Leveraging the vast resource base of this generally under-developed continent, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has been working hard to create a socialist ‘Bolivarian’ revolution in South and Central America. A constant thorn in the backside of the ‘imperialist’ United States, Hugo has lately been ostentatiously doling out copies of the sword once wielded by the El Libertador (Simón Bolívar) to his leftist compatriots.
Read about the original sword in this New York Times article from 1990.
The sword was returned to the Bolivar Museum on February 1, 1991 by the M-19 rebels who purloined the prized artifact seventeen years earlier.
So, is the sword in the Chavez-Correa image actually the real one?
UPDATE: Yes. After close inspection of the images, it appears that the sword shown in both the Raul Castro and Rafael Correa images is the genuine article. Apparently, after Castro and Chavez left grubby fingerprints on the beloved weapon, a decision was taken to don gloves a week later when Correa was invited to also inspect the original — before leaving with his own copy.