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Simon Bolivar exhumed - Time to raise O'Connell / Wolfe Tone from the grave?

category international | history and heritage | opinion/analysis author Friday July 16, 2010 23:20author by iosaf - o as ifauthor address barcelona - catalonia Report this post to the editors

Today the Venezuelan state continued its riveting bicentinial celebrations of its war for independence from the Spanish empire led by the "liberator" Simon Bolivar by exhuming his remains in what has been officially termed a respectful and patriotic operation supervised by Venezuelan flags, Venezuelan military and no less than 50 Venezuelan scientific experts in forensic anthropology, archaeological preservation & such like if not so.

Even though dental records did not exist a little less than 200 years ago, there has been little doubt that the reliquary opened, so that it may be "preserved for posterity" in the words of state minister for Justice, Tarek El Aissami, did indeed hold the remains of Bolivar.
Simon Bolivar's remains get disturbed yet again - today exhumed from the Venezuelan pantheon
Simon Bolivar's remains get disturbed yet again - today exhumed from the Venezuelan pantheon

This is not the first time the bicentenial celebrations have seen remains respectfully & patriotically shunted about for TV consumption. On the 5th of July, in the first official acknowledgement of her importance to the Liberator the woman he loved, his mistress, Manuela Sanz was afforded a symbolic return flanked by Venezuelan women military officers. Her small and paltry remains were placed in the Venezuelan pantheon next to those of Simon Bolivar that same day.

Whether or not the liberator and his love are now to continue reunited in urns and a purpose built mausoleum like Lenin's against his wishes & to the perpetual worry of make-up artists is yet to be decided, debated or included in the whole media fest wanton expropriation of the past.

Even though at such an early stage since the liberator was taken from his quite well known & patriotic tomb there may be little question of him oozing goo like Lenin, there really ought be some (if even only passing) comment on this latest stage in the cult of Latin America's caudillo primero & perhaps even a suggestion that Irish people do likewise..,

After all what could go wrong for a government and ruling class flagging in popularity such as the Dublin regime should they dig up Daniel o Connell from under his round tower and give him an interpretive centre situated in a semi-detached house in some ghost estate of Roscommon whilst keen, able and highly qualified graduates from Harney's legacy of biotech figure out how to clone his mega-huge speaking voice so that future generations will win any argument monster gig style by hectoring interlocutors into stunned silence?

If perhaps our liberator is a bit outside demographic appeal of modern Irish folk, then why not dig up Wolfe Tone?

I reckon many people would relish the chance to paw the reliquaries of the father of our republicanism and the only reason to visit Bodenstown in sunglasses and green geansaí not once but several times a year.

& imagine what our future would be like if we did clone Wolfe Tone just like the Venezuelans are set to do with Bolivar?

Related Link:

the liberator's remains if not his invisible pink unicorn were naturally televised live on Venezuela's telly
the liberator's remains if not his invisible pink unicorn were naturally televised live on Venezuela's telly

After a parting of nearly 200 years, Manuela Saenz's remains arrived on July 5th to enjoy a reunion of....12 days.
After a parting of nearly 200 years, Manuela Saenz's remains arrived on July 5th to enjoy a reunion of....12 days.

author by A Freemanpublication date Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a very catholic thing to do isn't it? The RC Church are fond of exhuming remains and then parading them about the place, wasn't some 19th century priest from from France on a 'national tour' recently? I suppose the Bolshevik practice of embalming the their deceased dictators like Lenin is something similar. Chavez is something of a catholic marxist combining the two strands I suppose!

Personally, I find the whole business creepy and macabre but then as an ex-catholic, liberal and rationalist I suppose I would!

author by Citizenpublication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 03:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There's nothing creepy or macarbre about honouring dead heroes like Bolivar and attempting to inspire the current generation by highlighting their bravery in standing up for their people. Certainly beats the crappy role models offered up by capitalist tv reality shows. "A Freeman", Would you prefer if we forgot about people like Bolivar and just held up idiots like the current contestants of big brother for the youth of today both here and in poverty stricken areas like south america as sources of inspiration?

Bah! Personally I'd much prefer if my kids admired Bolivar. Capitalists hate it when people are inspired and band together. They want us all to be just a bunch of pliable atomised zombie consumers and slaves.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some's gotta do the dirty jobs.And better to raise Bolivar, Tone and O'Connell than to elevate the micro-clones of Lord Haw-Hee that dominate Irish public life at the minute.No doubt many would rather elevate the Conquisdors than those who stood up against them in their pillaging barbarity.Bolivar represents the a search for necessary political unity in the Americas that is central if the hegemony of the US predations are to be contained and their flag worshiping warriors reminded that there are human consequences to blinkered nationalistic agrandisement at the expense of the non-gringo.Try 'The Open Veins of Latin America' by Eduardo Galeano for condensed summation.

author by Stil Living.publication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He is long dead.
Leave him in peace where he is now.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun Jul 18, 2010 19:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thats just the corpse of the temporal vehicle.The ideas he pursued persist.
I would imagine his peace would be enhanced (certainly more than it might conceivably be troubled) by the remembrance of his ideas in the cultures of the Americas.His successes and failures have lessons that have not lost their usefulness.
If it makes us remember the plurality of the Americas, that seems enoughy reason to remind us of his long battle against the entrenched brutality of the European destroyers of the civilisations that were exterminated for gold, 'souls', and slaves.Washington has defined America in an unhealthy and imbalanced fashion that distorts, through its encorporated media, the general public perception of global realities. Bolivar's place in world history, as with many who will be remembered if we ever do humanise ourselves to our potential, will be of more interest to future generations than the simian antics of the current dominant crop of clowns. but thats enough metaphysics, check out Eduardo Galeano.

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