Death of President Hugo Chávez

News from Cuba | Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hugo Rafael Chávez, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, died in the hours of this Tuesday afternoon. The announcement was made by Vice President Nicolás Maduro.

Maduro called on the Venezuelan people to confront the lamentable death of the President of the Republic “with much strength, courage and integrity.”

“We have to be more united than ever, the greatest discipline, the greatest collaboration, the greatest brotherhood and sisterhood. We are going to grow, we are going to be the worthy sons and daughters of the giant of a man that he was and how Comandante Hugo Chávez will always be in our memory. The victory of today is the unity of the people and peace,” Maduro affirmed on national radio and television.

The Vice President stated that a special deployment of the entire Bolivarian National Armed Forces is to be activated in order to guarantee peace, together with the Venezuelan people. “Respect and peace have to go hand in hand in the immense pain of this historic tragedy which has today touched our country,” he added.

Maduro urged Venezuelans to gather outside the Caracas Military Hospital and Bolívar plazas in every town in the country to chant songs in tribute to Hugo Chávez Frías.

“Let us take cantos of tribute, of honor, the song of Ali Primera: ‘Those who die for life cannot be called dead,’” Maduro stated in a communiqué broadcast on the national network shortly after 5:00pm.

The Vice President asked opponents of the Bolivarian Revolution to respect this difficult moment. “To those factors who never supported him: respect the pain of the people, and we call you to peace, as Venezuelan men and women.”

Maduro also called for fortitude and prayer. “From this moment on, it is forbidden to weep. With Ali’s song and the spirit of Hugo Chávez let us raise the greatest forces of this homeland to confront the difficulties it befalls us to confront. Our people can be assured that they have a government of men and women committed to protect them,” he affirmed.

Maduro was accompanied by Foreign Minister Elías Jaua, Attorney General of the Republic Cilia Flores, Communication and Information Minister Ernesto Villegas, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza, and high-ranking military officers.

“It is a moment to think about our families, our country (?) We say, respect, respect,” he added from the Military Hospital. “Much fortitude and prayer,” Maduro affirmed, visibly stricken.

The Vice President emphasized that plans for posthumous tributes to the Venezuelan leader will be announced in the next few hours, including the place where he will be laid in state and the programming until he is finally laid to rest.

“Honor and glory to Hugo Chávez. May he live for ever.” (AVN)

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