Chávez’s Passing: In the Hemisphere’s Words

"Chavez" | by Donmatas1 | Flickr | Creative Commons

Chavez | by Donmatas1 | Flickr | Creative Commons

Below are excerpts from statements made by leaders of the Western Hemisphere upon learning of the passing of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.  The tone of the U.S. President and Canadian Prime Minister’s remarks is different from the Latin Americans’.

Barack Obama (U.S.A.)
“As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”

Stephen Harper (Canada)
” I would like to offer my condolences to the people of Venezuela on the passing of President Chávez.

“Canada looks forward to working with his successor and other leaders in the region to build a hemisphere that is more prosperous, secure and democratic.

“At this key juncture, I hope the people of Venezuela can now build for themselves a better, brighter future based on the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

Enrique Peña (México)
“Lamento el fallecimiento del Presidente Hugo Chávez. Mis más sentidas condolencias a su familia y al pueblo venezolano”.

Ollanta Humala (Perú)
“Adiós Comandante y amigo Hugo Chávez. Mis sentidas condolencias a su familia y a todo el pueblo venezolano”.

Ricardo Martinelli (Panamá)
“Deseamos expresarle nuestro pésame al Pueblo Venezolano y a la Familia Chávez por el sensible fallecimiento del Presidente Hugo Chávez”.

Evo Morales (Bolivia)
“Duele, pero también queremos decir a los pueblos, fuerza y unidad ahora más que nunca. Estamos destrozados”.

Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia)
“Lamento profundamente la muerte del presidente de Venezuela Hugo Chávez Frías. Nuestras sinceras condolencias”

Dilma Rousseff (Brasil)
“Estamos de luto por la pérdida de un gran amigo. Va a dejar un hueco en ‘la historia y en las luchas’ de América Latina”.

Sebastián Piñera (Chile)
“Fue un hombre profundamente comprometido con la integración de América Latina. …  Sin duda teníamos diferencias, pero siempre supe apreciar la fuerza, el compromiso y la voluntad con la cual el Presidente Chávez luchaba por sus ideas”.


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  1. Prof. Arturo C. Porzecanski

     /  March 7, 2013

    For the sake of completeness, President Obama’s statement started out by saying: “At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez’s passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government.” For the sake of context, you might also have noted that two U.S. Embassy officers had been ordered expelled from the country hours before the announcement of Chavez’s death, having been accused of conspiracy to destabilize Venezuela. No other government leader besides President Obama was put in the position of having to issue a gracious condolence statement despite having just been accused — the way his Administration was accused — of conspiracy to destabilize that country!

  2. Prof. Porzecanski has offered valuable context. Still more context could include the use of US funds to support the Venezuelan opposition (which would rankle Americans if done by a foreign government here), and the lingering distrust over the Bush administration’s premature celebration of the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez. There has been no shortage of provocation from both sides. The question is whether the US could achieve more by taking the high road. If the United States is interested in influencing the nature of government in Venezuela, it might begin by asking what will be more effective: admonitions that sound to Chavez’s many supporters like bidding good riddance to the leader they repeatedly elected, or statements of solidarity that refreshingly depart from Washington’s longstanding inclination to “teach the South American republics to elect good men” (Woodrow Wilson, one hundred years ago).

  3. Julio Corzo

     /  March 14, 2013

    Mr. Friedman “forgets” that the castrofascist regime in Cuba supports Chavez long before he got the presidency, “forgets” also that USA supported Castro with money, weapons and a huge propaganda campaign when the tyrant was fighting Batista…… and supported Castro putting aside other revolutionary groups that also fought Batista giving preference to Castro for ideological reasons……… countries and power groups always gives support to someone…… to try to present one specific supportive streams as an evil thing is not honest knowing that there are other countries and power groups working in opposite way.


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