“[S]o often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property. And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.”
“Venezuela is a democratically elected government, and these people who keep protesting are sore losers.”
“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.”
“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.”
“One of the speakers said the solution is nonviolent movement. No, my friend. I’ll give you two examples: French Revolution, and Indian so-called Revolution.
Gandhi, Gandhi today is, with respect to all of you, Gandhi today is a tumor that the ruling class is using constantly to mislead us. French Revolution made fundamental transformation. But it was bloody.
India, the result of Gandhi, is 600 million people living in maximum poverty.
So, ultimately, the bourgeoisie won’t go without violent means. Revolution! Yes, revolution that is led by the working class.
Long live revolution! Long live socialism!”