Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chávez is about to be resurrected — as a TV show.
Sony Pictures Television announced that it has green-lighted “El Comandante” inspired on the life of the Venezuelan icon who died in 2013 after battling cancer.
Playing Chávez will be Andrés Parra, a Colombian actor best known for his depiction of drug kingpin and Medellin crime boss Pablo Escobar in the series “El Patron del Mal.” Colombia’s Teleset will be co-producing the show.
Never miss a local story.
Sony Pictures Television didn’t immediately respond to requests for information and it’s not clear when the Spanish-language project will be released.
But the move has to be a stick-in-the-eye of the leadership in Caracas, where Chávez is venerated and his image is carefully guarded.
Colombia, and particularly the United States, are often fingered by the socialist administration as being the heart of anti-chavista sentiment and the birthplace of plots aimed at ending his “Bolivarian Revolution.”
Reaction to the project, not surprisingly, has been polarized
“This is a really tasteless joke,” wrote Beatriz Chavarri on Twitter. “Venezuelan people are dying because of the shortage of food and medicine and you did this? Shame on you.”
Venezuela is in the midst of deep economic and social crisis, featuring rampant food shortages and one of the world’s highest murder rates.
“Kill this series,” wrote Franklin Albornoz, “before it’s born, please.”