Venezuelan supporter of President Hugo Chavez during the election referendum on February 15, 2009., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Zanu-PF mourns Chavez
Thursday, 07 March 2013 00:00
Hebert Zharare Political Editor
ZANU-PF yesterday joined the people of Venezuela and other progressive forces in the world in mourning the death of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela President Commandant Hugo Faris Chavez.
Cde Chavez, who was one of Latin America’s most charismatic and influential leaders, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
He was 58.
Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo yesterday said the world lost a great leader whose fight against imperialism and all forces of neo-colonialism was not questionable.
“It is clear that as Zanu-PF we have lost a great leader, an icon, a revolutionary and international leader of repute. As a party we grieve together with the people of Venezuela. We hope that his successor will continue spearheading the revolution against the forces of imperialism,” he said.
In a statement, the Zanu-PF Youth League also expressed its heartfelt condolences to the youth of Venezuela on the untimely death of their leader.
“The youths of Zimbabwe wish to express their profound grief to the people of Venezuela following the death of President Chavez who championed the building of a thriving socialist state, the ideal society of mankind while smashing the all challenging war mongering tactics of the world imperialists.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday also hailed his late Venezuelan counterpart Cde Chavez as an uncommon and strong man who had made a huge contribution to relations between Moscow and Caracas.
“He was an uncommon and strong man who looked into the future and always set the highest target for himself,” President Putin said in a telegram of condolence, thanking Cde Chavez for laying the “solid basis” for Russia-Venezuela relations.
Several Latin American leaders also declared three days of national mourning in their countries over the death of Cde Chavez, who was widely praised as a strong leader who had worked to unify the region.
In Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff declared three days of mourning and planned to travel to Caracas for Cde Chavez’s funeral, her office said yesterday. Presidents Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Jose Mujica of Uruguay are already in Venezuela.
“We recognise a great leader, an irreparable loss and above all, a friend of Brazil, a friend of the Brazilian people,” President Rousseff said on Tuesday in reaction to Cde Chavez’s death.
Cde Chavez died after 14 years in power.
Cuba, where Cde Chavez underwent cancer treatment, also declared three days of mourning for their closest regional ally and main economic supporter. Authorities called on the Cuban people to give Cde Chavez a massive sendoff similar to that accorded to historic national leaders, with a “posthumous tribute” on the country’s main public squares today.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera also declared three days of national mourning and confirmed yesterday that he would be travelling to Caracas for the funeral.
“I will travel Friday to be with the Venezuelan government and people along with other world and Latin American leaders to pay tribute to the late president Hugo Chavez,” President Pinera told the media yesterday.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who had cultivated recent improved ties with Venezuela, after years of tense bilateral relations, called Cde Chavez’s death “a great loss for Venezuela and the region, for Colombia and for me personally.”
Cde Chavez’s death after a two-year struggle with cancer was a blow to his adoring supporters and the alliance of left-wing Latin American powers, and plunged his oil-rich country into uncertainty as an election to chose a successor in 30 days is organised.