The new head of Venezuela’s National Assembly opened up a color / racial /culture war by crudely and on video ordering the removal of a science based portrait of Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan who led the anti colonialist war against Spain that resulted in the independence of six countries. The issue is of color or "race." It's been widely (but not unanimously ) agreed that Bolivar was a "mestizo," a person of more than one "racial" background, like most Venezuelans. The classic portrait of Bolivar depicts him as a European man. In 2012, President Hugo Chavez had Bolivar's remains exhumed and analyzed. This resulted in a new official portrait. The process of creating the new portrait is shown in the first video. The original reason for exhuming Bolivar's body was to determine if he had been killed by arsenic poisoning.
Ramos also ordered the removal of the portrait of Hugo Chavez, who is seen by many Venezuelans as having been a president who not only looked like them but cared about them. Ramos is on video calling the painting "vaina" which can mean "crap" or "stuff". He is heard telling the workers to put the portraits in the garbage, or bring them to the President's residence.
Today President Maduro gave his annual report on the state of the country to the National Assembly. It had been touch and go till yesterday whether he would do this, as the legal status of the Assembly itself was in question.
Four electees were barred from being sworn in by the nation's highest court that rules on electoral issues. Ramos Allup had complied with the order of the court on the first day of the Assembly session but apparently changed his mind after a statement on Venezuela's political process was put out by the United States government.