Cuba's Fidel Castro praised the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a champion of the poor and said Cubans had lost their best friend ever, in his first comments on the death last week of his socialist ally. Castro said the news, although not unexpected, had been a hard blow.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica compared the future of Chavism in Venezuela with that of the Argentine Justicialista Party, which had in Juan Domingo Peron and his wife Evita Peron their maximum leaders (and caudillos), and even today in the almost hegemonic political movement in Argentina.
By leaving Venezuela before Friday’s funeral ceremony for leader Hugo Chávez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was once again trying to chart out a more moderate signal to investors and diplomats, plus probably avoiding Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom contrary to her predecessor Lula da Silva, she has strongly criticized.
Venezuela announced Saturday that it will hold a presidential election to succeed late leader Hugo Chavez on April 14 after his political heir took office. The national electoral council set the date one day after Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's handpicked successor, was sworn in as acting president in a ceremony largely boycotted by the opposition, which slammed it as unconstitutional.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in Friday as acting president of Venezuela in a ceremony held in the National Assembly in Caracas, three days after the death of President Hugo Chavez. He immediately asked the Electoral branch to decide on an election date.
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Cuba's Raul Castro joined on Friday about thirty other heads of state at Hugo Chávez's funeral in an emotional farewell to the charismatic Venezuelan leader who during his fourteen years in office had a major impact on South American politics.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica called for unity and responsibility in Venezuela, ‘to fight for freedom and peace’ and cautioned that big contradictions in a society are not squashed but conducted. He also called on Brazil to lead the region but warned: “not creating a new regional empire”.
As world leaders were arriving at Caracas late Thursday for Friday’s funeral ceremony of President Hugo Chavez, Argentine president Cristina Fernandez and her delegation were back in Buenos Aires. The Argentine president visited the Military Hospital’s chapel Thursday noon for a final goodbye to the Venezuelan leader and then ordered the flight back to Buenos Aires.
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and put on display for eternity at a military museum after the state funeral and an extended period of lying in state, acting President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected in Caracas early Friday on time to pay tribute to his late Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, who died earlier this week after a two-year battle with cancer. Ahmadinejad left Tehran for Caracas on Thursday.