A building bears a design of the signature of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Ciudad Caribia outside Caracas in September last year. Chavez supporters have unveiled a font in his handwriting style to coincide with commemorations of the 60th anniversary of his birth. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/Files
Supporters of Venezuela's late socialist leader Hugo Chavez
have unveiled yet another novel way of keeping his memory
alive - a font for typing in "El Comandante's" handwriting
The distinctive 'ChavezPro' font was launched by a group of
young "anti-imperialists" to coincide with nationwide
commemorations of the 60th anniversary of his birth.
Chavez's bold scrawl became famous to Venezuelans as he used
to spend hours on national TV writing and drawing on boards
and papers to explain policies, develop ideas and sign deals.
His signature, in red for socialist, adorns T-shirts,
baseball caps and the walls of buildings around the nation.
The new font can be downloaded for free from the "Creative
Trench" group's web site (www.trincheracreativa.com).
They used letters written by Chavez while he was in jail for
a failed 1992 coup attempt to digitalize his handwriting.
"The best present!" enthused one 'Chavista' via Twitter. "The
typography of the giant!"
Government opponents roll their eyes at the deification of
Chavez, and his ubiquitous presence in public life. They see
it as a cover for the failings of his successor Nicolas
Maduro who was elected after Chavez died of cancer last year.
MADURO: BIRD BRINGS CHAVEZ MESSAGE
Images of Chavez's eyes, face and clenched fist are
stencilled and reproduced all over Venezuela. Recordings of
his voice also thunder out at government rallies, singing the
national anthem or exhorting the people: "You are all
Fireworks at midnight marked the beginning of Monday's
commemorations being led by Maduro with some foreign leaders
in tow prior to a summit of South American bloc Mercosur.
Later, Maduro led a ceremony at Chavez's rural hometown of
Sabaneta in the Venezuelan "llanos" or plains where he was
Maduro, who was widely mocked by foes last year for claiming
to have seen Chavez's spirit in a bird, said he had received
another apparition on Monday.
"A little bird approached me again," he told relatives of
Chavez and officials at the event, imitating a bird whistle.
"The little bird said 'El Comandante' was happy, full of the
love and loyalty of his people. He must be proud, happy."
Maduro and others sang happy birthday to the deceased Chavez
around a large cake. Some supporters wiped away tears.
At the weekend, Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party held a
first congress without Chavez, naming him their "eternal
leader" while also voting Maduro as new party president.