Even though Hugo Chávez passed away earlier this month, Venezuela’s interim president said that his late predecessor is still a player on the international stage, but from heaven instead of Caracas. Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s vice president, told locals last week that their recently deceased leader lobbied Jesus to influence the conclave of cardinals to select a South American pope.
“We know that our commander ascended to the heights and is face-to-face with Christ,” said Maduro. “Something influenced the choice of a South American pope, someone new arrived at Christ’s side and said to him: ‘Well, it seems to us South America’s time has come.’”
According to Maduro though, Chávez’s celestial diplomacy won’t end there. “[Chávez] may also call a constitutional assembly in Heaven at any moment to change the Church on Earth,” he added, “so the people, the pure people of Christ, may govern the world.”