Around the world today, the news has been about the death of President of Venezuela, fifty-eight year old Hugo Chavez. In Venezuela, multitudes took to the streets to honor the late president as his coffin draped in Venezuela’s blue, red and yellow flag, was moved through Caracas, from the hospital where he died to the Military Academy where it is lying in state. Chavez, a revolutionary leader, envisioned a Latin America united for common growth. Under his fourteen years as president, Chavez assisted many countries in the region, including Belize with the Petrocaribe fuel initiative, the medical Mission Miracle and funded numerous assistance programs. Countries across the region have declared two to three days of mourning in honor of his passing. The flags were lowered at the Venezuelan Embassy in Belmopan and the Chargé d’Affaires, Gabriel Sanchez, said that the Embassy will open its doors for people to document their condolences that will be forwarded to family members in Venezuela.
Gabriel Sanchez, Chargé d’Affaires, Venezuelan Embassy
“Today we are having the remains of president Chavez, in circulo military, which is a building for the military. It is actually the academy where he studied. It is going to be there up to Friday; anybody from Venezuela can go there and see President Chavez for the last time. Then on Friday, his burial will be in Caracas. We don’t know the place yet; we will know eventually. Some dignitaries are there right now. The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic in Belize through its local and diplomatic staff really want to spread its deepest sorrow for the great lost to Venezuela, Latin America and the Caribbean of the maximum Bolivarian leader, Hugo Chavez Frías, recognized as one of the greatest pioneers of Latin America and the Caribbean integration. Hugo Rafael Chavez Frías marked, with a deep imprint, our country by promoting reforms in benefit of the poor, handed over power to the poorest and implemented social missions benefitting millions of Venezuelans. From the bottom of our hearts, we mourn the leader of the Bolivarian revolution who is not physically with us today, but leaves in each of the heart of all Latin Americans and the Caribbean; who defends everyday and arduously the basic principles of our people: solidarity, complimentary and cooperation among others. We have to stress also his vision of a Bolivarian period of unity and integration highlighted by the struggle of people against poverty, inequality and social justice. As well as creating new opportunities for integration to ensure the sovereignty and independence of the entire region. Projects of integration we shall endure forever and is our task to continue them towards the achievement of those projects. Finally, we would like to stress that the Venezuelan Diplomatic Mission located here in Belmopan will have available a book from today, Wednesday March sixth to Tuesday, March twelfth, for anyone who wishes to express condolences for his death. And that book will also be sent to his families so that they can have the words of Belizeans who really believe in President Chavez.”
Belize Mourns the Passing of President Hugo Chavez
Belmopan. March 6, 2013.
The Government and people of Belize join the Government and people of the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela in mourning of H.E. President Hugo Chavez who passed away on
5 March 2013.
President Chavez was a true friend of Belize and over many years, the Belizean people
enjoyed the fruits of friendship and cooperation that the Government and people of the
Bolivarian Republic offered Belize under the leadership of President Chavez.
His public life was one of leadership and struggle for high ideals and principles, with the
purpose of improving the lives of individual citizens and promoting a spirit of community
among peoples and among nations. It is under his leadership that the Community of Latin
American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was established in Caracas, Venezuela, in
December of 2011.
Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Gaspar Vega has communicated with acting President
Maduro of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to convey the condolences of the
Government and People of Belize in the passing of a true statesman, President Hugo
Chavez. May he rest in peace.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Hugo Chavez’s Legacy Concrete in Belize
“I don’t think there is another country in the world that has gone as far as Venezuela in terms of making resources possible and specifying that those resources ought to be used specifically to transform the relationship of the people, help the poor, but Venezuela is giving until it hurts and for that I really want to thank them.”- Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington.
In just 19 months the Government of Belize has gained access to over $200 million through the second incarnation of Petro-Caribe Agreement for Energy Cooperation and every penny will be used for poverty alleviation and national development, as intended by the late President Hugo Chavez. Using Petro-Caribe funds, the Government of Belize has been able to open the National Bank of Belize which lends to public servants and middle income Belizeans at rates that have forced the commercial banks to lower their lending rates to all Belizeans. The Petro-Caribe fund is also being used to create thousands of construction jobs countrywide in projects being executed by the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL). As a result, a new state of the art Belize City Center will be constructed and sports complexes costing at least $5 million will be built in every municipality of the country.
Belize is a model in the region for the effective implementation of the Petro-Caribe initiative and on Friday, April 25, the program took another step forward with the official opening of a local office for ALBA Petro-Caribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL), a joint venture company owned by the Governments of Belize and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, and Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Belize, H.E. Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano, cut the ribbon for APBEL’s office on Friday. Prime Minister Barrow says the ceremony was not only to open an office but also to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of establishment of Diplomatic relations between Belize and Venezuela. He says, “The relationship between Belize and Venezuela has grown bilaterally but it is also part of a larger and most significant regional development that is a new model of economic cooperation arrangement in Latin American and Caribbean affairs - driven by the establishment of ALBA and Petro-Caribe.”
Ambassador Marcano says, “Venezuela is proud of the fact that it was one of the countries that had always supported Belize, even during the time of the United Nations’ debate, and we rejoiced with you at the time of Independence.” He says Venezuela’s support of Belize is unwavering and, “We will continue under whatever circumstance to assist the Government and people of Belize in their process of economic development with peace, democracy and social justice.” Ambassador Marcano says the Bolivarian Revolution has given a new perspective to assist Belize as it has “transformed cooperation into integration and solidarity into brotherhood.”
Ambassador Marcano says, “[President Chavez’s] goal was to stabilize the economies of countries in the region using energy.” Prime Minister Barrow saluted the Comrade saying, “The opening of the APBEL office today is of course a brick and mortar testament to the importance for Belize of Petro-Caribe and the trailblazing nature of the program’s regional and South-South solidarity paradigm.” Ambassador Marcano closed saying, “We affirm without a doubt that the development of both countries are tightly joined.”