Belarus bids sad farewell to bright leader of whole Venezuelan nation

Alexander Lukashenko addresses all Belarusian citizens and representatives of the international community regarding the death of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chбvez:
‘Our hearts are paralysed by this sad news. Our close and trusted friend, our brother — the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chбvez — has died.

Without trying to conceal our tears, we grieve alongside the Venezuelan people, mourning the tragic, sudden death of Hugo Chбvez — one of the greatest statesmen and leaders of our time: a great hero, passionate patriot and fighter for independence, an outstanding politician, thinker and speaker, an exceptionally strong man who loved life and who dedicated his entire life to the service of his country.

Under the leadership of Hugo Chбvez — the heir and successor of the noble cause led by Simon Bolivar — Venezuela rid itself of the heavy and hateful burden of poverty and underdevelopment. It broke free from political and economic suppression by foreign countries. President Chбvez firmly and strongly led his country to happiness and freedom. He was, and I am sure he will remain, in the hearts of millions of people, a true father of the Venezuelan nation — a protector of the poor, suppressed and underprivileged. He will always be a beacon of hope at the heart of South-American democracy.

We’ve lost a close relative and our best friend, who passionately loved Belarus and was always there for us when we needed help. Our joint work for the benefit of Belarus and Venezuela, as well as our warm and friendly relationship, will remain among my most treasured memories.

The name of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chбvez Frнas, is engraved in the annals of our history in golden letters; he and his deeds will be eternally remembered.

Today, in this hour of sorrow and pain, we express our deepest condolences to Hugo Chбvez’s relatives and those who were close to him, as well as to all citizens of Venezuela. In the name of the memory of your great leader, we solemnly promise to execute and fulfil our joint projects, continuing our policy of friendship and mutual assistance. We will do all we can to further strengthen and develop our collaboration — for the benefit of both our countries.

Rest in peace, our friend and brother, Hugo Chбvez. Your cause will live forever.’

Upon the instruction of Mr. Lukashenko, early in the morning on March 6th, state flags were lowered over the Residence of the President of Belarus and over other state institutions countrywide for three days.

All TV and radio channels have been asked to only broadcast more serious programmes. The Republic of Belarus joins other countries in mourning the passing of the Venezuelan leader.

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