SA groups pay tribute to Chavez

2013-03-06 16:25
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - Unions, political parties and civil society on Wednesday paid tribute to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died after a two-year battle with cancer.

He was a legend loved by the poor, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said in a statement.

"Humanity and the planet Earth... have suffered a terrible loss of a freedom fighter and soldier of justice and development," the union federation's international relations secretary Bongani Masuku said in a statement.

"The federation sends its sympathy and condolences to his family, the people of Venezuela and to all his very many comrades and allies around the world."

Chavez died on Tuesday, ending 14 years of rule in Venezuela.

Masuku said Chavez was hated by both the ruling classes of global imperialism and their lackeys.

He said the world was a better place because of Chavez.

The Media Review Network of SA said Chavez was an outspoken critic of imperialism and murderous regimes.

"He will always be remembered as a friend and ally of the oppressed and occupied peoples throughout the world," chairperson Zaakir Mayet said in a statement.

"He provided the world with inspiration, hope and a clear message: That there is an alternative and that the poor can live a better life."

The Azanian People's Organisation (Azapo) said the world had lost a brave fighter.

"He was the foremost leader of the global anti-imperialist community of our times... The socialist world, the workers, peasants and poor of the world have lost a fearless fighter and spokesperson."

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) described Chavez as a "towering figure" who changed Venezuela.

Chavez had energised millions of poor people who felt marginalised and excluded.

"This gallant revolutionary emerged at the most difficult time for revolutionary socialists," the union said in a statement.

The SA Communist Party (SACP) described Chavez as a soldier of the poor and a champion of mass-driven socialism.

"Chavez dedicated his life to an anti-imperialists agenda, was the foremost front-line combatant against imperialist subjugation of the world and a champion of people's power," it said.

President Jacob Zuma sent his condolences to the people of Venezuela.

"Our hearts are with the family of President Chavez, as well as the government and the people of Venezuela during this difficult time of mourning," he said.

Zuma said that under the leadership of Chavez, Venezuela had promoted regional integration based on the principles of social justice.

Read more on:    sacp  |  nehawu  |  cosatu  |  azapo  |  jacob zuma  |  hugo chavez  |  venezuela  |  johannesburg

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