The country is in recession, corruption scandals are the daily bread and crime reigns in Venezuela but the military president is obsessed with hero bones.
There is a Venezuelan commission now that is trying to locate the bones of Francisco de Miranda, the Venezuelan independence hero who fought in the US, the French and the South American revolutions. Miranda was a quite remarkable man, a real homo universalis who wrote fascinating diaries about his travels through the world of the XVIII century. He corresponded with queens and kings, renown scientists and revolutionaries of his time. He was one of the key elements to initiate the independence movement in Venezuela. Although this is not told like that in Venezuela, he was actually betrayed by Bolívar, who wanted to save himself when Miranda was forced to surrender. Bolívar, curiously, later became the new leader of the Independence. Venezuela's history books reinterpret the story in the most incredible way, telling us Bolívar delivered Miranda to the Spaniards because he and others thought Miranda had betrayed the independence movement with...the Spaniards. Miranda was in prison from 1812 until his death in Cadiz, Spain, in 1816. Anyway: Miranda is part of the hero cult in Venezuela.
A few years ago some bones were discovered in the prison where Miranda was buried, in a public grave. Now there is a Chávez commission to try to verify that certain bones there are Miranda's. They are looking at bones of relatives for genetic tests. If they are sure about the bones in Cadiz being Miranda's, they want to bring them back to Venezuela. What's next? Are they going to try to bring Sucre's bones to Venezuela for next elections? Oops...Sucre is buried in Ecuador and he clearly stated he wanted his bones to stay in Ecuador. What other bones would Chávez want to bring to Venezuela in order to distract from Venezuela's problems? Will he use Venezuela's resources to find Pedro Camejo's bones? Juan wrote a bit more on this show here. I wrote something else in Spanish here.
Anyway, expect more details from Bolívar's necrophilic show before the Parliamentary elections of 26th September: the possible face of Bolívar and details about his magnificent humeri, his portentous femuri and his amazing skull.
I am actually in contact with someone who may be a descendant of Miranda, but not through maternal line. Hat tip to her.