I don't understand why the English translations of the historical present are not in the English historical present. For example, "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dies in 2013." would be perfectly acceptable in a historical context. To use the past tense in the English examples is just confusing, since the point of the lesson is that the same tense exists in Spanish as well.
While English does have a historical present, it is used much less frequently and in far fewer contexts than in Spanish. The majority of texts where Spanish uses El Presente Historico are not translated using the English present tense. We have chosen to translate this way for this reason but to also include the option of the literal translations.
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