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[Nettime-nl] "LEADERS DIE" - the past does not last - ultimos momentos d
Tjebbe van Tijen via Chello on Tue, 5 Mar 2013 23:13:29 +0100 (CET)


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[Nettime-nl] "LEADERS DIE" - the past does not last - ultimos momentos del librador from Bolivar to Chavez the process of beatification has begun


The fate of leaders and social movements associated with them is a recurring theme in my visual comments; Opendemocracy published two of them as far as I remember... this one is on Chavez...


To see the big visual tableau I published on Sunday March 3 2013 got o my Flickr web site:

http://flic.kr/p/dZczJF


"LEADERS DIE" - the past does not last - ultimos momentos del librador from Bolivar to Chavez

Throughout history social movements create leaders and vice versa... 'great leaders' weaken social movements that become over-dependent on their accumulated power and charisma. The shift in rhetorics from the revolutionary to the religious (1) in Venezuela is but a vain attempt to create an after-life for it's president and leader Hugo Chavez. 

"The process of beatification has begun, Hugo Chávez is becoming a figure of the unconscious, in the background, whose 'wishes' are being fulfilled by his ministers." (2)

In July last year Hugo Chavez presented a 3D reconstruction of Simon Bolivar face during a presentation in the presidential palace in Caracas. (3) In true christian Catholic Church tradition a cult of the the ''liberator' from Spanish colonial rule and the establishment of a new local elite rule in so many South American nations, has been furthered by Chavez during his presidency.  In his words: "Bolivar is the fight that does not end, he is born every day in ourselves, in his people, in the children, in the fight for life and for social justice." (4) A gigantic Mausoleum to which what is thought to be the remains of Simon Bolivar have been reburied, has been constructed in Caracas. (5) Chavez has embraced the theory that Simon Bolivar did not die a natural death but has been poisoned because of his insurgence against Spanish colonial rule. 

It is as if all this activities around the sainthood of leadership of what Chavez likes to see as his predecessor also were a foreshadowing of his own vulnerability and fears that came to a dramatic conclusion when a serious illness befell the new leader. His treatments in Cuba, the secrecy around his state of health and the rumours economics that tend to expand in such situations, led to a series of photographs showing Chavez in a Cuban hospital, reading a newspaper together with his two daughters. Reactions claiming that these pictures were a fraud, soon circulated. (6) Since the recent return of Chavez to Venezuela (live or as a corpse, also this is doubted) the lack of governmental information on his actual state remained the same. People are asked to believe those who speak in his name. 

---
(1) "Mass at Caracas military hospital as Chavez death rumour denied"
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqw0ZYtDtoc&feature=youtube_gdata_player"; rel="nofollow">www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqw0ZYtDtoc&feature=youtube_g...</a>

(2) A recent report on the 'ultimate moments of the liberator' today in The Observer:
As Chávez fights cancer, Venezuela prepares for life after the president
While a gravely ill president undergoes a new, tougher course of chemotherapy, both his supporters and opponents are unsure of what the future holds for their country
-
Stephen Gibbs in Caracas in Caracas
The Observer, Saturday 2 March 2013 19.16 GMT:
"At a late-night press conference afterwards, Maduro conceded that Chávez is unable to speak because of a tracheal tube to assist his breathing, but has been able to contribute to the meetings via what the vice-president described as "a variety of means of writing". Venezuelan diplomats have meanwhile delivered several letters, purportedly from the leftist leader, including one to Cuba's Raúl Castro, congratulating him on his re-election as president.
-
"The process of beatification has begun," says Carlos Calderón, a Caracas-based lawyer. "Hugo Chávez is becoming a figure of the unconscious, in the background, whose 'wishes' are being fulfilled by his ministers."
-
Chávez's matchless talent at speaking to the poor in Venezuela – together with the billions of petrodollars which have been spent on social programmes – have earned him a quasi-religious reverence from his followers. But he remains a singularly divisive figure and the country is split almost evenly when it comes to evaluating his charms – he is loved by his supporters just as he is loathed by his opponents.
-
"He's the sort of president who only comes around perhaps every two centuries," says Francisco Morón, speaking from his new three-bedroom home, which he was given by the government last year after 25 years of homelessness.
-
The government has encouraged Venezuelans to attend church services and pray for their sick leader."
<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/02/hugo-chavez-cancer-venezuela-president"; rel="nofollow">www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/02/hugo-chavez-cancer-v...</a>

(3) A curious source for this reconstruction of the likeness of a deceased human being transposed to sainthood is the english language Teheran Times form Iran, that obsservers: "After the scientist heading the 3D image project explained on Tuesday how it had been created using multiple scans and the latest forensic facial reconstruction methods, Chavez said Venezuelans were jubilant to see Bolivar's “real face” at last."
<a href="http://www.tehrantimes.com/world/99980-chavez-unveilsnsimon-bolivarsnreconstructed-3-d-image-"; rel="nofollow">www.tehrantimes.com/world/99980-chavez-unveilsnsimon-boli...</a>

(4) Chavez unveils Simon Bolivar's reconstructed 3-D face Bolivar is the hero of independence in Venezuela and five other countries Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has unveiled a 3-D reconstruction of the face of Simon Bolivar, who died in 1830 after leading the fight against Spanish colonial rule in the region. The computer-generated image was created by artists studying Bolivar's remains. It looks remarkably like known portraits of the South American liberation hero. Two years ago Mr Chavez ordered that the remains should be exhumed. Bolivar was widely thought to have died from tuberculosis aged 47. But the Venezuelan president had a theory that Bolivar had been poisoned in revenge for his fight against the Spanish empire. Forensic tests were inconclusive. 
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-18977143"; rel="nofollow">www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-18977143</a>


(5) "Simón Bolívar's new tomb is monument to Hugo Chávez, say critics" (...) "More than 180 years after his death, the independence hero Simón Bolívar will be given an ostentatious and controversial new resting place in Venezuela thanks to his most famous modern-day follower, Hugo Chávez. The Venezuelan president has commissioned a £90m, white-tiled and domed mausoleum in Caracas to pay homage to his political inspiration, the nation's founding father."
<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/21/bolivar-tomb-chavez"; rel="nofollow">www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/21/bolivar-tomb-chavez</a>

(6) "SON FALSAS LAS FOTOS DE CHAVEZ, SON UN MONTAJE, NO PODRÁN CONTENER LA VERDAD POR MUCHO TIEMPO"
<a href="http://www.taringa.net/posts/imagenes/16391181/El-Montaje-Fotos-Chavez.html"; rel="nofollow">www.taringa.net/posts/imagenes/16391181/El-Montaje-Fotos-...</a>
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Tjebbe van Tijen
Imaginary Museum Projects
dramatising historical information
http://imaginarymuseum.org
web-blog: The Limping Messenger
http://limpingmessenger.wordpress.com/
Flickr: Swift News Tableaus by Tjebbe van Tijen
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7141213 {AT} N04/sets/72157630468570982/

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