WITHOUT any distinction of political affiliation or geographic location, expressions of sorrow at the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez continue, in a generalized acknowledgment of the architect of the Bolivarian Revolution and one of the principal promoters of an integrated Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America- Trade Treaty of the Peoples (ALBA-TCP) honored him before the UN Human Rights Council.
"Chávez was able to fully interpret the pro-independence and pro-unity thinking of Latin American and Caribbean independence leaders and take it to its most complete expression, the ALBA," affirmed Angélica Navarro, the Bolivian permanent representative in Geneva.
Alí Rodríguez Araque, UN secretary general of UNASUR, said that Chávez would be remembered not only as the promoter of Latin American integration and "the great restorer of Bolívar’s original project, but also the leader who restored Venezuelan dignity…"
Heads of MERCOSUR, ECLAC, and the Latin American Parliament also sent condolences to the Venezuelan government and people.
In a press conference in Haiti, President Michel Martelly expressed his sorrow at the death of Chávez, who he described as an exceptional person. "A great man has died, an exceptional person who never missed an opportunity to express his love for Haiti and to help its people. We will always be grateful to President Chávez, today is a sad day."
Guyanese President Donald Ramotar and Alejandro García Padilla, Governor of Puerto Rico, also sent condolences.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Army of the People (FARC-EP) issued a communiqué stating that it shares the pain of Venezuelan Bolivarians at the heartbreaking news. "Like no-one else, Chávez fought passionately to make material the social program of the Liberator Simón Bolívar, the unity and dignity of our peoples, the conviction of sovereignty and freedom in their widest sense."
Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized Chávez’ elevated human and leadership qualities in a message of condolence to the Venezuelan government and people. Putin described him as "an exceptional and outstanding leader and a close friend of Russia."
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko lamented the death of the Venezuelan leader, whom he described as a faithful and close friend and brother of his country.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic announced that the Venezuelan President is to be awarded a posthumous decoration "for his merits in the development and reinforcement of peaceful cooperation between the two countries."
Irish President Michael Higgins highlighted Chávez’ battle against poverty and the social advances he achieved.
There were official announcements of condolences and acknowledgment of the head of state’s historic legacy in Italy, Portugal and Spain.
The Chinese Foreign Minister announced that President Hu Jintao; General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping; and Wu Bangguo, President of the Permanent Committee of the People’s National Assembly sent messages of condolence to Venezuelan authorities. The note describes Chávez as "a good friend of the Chinese people… who did much in favor of friendly and cooperative relations between Beijing and Caracas."
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh affirmed his profound sadness and described Chávez as "a charismatic and immensely popular leader, who leaves a legacy of struggle for social justice."
President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya also lamented the death of Chávez, who he defined as a key architect in African-South American relations.
Palestine National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas offered condolences to the
Venezuelan people and government, while noting, "Palestinians have lost a friend who passionately defended their right to freedom."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad affirmed that his Venezuelan counterpart will be like a saint who will return on the Day of Resurrection. Syrian leader Bashar al Assad stated that the death of Chávez was both "a great personal loss" and a loss for the Syrian people.
In the United States, actors Danny Glover and Sean Penn, and filmmakers Michael Moore and Oliver Stone also expressed their condolences to the Venezuelan people and highlighted the leader’s work in defense of the poor of the world and lovers of freedom.
Argentine footballer Diego Maradona also joined his compatriots in mourning the death of President Hugo Chávez. (SE)
Communiqué from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on the death of Comandante President Hugo Chávez Frías