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Remembering Hugo Chavez

Remembering Hugo Chavez

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“I’m a man with many defects. I love. I sing. I dream. I was born in the poor countryside. I was raised in the countryside, planting corn and selling sweets made by my grandmother. My children, my two daughters are with me and I want a better world for my grandchildren, for your grandchildren.”

This is one of the many quotations from Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, commonly referred to as Hugo Chavez, which cemented his legacy{{more}} and allowed him to be labelled by many as one of the most prolific leaders of the 20th century.

Speaking at an event at the Peace Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 5, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in St Vincent and the Grenadines HE Yuri Pimentel told the audience that the day’s event was to celebrate the life of the fallen president.

“Today, we have come to remember the date of his departure, but we came specially to celebrate his life and to highlight his principal teaching, which is without a doubt dignity and fairness on the principles.”

Pimentel noted that Chavez’s humble upbringing moulded him into the president he became, as he never forgot the poor and had the leadership ability which transcended borders until he became a citizen of the world.

The ambassador disclosed that in the past four years, Venezuela was able to build one million houses for the poor, under a programme which was implemented by Commander Chavez.

Also speaking at the memorial event was Minster of Economic Planning, Sustainable Development, Information and Labour Camillo Gonsalves, who said that Chavez was one of the few leaders of his time that was known worldwide.

“The list is short of leaders who have transcended their own boundary, who have become leaders of the world and who have presented a vision that distorts the status quo and inspires people to imagine their problems and to imagine their solution in a new way and Hugo Chavez was most definitely one of those people.”

Gonsalves, a former foreign minister, noted that Chavez came to the Eastern Caribbean to denounce the theory that the few developed countries to the North should be able to dictate to these small islands.

“His view for mutual respect among all countries and his abhorrence of colonial exploitation led him to our shores and led him to the Eastern Caribbean and the wider Caribbean and he came to us as a friend with mutual respect and he came to us enunciating a vision, even though it seems common today.”

He said also that because of Chavez’s vision, programmes such as ALBA, PetroCaribe, CET programme, the fuel farm at Lowmans, and the international airport at Argyle exist today.

“We have, of course, the international airport at Argyle, which would not be possible, but for the vision of Chavez and his optimism of it being achievable in St Vincent and the Grenadines and what it could do in St Vincent and the Grenadines to help transform our economy,” Gonsalves stated.

He noted further that while these projects would soon become norm, Vincentians should never forget the man who initiated these programmes.

During the ceremony, presentations were done by the La Gracia Dance Company, the resistance heartbeat drummers and poet David ‘Darkie’ Williams.

There was also viewing of the Oliver Stone documentary: “My Friend Hugo.”

Hugo Chavez ran for presidency in 1998 after a failed rebellion in 1992. During his campaign he promised economic reform and true freedom and sovereignty for the Venezuelan people. Chavez, after being elected, set out to change the constitution to ensure that the real power would reside with the people. He died of a heart attack on March 5, 2013, after battling cancer for three years. He was 58 at the time of his death.(CM)

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