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.