Five years after his passing, neither the figure or legacy of Hugo Chávez have been forgotten, because the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, together with other liberators who have passed through these lands, will be there right beside progressive forces in his country and Our America as they continue their struggles.
From his native Venezuela to Cuba, which welcomed him as a son, various tributes were held to recall not the death, but the life of this tireless revolutionary.
In the Cuban capital, Chávez was honored in a ceremony at the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, which saw the participation of Dr. Eusebio Leal, Havana City Historian; Venezuelan Ambassador to Cuba Alí Rodríguez Araque; members of the diplomatic corps and various friends of the Bolivarian Revolution.
There, Leal, one of the first Cubans to meet Comandante Chávez, recalled the conversation he had with the Venezuelan leader during their last encounter, during which Chávez stated: “I want to live, for my homeland and for Cuba.”
Nor could the historian forget to mention the strong ties between two great men that fought for Cuba and Latin American and Caribbean integration, recalling the great friendship that existed between these “two forces of nature” - Chávez and Fidel Castro.
Such was the strength of the bond between Chávez and Cuba, that Fidel described the former President of Venezuela as the island’s greatest friend, the Cuba intellectual recalled, who went on to note that despite having other friends and acquaintances, some self-interested, Cuba never had as good and selfless a friend as Chávez.
A man who stood in solidarity with the people of Latin America, we are indebted to Chávez, and it is our moral duty not to betray him, stated Leal.
The Havana City Historian, citing José Martí, stressed that “Death is not real when one’s life work is fulfilled,” and explained, in a touching speech, that we must remember the victorious Chávez; the Chávez that in the midst of a torrential downpour, and in ill health, was able to give everything and draw strength from his own weakness.
Meanwhile, the people of Venezuela awoke early this Monday, to commemorate five years since the passing of Comandante Hugo Chávez, and just like every March 5, they gathered at the Cuartel de la Montaña to pay tribute to the man, father, friend and Bolivarian leader.
Also present there just before the beginning of the 15th ALBA-TCP Summit, was another key figure of Latin American and Caribbean integration and dear friend of Chávez, Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Regarding his comrade in the struggle, the indigenous leader had nothing but words of praise: “We will never again see these qualities anywhere in the world.”
And there, just as happens every day at the Cuartel de la Montaña, also known as Cuartel 4F – in reference to the civil-military rebellion led by Chávez on February 4, 1992 – a canon salute was held at 4:25 p.m., marking the time the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution died.
Heads of State attending the 15th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-People’s Trade Agreement at Miraflores Palace, as well as people from across the world, also paid tribute to Chávez this March 5.
In Nicaragua, thousands of citizens including members of government and Sandinista youth, gathered in the center of Managua, where a rose was laid in remembrance of a great friend of the country and of President Daniel Ortega.
Meanwhile, a photographic exhibition was inaugurated at the Venezuelan Embassy in Beijing, featuring images of the Cuartel de la Montaña, where the remains of the Bolivarian Comandante rest.
Social media also offered a platform to remember and honor Chávez, with users sending heartfelt messages under the hashtag #A5AñosDeTuSiembraComandante throughout the day.