Today, March 5, at 4.25 pm local time, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died. This was announced by Vice President Maduro.
Earlier in the day, a joint meeting of the government with the military high command and the country’s 20 PSUV governors had decided to take a series of measures against the campaign of destabilization and sabotage carried out by the oligarchy and imperialism. There were specific announcements of measures against the sabotage of the electricity grid and the sabotage of the economy. It was also announced that two officials of the US embassy in Venezuela, the air attaché and his aide, had been expelled from the country for contacting Venezuelan active duty military personnel with the aim of organizing a conspiracy against the democratically elected government.
Although yesterday the government had already reported news of a deterioration of Chavez’s health, with a new and severe respiratory infection, and Chávez has been battling cancer for the last two years, when news of his death were announced, they came as a shock.
There are many reports of people breaking into tears in the streets or becoming silent. As soon as the death of the president was known, people started to gather in the Bolivar squares in the centre of cities and towns across the country.
Already thousands have gathered in Bolivar Square in Caracas and are marching towards the Miraflores presidential palace. They are shouting slogans of defiance, “the people united will never be defeated”, “they shall not be back” and “the struggle continues”.
The Hands of Venezuela campaign was set up ten years ago with the aim of defending the Bolivarian revolution led by president Hugo Chavez. In the last decade and even further back, Chávez and the revolutionary people of Venezuela have been an inspiration to all those of us struggling against imperialism, capitalism and for a better, more human world, socialism.
At this moment we would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the Bolivarian people and authorities. We make an appeal to the workers, youth and progressive people of the world to redouble our commitment to defend the Venezuelan revolution from foreign imperialist intervention and also from its own internal enemies. As Chávez once said, the best way to defend the Bolivarian revolution is also to spread it to our own countries.