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Fatah mourns death of Venezuela's Chavez
Published Wednesday 06/03/2013 (updated) 08/03/2013 16:35
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A top Fatah leader expressed Palestine's condolences early Wednesday after learning of the death of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

“Palestine says good bye to a loyal friend who passionately defended our right to freedom and self determination. His contribution to the cause of dignity had no borders and reached the hearts and minds of the Arab World,” Nabil Shaath said in an emailed statement.

“President Chavez expressed his solidarity with tangible political steps in order to advance Palestine’s rights. Particularly, his determination to take a strong position during the 2008/09 aggression against Gaza as well as during 2011 as well as strongly supporting Palestine’s UN recognition.”

He added: “Today we remember the words of Simon Bolivar ‘I desire to see (Latin) America fashioned into the greatest nation in the world, greatest not so much by virtue of her area and wealth as by her freedom and glory.’ President Chavez endlessly worked not only for freedom and glory for his beloved Latin America, but for all oppressed peoples, including Palestine, a country he kept in his heart.”

Chavez died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of tumultuous rule that made the socialist leader a hero for the poor but a hate figure to his opponents.

The flamboyant 58-year-old had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on Dec. 11 and he had not been seen in public since.

"We have just received the most tragic and awful information. At 4.25 p.m. today March the 5th, President Hugo Chavez Frias died," Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced in a televised address, his voice choking.

"It's a moment of deep pain," he said in the address, in which he appeared with senior ministers.

Chavez easily won a new six-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-US rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.

Detractors, however, saw his one-man style, gleeful nationalizations and often harsh treatment of opponents as traits of an egotistical dictator whose misplaced statist economics wasted a historic bonanza of oil revenues.

Chavez's death opens the way for a new election that will test whether his socialist "revolution" can live on without his dominant personality at the helm.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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1 ) Johnny benson / USA
06/03/2013 03:38
Can't blame them.......he did support the pals.......wonder if he gave cash,as well as words....anybody know

2 ) Nour / Palestine
06/03/2013 06:56
Rest in peace and thank you Mr President.

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
06/03/2013 09:10
With friends like this? You are known by the company you keep. Chavez was buddies with Iran and North Korea. He was no "friend" of the Palestinians, or any other civilized country.

4 ) Bemused / New Zealand
06/03/2013 12:50
Chavez vive - la lucha sigue, in Palestine as in Venezuela, and everywhere else. A better world is possible - and this man fought long and hard to build one, with considerable success. The world has lost a great man.

5 ) Rami / Palestine
06/03/2013 13:51
#3 - Its all a matter of perspective. Maybe you Zionists have a problem with Iran and North Korea, probably because you can't control them like you do the United States and the EU, but we don't have a problem with either one. They've never done anything against us. However, thank you for recognizing Palestine as a civilized country. I'm sure you're the first among the Zionist to do so publicly.

6 ) He stole 2 billion from his / people
06/03/2013 15:20
half of Arafat-- but still a large sum

Leftist Leader 'Amassed Private Fortune of $2 Billion'...
'Legacy of plunder'...

he was a THIEF!!!

7 ) BIG MIKE / USA
06/03/2013 16:29
One of the few world leaders willing to stand against the criminal Zionist regime.

8 ) Carlos / USA
06/03/2013 17:56
The world lost a true humanitarian and wonderful person, Ceasar Chavez. I was fooled by US propoganda against him for many years. After getting independent information which is not controlled by US/israeli news outlets I realized he is a great man. I will sorely miss him.

9 ) Mel / USA
06/03/2013 18:05
#3)Brian/Israel:"...Friends like this?"...known by...company you keep...buddies with Iran...North Korea....no "friend"...of Palestinians, or any other civilized country."LOL! Brian Are you talking about Obama&Bush,&their suicidal 'friendship'with racist,bigotted bully Zionism&ISRAEL,which has spent 80 YRS pillaging other peoples resources?Boy,you're either very young,stupid,selectively brain washed,or ALL combined!I hope,1 day,you'll be lucky enough to be the 1/2 the man Chavez was? RIP HUGO!!!

10 ) Mel / USA
06/03/2013 18:36
p.s. All leaders of S/American nations should rally round right now,B4 neo-lib imperialist vultures gather on fences,to pick the bones of Latin America,again!USA remembers too,how VENEZUALA was a great ally of USA during the Cold War,&how neo-Con/neo-Lib USG stabbed Latin America in the back,in the 1950-80's.Despite obstacles,Chavez made a 50% decline in POVERTY,inflation at 20%,a quadrupling of co-operatives that gave his PEOPLE PRIDE,VOICE,PATRIOTISM BACK!Keep that collectivePEOPLE POWER!

11 ) Arnold / Canada
06/03/2013 19:21
Big Mike- you are showing your bias against Israel. If you really understood Chavez you would know that he was against the USA and therefore against Israel. On the other side because Iran and N. Korea disliked the US then Chavez was drawn to them. Mike .... take the USA and Israel out of the equation and tell me what is so admirable about Iran and N. Korea.

12 ) LOL BIG MIKE / WHY DO YOU THINK HE DIED?
07/03/2013 00:33
One of the few world leaders willing to stand against the criminal Zionist regime. GOD KILLED HIM FOR THAT SIN!!

13 ) Tom Kinney / United States
07/03/2013 07:43
Anyone who applauded Chavez type of rule is gullible and will wind up a slave in their own time.

14 ) Ben Barka / Tanzania
07/03/2013 07:56
HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE COMANDANTE HUGO He will be remembered for his commitment to the poor and oppressed of the world Go well Comrade President

15 ) Glenn Peart / USA
07/03/2013 10:01
With friends like this? You are known by the company you keep. 'Israel' was friends with apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia. He was a friend of Palestine, or any other civilized country, unlike 'Israel'.

16 ) El Amigo / Spain
07/03/2013 15:10
Some nice people here commenting and as usual one sees they stem from the chosen racer supremacist mutt sect in occupied apartheid Palestine. What is wrong with khasari and their USan tax cattle that they denigrate anyone who is not a psychopath like themselves? Long after Merka is an ash tip and apartheid occupied Palestine a bad bad memory...the name Hugo Chavez and his love for the 99% will shine on. Enjoy the last days of psychopathic xionism because the 99% are waking up!

17 ) deb / uk
09/03/2013 22:56
@6 There is no proof to these allegations, this story was spread by Jerry Brewer, president of Criminal Justice International Associates (CJIA) a right wing former cop and Chavez critic.

18 ) Maureen / Australia
11/03/2013 20:19
#3 Brian Cohen/(uncivilized) Israel, Hugo Chavez knew a Devil when he smelt one - good friend of (uncivilized) Israel, George Bush!

19 ) nahal / India
12/03/2013 02:04
I offer my sincere condolences to commandate President Hugo Chavez parents, brothers, daughters and son and all his family members, who are already mine, just as Ch?vez is also a son of Palestine, Cuba, Iran, of Latin America and the Caribbean, and of the world. President Ch?vez has led an extraordinary battle throughout his youthful and fertile life. All of Ch?vez’ work appears undefeated before us. As Nabil Shaath said correctly: "“Palestine says good bye to a loyal friend who passionately def
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