|David Essex, in character as "Che" for "Oh What A Circus"|
On Wednesday I debated Chávez: liberator or tyrant? at Left Foot Forward with Graham Morris MP, chair of Labour Friends of Venezuela, which can be roughly translated as Friends of Hugo Chávez. The arguments are probably quite familiar to regular readers of the Centre Left.
Yesterday’s funeral was also a bumper occasion for any regular shoppers at Dictator-U-Like: Lukashenko, Raúl Castro and Ahmadinejad were all there. Sean Penn, an actor I admire a great deal, was sadly in evidence there, inspiring what seems to have been my most-popular-ever tweet (retweeted 66 times, mostly from Venezuela, I might add). Well, if I could do nothing else to support them in their hour of need, I hopefully made a few of those good people laugh.
Dear Sean, I still rate you a gifted actor/director, whose every film I look forward to. Politically, I now realise that you are an idiot.But surely the thing that has capped it all has been the news – now I think about it, creepily fitting – that Chávez is to be remembered like the great dictators of the 20th century (the top 6 of which are beautifully captured in photos here): embalmed so that people can continue to see him day in, day out until the frail cells which compose his body can no longer take any more, not even in formaldehyde.
— Rob Marchant (@rob_marchant) March 8, 2013
The last few days remind us of nothing so much as the death of one of Chávez’ great South American models, the late Eva Peron, whose passing was immortalised in Tim Rice’s lyrics from Evita (you can watch this fine song here).
Oh, what a circus, oh, what a show, indeed.