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Caribbean remembers Chavez

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Caribbean remembers Chavez

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Hugo Chavez is today remembered by some Caribbean leaders.
Chavez, who for more than 14 years, used his influence, oil and cash to fashion closer relationship among countries in the Caribbean died Wednesday, less than a month after he returned to Caracas from Cuba where he had been receiving treatment for cancer.
His death was announced by Vice President Nicholas Maduro in a brief television broadcast.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are expected to shower praise on the left-wing Venezuelan leader, who had sought to develop close relationships with the English-speaking Caribbean through the formation of the PetroCaribe oil initiative and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), an international cooperation organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Trinidad and Tobago’s acting Foreign Affairs Minister Dr  Roodial Moonilal, speaking on television on Tuesday night, described Chavez as “ a really great figure in regional and even world politics” and that Port of Spain is sure that the two oil rich countries would continue to have close relations.
“We have been able in a creative diplomacy and engagement…to walk the rope and enhance our relationships with several countries which among them may have conflict. It is really a sign of the mature diplomacy that Trinidad and Tobago practices in the international community,” he said, recalling that Chavez himself had welcomed Prime Minster Kamla Persad Bissessar a year ago to Venezuela for talks.
“I am very confident that that relationship with Venezuela will continue,” he added.
Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar said Chavez’ death is a “big loss” for Venezuela and CARICOM that will miss him. (CM/CMC)