Belize sends delegation to Hugo Chavez’s funeral

Belize City, Thurs. March 7th, 2013
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and a delegation of Belizean officials have left for Venezuela to attend the funeral service for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, 58, who passed away Tuesday afternoon, March 5.
The delegation left the country on Thursday for the funeral which takes place on Friday.
Included in the delegation are the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexis Rosado and Belize’s Ambassador to Washington and the Organization of American States, Ambassador Nestor Mendez.
President Chavez’s body is lying in state at a military academy in Caracas, where more than two million mourners have already paid their last respects.
Chavez died at a military hospital in the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Tuesday afternoon, after his long battle with cancer.
Reports out of Venezuela say that Chavez’s body will be embalmed and put on display at a new revolutionary museum, following the state funeral on Friday, the BBC quoted Vice-President Nicholas Maduro as saying on Thursday.
A government of Belize press release on Wednesday described President Chavez as a true friend of Belize and over the many years the Belizean people had enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic offered Belize under Chavez’s leadership.
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Leader Francis Fonseca has sent a message of deep sympathy and condolence to the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The PUP Leader adds: “President Chavez was a true friend of Belize. We mourn the loss of this great son of Venezuela. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of that sister nation.”
Former PUP Leader and Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa hailed Chavez as “a revolutionary leader whose vision for a more united Latin America and the Caribbean captured the hearts and minds of freedom-loving peoples throughout our region.”
Under Chavez’s leadership, Belize benefited with developmental assistance in areas of housing for the poor, healthcare, the Petro-Caribe initiative, which in recent times has allowed the Belize government to purchase fuel at concessionary prices.
The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Belize also expressed its deepest sorrow for the great loss to Venezuela and the Latin American and Caribbean region over the death of Chavez, whom it described as the greatest pioneer of Latin American and Caribbean integration.
Hugo Chavez has been President of Venezuela from 1999 up to the time of his death this week. Under Chavez’s leadership with his Bolivarian Revolution, he has not only spearheaded a new constitution, but has used the country’s vast oil wealth to improve the lives of millions of poor Venezuelans.
Chavez also nationalized key industries in his country and throughout his leadership of Venezuela, he always appeared to be locked in an anti-imperialist rhetorical war with the United States, whose presidents he often castigated and called names on the international stage.

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