Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony has expressed deep sorrow at news of the passing of the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
He stated: “It is always difficult to accept death when it arrives. And so it is with President Hugo Chavez. His death is another moment of pain. On behalf of the government and people of Saint Lucia, I extend deep and sincere condolences to the government and people of Venezuela. In this time of grief and sadness, we reaffirm our unshakeable bonds of friendship with the government and people of Venezuela. We share their collective pain and grief.
“The world has lost a man of character, courage and vision. He was bold and fearless. He was never afraid to express his convictions, never afraid to champion the cause of the weak and dispossessed, even at his own peril. He spoke for those who were forgotten, those whom the world preferred to ignore and pretend did not exist. He searched for a new humanity in a world that had become increasingly heartless.
“He will be remembered as a champion of the poor, the dispossessed, the marginalized, not just in Venezuela but throughout the world. He was a sincere friend of our region. He respected and admired the leaders of CARICOM. He has left a lasting legacy in our region. His generosity and commitment is evidenced in every island that participated in the Petro Caribe agreement. Here was a leader who matched his words with his deeds. He lived by what he preached.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude. It was Venezuela who helped to transport the hundreds of Saint Lucians who travelled to Cuba for eye surgery. We cannot and will not forget this simple but generous act of humanity. I grieve together with his family, friends, government and the people of Venezuela. May his legacy live on and may his soul rest in peace.”