Chavez as Annie Wilkes

Juan Cristobal says: – First came Columbus. Now … Gallegos!

El Universal is reporting that the bust of Rómulo Gallegos, first Venezuelan in the modern era to be elected president by popular vote, is no more.

Gallegos’ bust has been banished from the grounds of Miraflores Palace and has been replaced by the bust of a certain Cipriano Castro.

I don’t know what Gallegos ever did to Chávez, what with the bust-whacking and the book burning. I grew up revering Gallegos as our greatest novelist, the founder of AD and teacher to the generation of Venezuelans who first brought democracy into the country.

Perhaps that’s it. Perhaps it’s the fact that he was, first and foremost, a civilized civilian who won the ire of the military, so much so that he was deposed after only 11 months in office.

Eighty years ago, Gallegos envisioned the barbaric conundrum we find ourselves in. Perhaps his sin was his ending, and his bust would still be there if “Doña Bárbara” had ended with the Doña winning and Santos Luzardo floating boca abajo in the Arauca.

With that ending, Chávez would have declared himself Gallegos’ “number 1 fan”…