Hugo Chávez is dead, at least for now

Venezuelan despot Hugo Chávez is dead at the age of 58.

Since Chavez apparently was a fan of life after death here on earth if not in heaven, I wonder if he already is plotting a return to Venezuela.

After all, these dictators often find it difficult to let go, sort of like a drowning main clinging to a Heidi Klum blowup doll.

Chávez once ordered the exhumation of the mortal remains of Simón Bolívar, leader of Latin America’s rebellion against Spain, who died in 1830.

The skeleton reportedly was picked apart — even as Chávez tweeted the proceedings — and some teeth and bone fragments were taken away for testing. The residual pieces were placed in a coffin stamped with the Chávez government’s seal.

In a subsequent speech, Chávez appealed to Jesus Christ to restage the raising of Lazarus and reanimate Bolívar’s constituent parts.

If Bolívar indeed is the second coming of Lazarus, he is keeping it quiet. And Jesus isn’t saying.

I suspect Chávez would not adopt such a low profile.

Kim Jong Un, with an assist from pal Dennis Rodman, to Obama: Call me? Maybe?

Dennis Rodman was an NBA rebounding machine but otherwise has lived his strange life as the poster child for a human being turned train wreck.

This dude simply oozes insanity. When he goes into a massage parlor, he asks to be blotted. Rodman is as near to normal as say Kim Jong Un.

No wonder the two crazies have become implausible and wacky best buds, with Rodman just back from his improbable and surreal visit to North Korea.

Rodman called Kim “awesome” even though millions are starving in North Korea and human rights are a decidedly foreign concept.

Apparently Rodman has hidden – if rather clueless — ambassadorial skills that somehow remain buried under his bizarre lifestyle until now.

Dennis the Menace, who hung out, drank and ate with the diminutive basketball junkie/groupie Kim while on a visit with the Harlem Globetrotters, said the nutball dictator, despite recent nuclear tests, doesn’t want war with the U.S.

He just wants President Obama to call him and possibly talk about their shared passion – hoops.

I guess Kim was just indulging in some playful nuclear saber rattling to get Obama’s attention.

Perhaps they should include the loquacious and bombastic Charles Barkley on a conference call.

By the time those three are done talking, North Korea could wind up being the 51st state, which should hiss off Puerto Rico, and David Stern, the only guy on the planet shorter than Kim, could award Pyongyang an NBA franchise and let Rodman coach the team.