Russia’s Putin describes Hugo Chavez as a strong man
Newscast Media MOSCOW—While some could not wait for the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to occur, Chavez’s family, friends and countrymen have been grieving his untimely death since the announcement was made. According to Russian media outlet Ria Novosti, Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the many world leaders who praised the legacy of Chavez.
“He was an unorthodox and strong person, who looked to the future and always set himself the highest standards,” Putin said in a Kremlin message of condolence after Chavez’s death on Tuesday following a prolonged battle with cancer.
Putin added he was confident the Venezuelan people would be able to overcome what he called the “test” presented by Chavez’s death and continue to build a “strong, independent and prosperous” nation.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Chavez had devoted his life to the battle for “justice and equality.”
“We share the pain of your loss—we will always remember this wonderful person, patriot and citizen,” he said in a message of condolence to the Venezulean people. In the former Soviet republic of Belarus, strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko declared a three-day mourning period in connection with Chavez’s death.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Venezuela had lost a “brave, wise and revolutionary leader.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said simply he was “conveying condolences” to Chavez’s “family and the people of Venezuela.”
In Cuba, the government said in a statement that Chavez had “stood by Fidel [Castro] like a true son.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said: “This death should fill all Latin and Central Americans with sadness,” adding “Hugo Chavez was without doubt a leader committed to his country and to the development of the people of Latin America.”
She described Chavez as “a great leader, an irreparable loss and above all a friend of Brazil,” Ria Novosti reported.