Arrangements are being made for Parliamentarians to officially pay tribute to the late President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who passed away on Tuesday, March 5, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, made the announcement during Tuesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives.
In expressing condolences on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, she said that the late President was a good friend of Jamaica, who assisted the country at a time when it needed to have that support.
“Jamaica, I am sure, will remember that we were able to benefit from the PetroCaribe Fund as a result of the vision and foresight of President Chavez. He felt Jamaica was very special because Venezuelan liberator, Simon Bolivar, wrote that famous letter from Kingston, Jamaica, calling for unity of the Americas,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.“We are sad, but we will arrange so that we can pay our tribute to the passing of the President,” the Prime Minister stated.
Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, also expressed his deepest sadness at learning of the passing of President Chavez.
“I had the opportunity to meet the man personally. When we have a chance to have that formal tribute in the House, we can say definitively, that he was a good man, with a good heart, and he had a special place in his heart for Jamaica,” Mr. Holness said.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller, in a message sent to the Venezuelan Government and people, said that President Chavez was truly a man of the people, who never forgot his humble beginnings or the plight of those who were disenfranchised or marginalized.
She said he sought to give a voice to economically disadvantaged people everywhere, by espousing South – South cooperation and self-reliance.
“He will be long remembered for his willingness to challenge the status quo, to take a stand against inequality and injustice at the individual, national, regional and international levels, and to make the difficult decision in order to achieve the greater good. Most importantly, however, he will be remembered for his deep love and commitment to his country Venezuela, and to Venezuelan citizens everywhere,” the Prime Minister said.
“We mourn with our brothers and sisters of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as they contemplate a future without the President, who has served as the face of the Bolivarian Republic for the past 14 years. Our dear Venezuelan brothers and sisters have lost a President and a patriarch, and Jamaica has lost a dear and treasured friend,” the message said.