“I am fine with all the political opposition to Chávez, as long as it’s done legally; there is a method by which you can protest — but now, the opposition is increasingly behaving like the Republican Party here in the United States, where is it is trying to block, criticize, destroy any attempt at negotiation or trying to do business and get on with it. . . .
The recent manifestations in Venezuela, of the students . . . it seems to be reaching a new kind of violence . . . There seems to be a desire to reach out, to kill, to create disturbances in the street protests; students go down, and one has to believe that something is behind it . . . but if the chaos descends, then it will look terrible, because the western media has been so against Chávez, and Ecuador, and Bolivia.”
“[Hugo Chavez] was not only my friend, he was my brother.
…It’s difficult for a leader like him to exist in these times. His vision for humanity and the world can only be compared to that of leaders like Nelson Mandela. He was a great man and I cried when he died.”
“To Nicolas Maduro, grant him wisdom and support as he keeps hopes and dreams alive, as he picks up the baton and makes a great nation greater.
…How do we measure a great leader? By how he treats the least of these. Hugo [Chavez] fed the hungry. He lifted the poor. He raised their hopes. He helped them realize their dreams. And so today we do mourn, because we’ve lost a life. But we have a lot left: a stable government, and orderly transition.”
“I join with millions… of freedom-loving people around the world, in hope for a rewarding future for the democratic and social development charter of the Bolivarian Revolution.
We all embraced Hugo Chavez as a social champion of democracy, material development, and spiritual well-being.”
“Hugo Chavez was a leader that understood the needs of the poor. He was committed to empowering the powerless. R.I.P. Mr. President.”
“I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place. Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history.”
“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.
Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro.”
“We met Hugo Chávez when he was campaigning for president in 1998 and The Carter Center was invited to observe elections for the first time in Venezuela. … We came to know a man who expressed a vision to bring profound changes to his country to benefit especially those people who had felt neglected and marginalized. Although we have not agreed with all of the methods followed by his government, we have never doubted Hugo Chávez’s commitment to improving the lives of millions of his fellow countrymen.
President Chávez will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments and for his formidable communication skills and personal connection with supporters in his country and abroad to whom he gave hope and empowerment.
…We hope that as Venezuelans mourn the passing of President Chávez and recall his positive legacies — especially the gains made for the poor and vulnerable — the political leaders will move the country forward by building a new consensus that ensures equal opportunities for all Venezuelans to participate in every aspect of national life.”