Chavez takes moral high ground, closes “Bodies Revealed”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s closure of the “Bodies Revealed” exhibition of dissected human cadavers and subsequent confiscation of the bodies is perhaps the strongest government reaction yet to the worldwide trend for the traveling art and science shows that have been seen by millions.
Chavez called the exhibition a sign of worldwide “moral decomposition,” adding to criticism of similar shows by the Roman Catholic church in Canada and controversy over the origin of the bodies when an exhibit arrived in New York. One academic cited Dante’s Inferno to describe the “Body World” exhibit as “Dead Body Porn.”
Chavez is a fervent Christian and frequently makes reference to Jesus Christ, who he says was the “first socialist.”
At times he shows a morally conservative side declaring himself a feminist but speaking out against abortion, which is illegal in Venezuela except in cases of a threat to the life of a pregnant woman.
(Photo: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, shown here with his Panamanian counterpart Martin Torrijos has taken the moral high ground, and not for the first time. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout, March 3, 2009)