Jul 16, 2012, 2:14 PM
The Embassy of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Banjul, in collaboration with friends of Venezuela, at the weekend honoured the memory of Hugo Chavez through solidarity and friendship at a ceremony held at the Embassy in Kotu.
March 5 has been set aside by the people of Venezuela to recognise and commemorate the great efforts made by Hugo Chavez in remembrance of his passing.
Chavez, who passed away after battling with illness for two years, was the supreme commander and leader of the Bolivarian Revolution and the late president of Venezuela from 1999-2013.
He was a great peace maker and a strong supporter of needy people, and placed the popular power in the forefront of the construction of the socialism of the 21st century, according to Ambassador Eduardo Medina Rubio.
“This year marks three years of the hard, sad and painful day not only for the Venezuelan people, but for all men and women of goodwill on the planet, who are fighting for better world in America, Africa and everywhere on the planet,” said Ambassador Rubio.
He said: “The Chavez government transformed the social, economic and political life of our country, in favour of the poor majority.”
He (Chavez) was a strong advocate of regional unity “in opposition to imperialism, fighting for socialism, national liberation”, international solidarity and peace, he said.
‘Hugo Chavez may no longer be physically with the people to carry out that platform, but his ideas and example will live on for generations in the hearts and minds of all those committed to ending the savageness of capitalism,” he added.
According to him, Chavez’s government transformed the social, economic and political life of the Venezuelan people, and “the indicators on these sectors have changed in favour of the poor majority”.
“The Bolivarian Revolution settled a government of a sovereign state determined to control its own resources and markets,” he said, adding that today Venezuela had the fairest income distribution in Latin American, enjoying a participatory democracy.
Inspired by Venezuela independence hero Simon Bolivar, Chavez advocated for regional unity in opposition to imperialism, Ambassador Medina Rubio said.
“His example inspired left-wing leaders to win power across Latin America. Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, all voted in left-wing presidents of varying shades, inspired by Hugo Chavez.”
Chavez championed socialism, national liberation and international solidarity and had always reaffirmed the African and indigenous roots of Venezuela and Latino America culture and society.
The recognition of the African heritage opened new ways of cooperation and solidarity with Africa diaspora, he said, adding that prior to his death, Chavez wrote an open letter to the third African-South America Summit that was held in Equatorial Guinea.
On this occasion, he reaffirmed his call for unity and cooperation between the two continents.
The second Africa-South America Summit was held in Venezuela on Margarita Island in September 2009, and President Chavez delivered the opening speech of the summit and stated: “This is the beginning of the salvation of our people.
“The 21st century won’t be a bipolar world, it won’t be a polar world, and it will be multipolar.”
He said Chavez’s visionary leadership against inequality, exploitation and environmental destruction was based on an understanding that in his own words: “Time is short, and if we do not change the world now there may be no 22nd century”.
He said the majority of Venezuelans agreed and elected him as their president five times, and Chavez’s most recent re-election, before he died, was the result of his public commitment to deepening the democratic socialist revolution.
After the death of Chavez, the eternal commander, Nicolas Maduro was elected president in a free, fair and democratic electoral process and since then the right wing and fascist groups had been carrying out “different terrorist acts”.
“The opposition in Venezuela is hell-bent on destroying the economy, using the capitalist marketplace to cause speculation, inflation and shortages of commodities,” ambassador Medina Rubio said.
“The objective of these terrorist acts is to generate a scenario of instability and violence, under the classic strategy of distorting reality to misinform and to demonize the national government.”