Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Business Nickolas Steele will be among foreign dignitaries who will be attending the funeral service of the Venezuelan deceased President Hugo Chavez, who was announced dead on Tuesday. This is his first out of state trip as a Government Minister.
Describing Chavez as a genuine friend of Grenada, Steele said that Chavez will particularly be remembered during the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan which devastated the country in 2004 destroying 90% of the houses.
“He came to us particularly in our darkest moment,” said Steele who only took the oath of office last Sunday after the New National Party won the February 19 General Elections with a landslide victory that left Grenada without a parliamentary opposition.
A message from the NNP said the Political Leader, Dr the Right Hon. Keith Mitchell, the Executive and membership of the NNP party, extend their sincerest condolence to the Government and the people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on the recent sad passing of President Hugo Chavez.
“President Chavez will be greatly missed by Grenada for his significant contributions to the development of our country and people. Under his Presidency, Venezuela provided significant benefits in the area of housing, healthcare, education, the Petro Caribe project, just to name a few,” said the statement.
President Chavez according to the NNP will be remembered as a true champion of those in need in his own country and beyond. “He maintained a foreign policy throughout his time in public office by assisting less fortunate countries throughout the region and by sharing the wealth of his Nation for the betterment of others,” the statement said.
The National Democratic Congress which was voted out of the office in the election said in a statement that it was deeply saddened by the passing of Chavez. The party describes him a true friend of Grenada, who attached great importance to the deepening of our traditional friendship, while promoting the continuous development of bilateral relations and cooperation.
“Hugo Chavez made a significant contribution to the economic growth and development of Grenada through various programmes which directly benefited the ordinary people at the community level and the country as a whole,” said the statement which claimed that Grenada-Venezuela relations were strengthened as a result of his leadership in promoting and deepening cooperation in various fields between our two countries.
“His leadership in championing the plight of small island developing states in the global community was a feature of his Presidency and he will be remembered for the bond developed with CARICOM and CARIFORUM countries, as evidenced by the establishment of Petro Caribe, as one example,” said the statement.
The minority National United Front political party which is headed by Glynis Roberts expressed condolences to the family, colleagues and supporters of the late President Hugo Chavez. Describing him as a true champion for the betterment of the lives of the people of Venezuela, the Americas and Grenada, a statement from the NUF said, “We pray God’s acceptance of his deeds and continued support and guidance for those now entrusted with the responsibility of carrying on his legacy.”
by Linda Straker