President Hugo Chavez said Monday that Venezuela should open the coffin of independence hero Simon Bolivar to examine the bones, saying there are sufficient doubts about his death in 1830 to warrant a full investigation.
Although history books maintain Bolivar died of tuberculosis, Chavez said doubts exist because some writings suggest it is possible the South American “Liberator” might have been murdered.
Chavez has raised this theory before, but went further during a speech on the anniversary of Bolivar’s death.
“Who knows if they even made Bolivar’s bones disappear? We have to determine it now,” Chavez said. “We have the moral obligation to dispel this mystery, to open … this sacred coffin and check the remains.”
I’m not exactly sure what Chavez’s goal is here other than to create a controversy that will eventually be laid at the feet, somehow, of President Bush and “imperialism.” Or perhaps he means to overshadow his referendum defeat, and to redirect attention away from his attempts to change the constitution by other means.
One thing you can bank on, however, is that the Chavez’s gravedigging escapade will be little more than a show trial of his perceived enemies, and will be used to foster popular support of the erstwhile dictator. IOW, it’s simply propaganda.
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