A man in Caracas puts up Venezuela’s national flag next to a poster of late President Hugo Chavez, March 7, 2013.
Cubans have paid tribute to late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who passed away after a two-year battle with cancer.
Cuban people across the country honored the Venezuelan leader on Thursday.
On March 5, Havana declared three days of national mourning for Chavez, saying that he had “stood by Fidel [Castro] like a true son.”
“The Cuban people think of him as one of their greatest sons, and have admired, followed and loved him as one of their own. Chavez is Cuban too! He felt in his flesh and bones our hard times and problems, and he did everything that he could, with extraordinary generosity,” said a communiqué from the Council of State led by Cuban President Raul Castro.
Hugo Chavez died at a military hospital in Caracas on March 5. Venezuelans began seven days of national mourning the next day. His body is set to be embalmed and put on display at a military museum after his funeral on Friday.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elias Jaua has said, “A thousand thanks for the posthumous tributes to a man who fought for world peace, for unity in Latin America and the Caribbean, and for the democratization of global institutions. The show of love for the president has been incredible.”
Latin American leaders including Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, will attend the funeral of Chavez in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.
Chavez founded the movement of Bolivarian Revolution to establish popular democracy and economic independence and equitably distribute wealth in Latin America. He was one of the key players in the progressive movement that has swept across Latin America over the past few years.