied, “Seriously? It’s not a joke?”
Afterwards he became more reflective.
It is highly unlikely that this wish will be granted.
Foreign Minister, and former Vice President Elias Jaua, said that Venezuela’s government declared seven days of national mourning. Schools are suspended for the week, and as we would expect Venezuelan embassies around the world are flying flags at half-mast.
Hugo Chavez funeral – V.I.P. guest list
Listed below is a partial list of heads of state, government representatives, and celebrities who attended Friday’s state funeral for Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
|Antigua and Barbuda||Prime Minister||Baldwin Spencer|
|Aruba||Prime Minister||Michiel Godfried Eman|
|Curacao||Prime Minister||Daniel Hodge|
|Dominica||Prime Minister||Roosevelt Skerrit|
|Dominican Republic||President||Danilo Medina|
|El Salvador||President||Mauricio Funes|
|Haiti||Prime Minister||Laurent Lamothe|
|Jamaica||Prime Minister||Portia SimpsonMiller|
|Mexico||President||Enrique Pena Nieto|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||Prime Minister||Denzil Douglas|
|St. Lucia||Prime Minister||Kenny Anthony|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||Prime Minister||Ralph Gonsalves|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Prime Minister||Kamla PersadBissessar|
House of Representatives,
New York Democrat
|USA||Former Congressman||William Delahunt,
House of Representatives,
|Venezuela||Philharmonic director||Gustavo Dudamel|