El Amo del Uncanny Valley

S-Bol’s 229th birthday won’t be an ordinary one. Right in the middle of the presidential campaign, the Chavernment will use it to push its electoral narrative while continue the adaptation of our history to its ideological purposes.

First, a new state-of-the-art computer reconstruction of Bolivar’s face has just been unveiled. Turns out the Libertador was, let’s say, lucky to live before the invention of photography.

I guess what we saw during our lifetimes in paintings and banknotes was, to put it politely, “artistically” kind. The final 3D version is unmistakably creepy. “Los Amos del Uncanny Valley” indeed.

After that presentation, some findings of the investigation about Bolivar’s death were given, after the exhumation of his remains two years ago. The tests (carried out in the UK) indicate that neither sifilis or tuberculosis were responsible of his death but cerebral edemas, probably produced by histoplasmosis (a pulmonary infection). Histoplasmosis symptoms are, it seems, easy to mistake for tuberculosis.

Tomorrow, the cult of Bolivarianism will finally have a temple of its own as the new personal mausoleum of Simon Bolivar (located behind the National Pantheon) will be formally opened, even if some people doubt it will be ready. According to press reports, Bolivar’s remains have been already moved there.

The construction was accelerated to the point one worker died in a labor accident days ago. The project was maked by constant delays and it went way overbudget. Almost half of the entire Culture Ministry’s budget for 2012 was committed to finish this mausoleum.

These new developments unfold while Chavez has made of “independence” the main theme of his electoral platform, in order to avoid taking about his 14-year record. However, it looks like he will cling once again to the past glories of our history, as his own version of independence has brought more harm than good to Venezuelans.