Two years after the so-called "physical disappearance" of the "eternal commander" of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, the supercharged cult of personality surrounding the late President Hugo Chávez is as strong — and strange — as ever.
This week, pro-government Venezuelans are paying tribute to the former firebrand with a 10-day commemoration to mark the second anniversary of his death, which is usually referred to with gloriously euphemistic phrases such as "his transition to immortality."
Government supporters are gathering outside Chávez's hilltop mausoleum and crowding the streets to pay their respects to the man who changed Venezuelan history forever.
Since his death on March 5, 2013, after a long battle with cancer, the figure of Chávez still looms large in the South American country, as well as in the client nations he helped support with Venezuelan oil largess. The comandante's painted visage appears on the side of buildings and in street murals, and his speeches are still rebroadcast on state-run TV. Chavez's hand-picked successor, President Nicolas Maduro, is frequently accompanied by larger-than-life pictures of Chavez at official government events.
Critics say Maduro is still playing the Chávez card to distract Venezuelans from his current government's mismanagement of the country's deepening economic crisis.
Here's a look at how Venezuelans are remembering the man whose shoes have been tough to fill:
Some fervent Chavez supporters gather at a makeshift chapel decorated with pictures and images of the former leader.
Some Chávez supporters were born after their leader's death.
Murals celebrating Chávez are everywhere.
Murals of Chavez's eyes appear on buildings, suggesting he's still watching over the country.
Others remind Venezuelans of Chávez's anti-imperialist message, telling the yankees to f' off.
Street vendors offer good deals on Chávez memorabilia (and Hello Kitty clocks)
Photos by Marco Antonio Bello.