Australians farewell Hugo Chavez

Issue 
Photo: Venezuela Analysis

More than 200 people attended the "Todos Somos Chavez — We Are All Chavez" memorial meeting at the Addison Community Centre on March 16.

The event was one of several memorials held around Australia to honour the life and political struggles of Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Organised by the We Are All Chavez Committee, and supported by the Embassy of Venezuela in Australia, the event featured a night of toasts, music and videos in memory of Chavez.

The Latin American Social Forum (LASF) and the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) were the main groups behind the event.

Special guest speaker Nelson Davila, Venezuelan ambassador to Australia, told the crowd: "President Chavez is here with us. President Chavez will be present at every revolutionary event around the world in future.

“At the moment, many people are asking what will happen to the Bolivarian revolution. The Bolivarian revolution will never go back.

“In Venezuela, we are looking to the future, to continue to carry out the lessons that Chavez taught us. The people are on the streets to do this.

“We must never forget that imperialism has not gone to sleep. US military attaches were recently expelled from Venezuela for trying to organise a destabilisation campaign inside the military.

“The socialist candidate for president endorsed by Chavez, Nicolas Maduro, comes from the streets and has been part of the left in Venezuela. The elections set for April 14 are very important.

“The right wing is mobilising again. The international solidarity movement must be very alert to oppose any provocations by the Venezuelan right and the US at this time," Davila concluded.

Pedro Monzon, Cuban ambassador to Australia, then read out a statement of support for Chavez from the revolutionary government of Cuba.

Raquel Iglesias, from LASF, said: “Chavez’s death has left a hole in our hearts, and in the struggles of the people of Latin America. But many more people will continue the fight.

“The teachings of Chavez will bear fruit. The destiny of the process rests in safe hands. In this period of world crisis, we need more leaders like President Chavez, who took up and continued the vision of the great liberator of Latin America, Simon Bolivar.

Coral Wynter, from AVSN, spoke of the inspiration provided by Chavez to so many people. She stressed the need for increased international solidarity with Venezuela in the coming period.

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