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In the latest incident, Maduro said Chavez's face had briefly appeared to workers building a new subway line in Caracas in the middle of the night.
"My hair stands on end just telling you about it," Maduro said on state TV late on Wednesday, showing a photo of a white-plaster wall with marks that appear like eyes and a nose. "Who is that face? That gaze is the gaze of the fatherland that is everywhere around us, including in inexplicable phenomena," added an awed Maduro, who won an April election to replace Chavez after his 14-year presidency.
Maduro's reverence for Chavez plays well with government supporters, who treat the charismatic former leader's memory with religious adoration. The 50-year-old Maduro, who mixes Catholic beliefs with a penchant for Asian spirituality, has been a devoted personal follower of Chavez since first meeting him at a jail in 1993.
Workers took the photo with a mobile phone during the image's brief appearance, the president added. "Just as it appeared, so it disappeared. So you see, what you say is right, Chavez is everywhere, we are Chavez, you are Chavez," Maduro said during an event shown on live TV.
The images now appearing in the streets of Venezuela leave no doubt about it. They don’t compare Chavez to Simon Bolivar -- the inspiration of the nation’s “comandante” -- but to Jesus Christ. And there are explicit slogans displayed that go further and deeper into Venezuelan reality: “The people are Chavez” and “We are all Chavez” -- like some modern miracle of transubstantiation.