Friday, March 8, 2013


Over two million people turned out in the streets of Caracas Friday for the funeral of the late President Hugo Chavez.


The funeral was attended by dignitaries throughout Latin America, including Bolivia's President Evo Morales. Like Venezuela, Bolivia has declared a 7 day period of mourning for the late President who died Tuesday after a two year fight against cancer.

More here and here and here on the life and legacy of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Saturday Update:

Below, excerpts from the ceremonies, including a speech made by Nicolas Madura.  The vice president was sworn into office friday, with another election slated in a month.  Prior to his death, President Chavez announced the vice president as his preferred successor.  

President Madura stated, "All of our commander’s life has been a testament.  His words, his passions, his work, his people, the people of Venezuela, is his testament."  He continued, saying that Chavez left behind a system of primarily five principles and values:
The first is to maintain the independence and achievements of this popular Bolivarian revolution.  The second objective is to construct our own socialism; diverse, democratic, and Latin American rooted.  The third, to project Venezuela as part of a more powerful Latin America, that will be constructed in the next few years.  We see that represented here in the diversity of presidents who attended this ceremony.  Number four is to construct a world of balance, of Bolivarian balance without empires.  The fifth objective is a historic one:  to contribute to the preservation of the planet and the survival of the human race.   

The ceremony was punctuated by the many world dignitaries and groups lining up around the late president's casket for a moment of silence.

From the United States, Reverend Jesse Jackson attended ceremonies and said a prayer:
Today we are here not because Hugo Chavez died, but because he lived.  We pray God that today that you will heal the breach between the U.S. and Venezuela.
Actor Sean Penn was also seen in attendance; he joins a number of American activists and film figures such as Michael Moore, Danny Glover, and director Oliver Stone in hailing Hugo Chavez, in the words of Mr. Glover, "as a social champion of democracy, material development, and spiritual well-being."

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