RIP Chavez

by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo    /  March 18, 2013  / 1 Comment

The caudillo‘s death sends public into “collective hysteria.”

Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was honored in a state funeral on March 8, 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.

  1. Is it worth-while to focus on the last images and letters coming from the inside of the last living utopia on Earth? Is Cuba by now a contemporary country or just another old-fashioned delusion in the middle of Nowhere-America? A Cold-War Northtalgia maybe? Can we expect a young Rewwwolution.cu within that Ancien Régime still known as The Revolution? I would like to provoke more questions than answers.
  2. Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.

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. The idea, though, was terrible: Chávez’s body would have been emptied of the overflowing cancer that flooded it, and they would have rebuilt it, perhaps with synthetic substances. Chávez would have become an inert doll and no human being deserves such an insult.

Hugo Chávez’s verbal incontinence has been silenced, and the Venezuelan people will now have to decide which route to take: To keep acting alongside the dictatorial memory, or to erase social polarization.

The death of a Head of State should never be anything more than a family tragedy. Chávez’s death should treated no differently, especially since he lied in his recent electoral campaign, assuring his voters that he was free of every last cell of cancer.

About the Author

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana City and still resides and resists there, working as a free-lance writer, photographer and blogger. He is the author of Boring Home (2009) and is the editor of the independent opinion and literary e-zine Voces.

View all articles by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

One Comment on "RIP Chavez"

  1. a tomas March 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm ·

    Dear Orlando ( Landy),

    Welcome to the USA. You can’t imagine what a delight it is for me to read your articles; whether in your blog, DDC, and now here. I recently read Majestic and it touched my soul. I find in your “existencial angst” a kindred spirit.
    I’ve lived in Miami most of my life; left Cuba as a child, but feel cuban to the bone. Can’t wait for you to come to the “seventh province of Cuba” as my dear father used to say. I’ve waited most of my life to return to my country, and now because of you, Yoani, Rosa Maria, and so many others it seems closer. Thank you, for all your doing, thank you for being who you are.
    Poeta, te leo y me duele un grito atragantado y feroz, un grito cercano a ti.

    El las entranas de la Isla
    esta muriendo un hombre
    que el crepusculo pario para recordarle,
    que su estirpe esta condenada
    a mudarse de planeta.

    Un abrazo apretado y largo,
    alina tomas

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