But, surprise surprise, the government wasn’t in the Sambil to expropriate anything. Turns out the Sambil is where the “Bodies” Exhibition is showing. In case you don’t know, the Exhibit takes human bodies, plastifies them and shows them in all sorts of forms: inside out, outside in, digestive system only, nervous system only, con la patita pa’delante, con la patita pa’tras, you name it.
Personally, I haven’t seen it. It played in Santiago last year and I didn’t go. I found it all a bit too much for my taste, although I can totally understand its educational value.
But I digress. Sure the Exhibit has been mired in controversy everywhere it’s played. Apparently there have been allegations that some of the bodies came from tortured Chinese prisoners, and regardless, it’s not clear if all participants gave their consent to participate.
So Chavez being Chavez, the Venezuelan government just had to step in, and today we learn via Noticias 24 that the Seniat – yes, the Seniat – is shutting the Exhibit down because, according to God-given brother and Seniat head-honcho Jose Cabello, they “presume these are cuts of human flesh dissected under a special procedure where the polymer is extracted. (!!!) These are dead bodies, and that is going to be determined by a forensic exam and it is in conflict with their advertisements.”
Now, never mind the absurdity of a frikkin’ tax-collecting agency shutting down an Exhibit because it’s about “dead bodies,” what exactly are they going to prove? That these are dead bodies? Of course they are! That’s the whole point! Are they too stupid to just, I dunno, pick up The Google and find out more about the Exhibit?
It makes you wonder what the Seniat is going to charge them with. They will say the organizers are hoarding up on meat to destabilize the government. Perhaps Nicolas Maduro will denounce a CIA plot to introduce an army of zombies into the country. Jose Vicente Rangel will decry that the bodies are really paramiliaries causing the crime wave. We will hear Carrizalez will call it a ploy to bring dead Chinese political prisoners, interfere with the sovereign, internal affairs of China and undermine the government’s efforts to forge an alliance with them.
Will they say the organizers are inciting magnacide? Will we see Mario Silva denounce the Exhibit as being a subliminal ploy to invite people to kill chavistas? After all, the bodies are all red on the inside. Surely the TSJ will say that the injection of polymer violates the dead bodies’ rights to free transit. They will ask why the bodies were not curated by cooperativas. They will look into the organizers’ papers to decry that they didn’t pay the owners of the bodies their prestaciones sociales.
I can’t wait to see what they come up with.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.