03/06/2013, 00.00
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World leaders on the death of Hugo Chavez

Condolences from Ban Ki-moon. For the governments of Latin America he was "a great friend." The U.S. accused of poisoning him by injecting cancer that led to his death. For Russia, his death is "a tragedy." The Academy of Social Sciences in China: "He continued his socialist ideals" after the fall of the USSR. China supported the social policies of Chavez in exchange for oil, spreading its influence throughout Latin America.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Political leaders from around the world are expressing condolences to the Venezuelan people following the death of their leader Hugo Chavez, last night after a two-year fight against cancer.

The fiery "commander" was 58 years old and had led the country for 14 years in controversial situations that earned him the passionate support of the poor, but also the disaffection and strong criticism of the business world, because of his socialist policies of nationalization and violence against opponents.

The presidents of Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and other Latin American countries, have sent their condolences, remembering him as a "great friend" and terming his death "an irreparable loss".

Ties with the U.S. were less cordial with Chavez describing Washington as "the devil" and "the enemy." Barack Obama has sent a written message of condolences in which he expresses hopes that relations between the two countries can improve.

But yesterday the Caracas government ordered the expulsion of two military attachés at the U.S. embassy for spying. The vice president in charge, Nicols Maduro, fears that the U.S. is preparing a coup during the power vacuum. The U.S. was even accused yesterday of having caused the death of Chavez by injecting him with the cancer from which he died.

One of the first messages of condolence was from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who expressed his participation in the mourning of Chavez's family, the government and people of Venezuela.

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitali Churkin called the death of the leader a "tragedy".

There has been no immediate reaction from the Chinese government. In all these years, Beijing has supported Chavez's social programs with tens of billions of dollars, in exchange for a share of the oil extracted from Venezuela. Thanks to this relationship with the leader, China's influence in Latin American has become increasingly widespread.

On the Internet, Chinese bloggers have praised the hero who dared to defy the United States and "mourn the great fighter." For scholars of the Academy of Social Sciences, Chavez proved it possible to continue the ideas of socialism in the 21st century, after the fall of the USSR and the changes in Eastern Europe.


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