President Hugo Chavez loved people and hated injustice –  Gonsalves
March 8, 2013
President Hugo Chavez loved people and hated injustice – Gonsalves

Relations between the St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are not expected to change with the passing of President Hugo Chavez Frias.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday at the Fourth Regional Workshop of the Arms Trade Treaty, held at the National Insurance Services conference room, he expects diplomatic affairs to flow smoothly, regardless of who takes the helm in the South American country.

Chavez passed away on Tuesday, following a long battle with cancer. He was 58.

“I expect relations to continue, there will be no problems. No problems,” Gonsalves said at the conclusion of the opening ceremony.

During the brief interview, Gonsalves indicated that he was yet to communicate condolences to Venezuelan Vice President Nicholas Maduro, but intended to do so before the end of the morning.

“I’ll try to speak to him by phone. If I can’t get him, naturally I will speak to someone else.

“But I also want to find out from them what arrangements are being made in respect to the funeral, to see if I can get there,” the prime minister added.

Chavez is slated to be buried today.

Moments earlier, the prime minister delivered a moving tribute to Chavez, whom he described as his friend and brother, and a titan of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“A beacon, a shining light has been extinguished in the flesh. A light which has illuminated and not blinded us in our quest for justice, peace, democracy and the up-liftment of humanity, particularly the poor, the disadvantaged and the marginalized.”

“Hugo Chavez was a philosopher of 21st century socialism. A believer in core Christian principles, a practical political figure, a leader who knew how

to draw out and did draw out of his people, that which was noble in them, and oft times would

draw out of them the goodness and nobility, which they themselves did not as yet know that they possessed.

“He was a nationalist, an ardent promoter of integration of Latin American and Caribbean, anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist to the core and a devoted and loving father.”

Gonsalves told the assembly that he had first heard of Chavez from former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who described the late Venezuelan president as an historic force, whom he came to know firsthand as someone who loved people, and hated injustice.

He said his friend promoted unity with persons who pursued peace and justice, and possessed an abundance of generosity of spirit.

“Without Hugo Chavez, there would have been no PetroCaribe, no ALBA, no Community of States of Latin America and the Caribbean,” the prime minister noted.

“He was the vital bridge between Latin America on the one hand, and the Caribbean on the other. My country and others

in this region had been huge beneficiaries of all of these initiatives by Chavez and more. I shall remember him for his honesty, his wit and his camaraderie.”

Before requesting a moment of silence, and extending his condolences to the Venezuelan people on behalf of himself, his family, and the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Gonsalves stated that Chavez’s death has left a void, and has raised uncertainties.

“Those of us who have been toiling with him and the Bolivarian movement in the vineyard for our people’s up-liftment materially, socially and culturally, must bind ourselves evermore tightly together, to still the uncertainties, and finish his task in the ongoing journey, for the further enoblement and advancement of our people. “It is in this regard I pledge continuing solidarity with his successor comrade Nicholas Maduro, and the Venezuelan government and people.

“….His unfinished tasks are still to be completed.”(JJ)