KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 12, IWN — This country could see a facility named in honour of former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last week.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the announcement in Parliament on Monday and also decried those persons who rejoiced at the death of the South American leader.
“I believe that it would be fitting for us, at some time, to have a facility, whether it be a school or some other public building or facility, named after President Chavez,” Gonsalves told legislators on Monday.
He said Chavez was a “giant of a political figure”, “a splendid human being” and an “integrationist for the region, one who possessed a profound dislike of injustice, a man for the poor and the working people and our Latin America and the Caribbean”.
He further said that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has benefited immensely from the leadership of Chavez and that he is quite sure that excellent relations will continue under the new government in Caracas.
Gonsalves, who attended Chavez’s funeral in Caracas last week, said he was asked to, and conveyed the condolences of the Opposition to Chavez’s family and the government and people of Venezuela.
Gonsalves told Parliament it pains him to have to say that some persons in SVG, across the Caribbean, in Venezuela, and other parts of the world rejoiced at Chavez’s death.
“The glee with which some people greeted the death of president Chavez, … it is just terrible,” he said.
He said it was “the same kind of a glee” that some persons in SVG “have for the Buccament Bay Resort to fail or for the Argyle international airport not to succeed [and] want to see Building & Loan collapse.
“It is a kind of a perversity, which … I am not able to fathom the reasoning. We really have to get past these things,” Gonsalves further said.
Gonsalves detailed the assistance that SVG has received from Venezuela in the areas of healthcare, education, economic development, and infrastructural development.
“How could anybody be happy to see a man like that die? What has happened to some of us in this country and this world?”
“… I just have to conclude that there are some people who are just bad-minded and we just have to pray for them.
“We try to persuade, but, where persuasion doesn’t work, we just have to pray to Almighty God that they see the light and the anger and the venom in them just be reduced and for them to rise to an acceptable level of humanity because Hugo Chavez was in quest of the uplifting of human beings to a much higher level,” Gonsalves said.
He asked legislators to stand in one-minute silence in respect o the passing of Chavez and Vincentian educator, Norma Keizer, who died in February.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Godwin Friday restated the Opposition’s condolences to Chavez’s family and Venezuela.
“We know that he was a president, but, before that, he was an individual, a son, a father and nobody on this side of the House took any pleasure in his death.
“We know that as someone who was engaged in the fray of national and international politics that he would have made many friends and we are all aware that he had his detractors, “Friday said.
He noted that Kingstown-Caracas ties date back decades and expressed hope that they will continue.