“He’s worthy of emulation as a leader who inspired his people to wage a Bolivarian revolution that truly empowered the majority of the Venezuelans who are poor and put a stop to the elites’ greed and plunder of Venezuela’s rich-oil resources.” Atty. Carlos Zarate, second nominee, Bayan Muna Party
By MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – He was the Venezuelan people’s champion. But after fighting a long battle with cancer, he finally succumbed March 5 (March 6 in the Philippines).
Despite the geographical distance, many Filipinos mourned the untimely passing of President Hugo Chavez, who’s known the world over as “one of the great leaders of Latin America.”
For lawyer Carlos Zarate, second nominee of Bayan Muna Party, Comandante Chavez “is a true soldier of the Venezuelan people.”
“He’s worthy of emulation as a leader who inspired his people to wage a Bolivarian revolution that truly empowered the majority of the Venezuelans who are poor and put a stop to the elites’ greed and plunder of Venezuela’s rich-oil resources,” he said.
Another lawyer, Joel Mahinay of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao, said Chavez is indeed worthy of emulation, especially to the members of the armed forces, him being once an Army colonel.
“He put in concrete terms his being an army of the people when he became the President of Venezuela by transforming the reactionary government into a government of the masses,” Mahinay said.
For Professor Luz Ilagan, representative of Gabriela Women’s Party, Chavez is “a very big loss to the Venezuelans in particular and to the whole world in general.”
His death, according to the Gabriela leader, has a major impact to anti-imperialist countries who look up to him as the “icon of the nations who struggled from the clutches of US imperialism.”
For indeed, Chavez “stood bravely against US imperialism and for egalitarian economic and social policies in Venezuela,” according to Representative Antonio Tinio of ACT Partylist.
Describing Chavez as “internationalist,” Zarate said he is an inspiration to many in Latin America as well as in other parts of the world because of his “consistent anti-imperialist stand and for being an effective counterfoil and advocate against the hegemony and excesses especially of the US government.”
And as many were saddened by his demise, church people like Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente hopes that “a pro-people president is chosen to explore ways how people in Venezuela are empowered to benefit from its resources rather than for these resources to be controlled by a few.
Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro is Chavez’s chosen successor. He was a former bus driver and labor union leader who held a post of foreign minister for almost seven years.
Here in the Philippines, another IFI Bishop Modesto Villasanta said, “Sana magkaroon tayo ng Presidente katulad niya, hindi takot ipaglaban ang karapatan ng mga mamamayan laban sa mga interes ng dayuhang kapital. Malaking kawalan siya sa mga tulad nating maliliit at inaaping bansa na gusting lumaban sa mga malalaki at mapang-aping bansa.”
Ilagan said that while Chavez will be difficult to replace, his ideals will live on.
Bai Ali Indayla, second nominee of Kabataan Party said that Chavez inspired youth leaders like her “to continue and be in the forefront of people’s struggle for genuine democracy and social liberation.”
This as she scored the continuing “oppression and exploitation” in the country. She also criticized the Aquino administration for being “pro imperialist and anti-youth,” too different from Chavez who “wanted to chart a bright future for the youth of Venezuela.”
“We extend our solidarity to the youth of Venezuela who lost a father who was a staunch fighter against imperialist domination of the third world Latin American countries,” Indayla said.
Indayla said that as the people are continued to be oppressed, “there will be more Hugo Chavez in the making along the people’s resistance.”
“The people of Venezuela and the whole world will truly miss him,” said UPLM’s Mahinay. (Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/davaotoday.com)World