ABC: the coffin on parade was empty

ABCSpanish newspaper ABC has been relentless in its reporting on Hugo Chávez’s health. Now, on the heels of Chávez’s funeral, journalist Emili Blasco launches an explosive allegation: the coffin they paraded through Caracas was empty, Chávez died in Havana, and while the coffin was being paraded, they were preparing the real body in the basement of the Military Hospital.

Relying on various unnamed military sources, Blasco claims the body was brought from Havana after Chávez died at 7 in the morning on Tuesday. They brought the body back via La Carlota, and took it to Fuerte Tiuna to prepare it while the fake coffin was being paraded. When the parade ended, they did the switcheroo, with some people noticing the coffins were different.

Why would they do this? Apparently, they did not want to risk the procession damaging the actual body.

Now, you may wonder about the importance of all this. Who cares, right? Either way, he’s gone.

Well, this election is about Maduro. If the opposition can prove that Maduro & Co. fooled – disrespected, really – chavistas into thinking the coffin contained the Comandante, they won’t be so willing to go out and vote for him.

I have no way of knowing which version is true or not, and I’m on the record at being very skeptical about crazy conspiracy theories, but even Chávez’s defenders and I have to admit ABC and Blasco have gained some credibility after its thorough pursuit of this story.