State Funeral for President Chavez Scheduled for Friday Print E-mail
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Written by Sahne D. Williams   
Thursday, 07 March 2013 00:00

Chavez’sHis Excellency President Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer after a brave two year fight on Tuesday, March 5th, at 4:25 p.m. inside a military hospital in Caracas, Venezuela. Thousands of supporters flooded the streets of Venezuela’s capital city, Caracas, to bid farewell to “El Comandante” as his coffin was transported from the military hospital to a military academy where it will remain until the official state funeral on Friday, March 8. The government has declared a seven day period of mourning and schools will remain closed for the rest of this week as the country bids farewell to its populist leader of 14 years.

Belize joins the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in mourning President Hugo Chavez.  Outside of the United States, Chavez was perhaps the most popular Head of State in this part of the world. A release from the Government of Belize states, “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.”

Thousands of Belizeans have benefited directly from the generosity of Chavez’s administration. President Chavez gave Belize millions of dollars in grant for housing construction and investment in healthcare. The Venezuelan Housing Grant allowed for hundreds of homes to be built and thousands repaired under the management of the Hon. Dean Barrow’s administration. Today Belize benefits from the Petrocaribe initiative which allows the government to purchase fuel from Venezuela at concessionary rates and an extremely friendly payment scheme. Another initiative of President Chavez is the Mision Milagro or “Miracle Mission” in which the aim is to treat every Belizean living with visual illness. Thousands have already traveled to Venezuela for treatment under the project.

The release by the Government of Belize goes on to say “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.”

The rest of the world will be watching Venezuela closely over the next few weeks as a Presidential election is expected to be held within thirty days. The winner of the election will rule over a huge portion of the world’s oil reserves. The front runner for the election appears to be Vice President Nicolás Maduro, who had Chávez’s full backing. He is expected to continue Chavez’s policies.