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The Death of Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez with Evo Morales of Bolivia

 

Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, has died. Hugely popular in his own country, he was controversial in the West, and hated by those in power in the US.

Chavez – who famously called George W Bush a “donkey” – was part of a wave of Latin American leaders who saw it as their role to complete the task of Simón Bolívar: to rid South America of imperialist control. Chavez and his ilk sent a strong message to Washington that Latin America is no longer their backyard: no more will US company be able to loot resources and repay people with death squads and disappearances.

Chavez used Venezuela’s tremendous oil wealth to improve the condition of the poor, and to send a strong message to the rest of the world that it is possible to build a society that meets the aspirations of ordinary people.

Venezuela Solidarity Centre Secretary Dr Francisco Dominguez said:

“Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, President of Venezuela, died on March 5th at 4:25 hrs (local time) after a long and hard battle against cancer. He was 58 years old.

He led the progressive transformation of Venezuela by lifting millions of its citizens from poverty – standing against social exclusion, marginalisation and institutional repression – thereby restoring to them a long-overdue dignity.

Under President Chavez’s leadership, his government’s policies improved the life of ordinary Venezuelans as no other government had ever done in the history of that South American nation.

Chavez also played a leading role in the transformation of Latin America into a progressive continent, which in the 21st century is collectively affirming the sovereignty of the nation states that make it up, and where, in different ways and through nationally-specific routes, they have been attempting to build a better world.

Hugo Chavez will continue to symbolise, for decades to come, the aspirations of dignity, sovereignty, justice and a better life as fully empowered citizens, for people all around the world.

He showed that a better world could be constructed.

Our hearts go to his family, friends, comrades, the people of Venezuela, and the people of Latin America”.

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