Nuria Barbosa León
With the organization of forums,
photographic expositions, conferences and film
showings, Cuba is participating in the month-long
tribute to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez
entitled Por aquí pasó Chávez (Chávez passed this
way), which is being sponsored by more than 170
Venezuelan consulates and embassies around the world.
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (Sabaneta,
Barinas, Venezuela; July 28, 1954 -
Caracas, Venezuela; March 5, 2013), a
great Venezuelan, Latin American,
Caribbean and international
The commemoration was opened in
Venezuela by President Nicolás Maduro with a march
of thousands in Caracas to the Montaña Fortress,
where the former leader was laid to rest.
In the Dominican Republic,
authorities in the province of San Pedro de Macorís
joined the international commemoration by officially
re-naming an avenue in honor of President Chávez.
Several activities have been
organized in Quito, Ecuador, with special emphasis
on an event to be held February 19 at the Foreign
Ministry. The National Assembly will also make a
special declaration as a tribute to the untiring
Latin American leader.
The Venezuelan embassy in Greece has
organized activities, including the planting of
olive trees, in the country’s three most important
cities - in four Athens neighborhoods, Tesalonica
and Patras. Embassies in Russia, Brazil and across
Latin America have announced plans.
The month-long commemoration, meant
to highlight the life and work of Chávez, began on
February 4, the date on which, in 1992, he led a
civilian-military rebellion to resist the
International Monetary Fund’s neoliberal policies
being implemented by then-President Carlos Andrés
Pérez. Events will continue through March 5, the
first anniversary of the Bolivarian leader’s death.
Edgar González Martínez, business
attaché for the Venezuelan embassy in
Cuba, spoke at a February 4 event in
Havana honoring Chávez.
Throughout the month in Cuba, book
presentations, exposition openings, concerts,
marches, festivals, community sports and
environmental days will be held to honor Chávez.
The first commemoration took place
February 4, on Havana’s Avenue of Presidents, where
a statue of Simón Bolívar is located. Edgar González
Martínez, the Venezuelan embassy’s business attaché
spoke, emphasizing the historic importance of the
1992 rebellion which gave the people hope for social
change. The date was designated Venezuela’s National
Day of Dignity.
Elio Gámez Neyra, vice president of
the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP) said, "Cuba
and Venezuela, despite attacks, difficulties and
threats, have made clear the validity of socialism
as a feasible social project, one of great justice
and equality for all."
Open to the public at ICAP
headquarters is the exposition entitled Chávez, en
el corazón del pueblo (Chávez in the heart of the
people), composed of 19 giant photographs by Raúl
Abreú Acuña, capturing the Venezuelan leader’s
visits to Cuba.
In Havana’s Casa de las Américas,
sociologist and researcher Germán Sánchez Otero,
Cuba’s former ambassador in Venezuela, presented a
talk, with students from Hugo Chávez Elementary
School showing their love for their mentor, along
with many members of the diplomatic corps in
In Matanzas, some 100 kilometers
east of the capital, an exhibit was inaugurated
featuring 36 photos of the meetings Cuba’s historic
leader Fidel Castro held with his Venezuelan friend
and colleague. A group of young people in the
eastern province of Granma honored Chávez by scaling
Pico Caracas, in the Sierra Maestra Mountains,
reaching an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level.
A traveling exposition entitled
Chávez Comandante eterno was inaugurated at the
Vicente García Provincial Museum in Las Tunas by a
group of Cubans who completed internationalist
missions in Venezuela, in the areas of healthcare,
sports and culture, several of whom had the
opportunity to meet Chávez.
Santiago de Cuba’s Provincial
Library is also displaying a special collection of
books, magazines and newspapers related to
Venezuela’s eternal Bolivarian President. •
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