It’s been more than ten years since Hugo Chávez’s last visit to Moscow. He spent some of his time being driven around the Russian capital in a red Lada Priora and helped unveil the foundation stone for an equestrian statue of Simón Bolívar. More details in “Bolívar frozen out” (2016) and “Bolívar in winter” (2018). The latest picture I have of that stone, from December 2019, is on the right below. The flowers in the basket match the colors of Venezuela’s national flag, naturally. More images in this Medium piece (in Russian).

On the other hand, and in contrast to Moscow, they did put up a statue of Francisco Miranda in St. Petersburg – it was unveiled in March 2012. It is a copy of the 1930 sculpture by Lorenzo González – another copy has stood in Philadelphia since 1977.

You would think that the Moscow Bolívar monument would be the safer bet – a copy of a well-known work by a respectable old master in a style appropriate to memorials of this kind. But logic is of little use here. I might as well argue that Miranda’s image appeared in St. Petersburg because the real Francisco de Miranda had visited the Russian imperial capital some 225 years earlier.

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