United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon extended on Tuesday his "heartfelt condolences" to the Venezuelan people and government upon learning from the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
"This is the first news I have and while I will make a formal statement later, I would like to convey my heartfelt condolences to President Chávez's family, as well as to the Venezuelan government and people," Ban K-moon told reporters at the UN Headquarters.
Chávez’s departure not only affects the political balance in Venezuela, the fourth-largest foreign oil supplier to the United States, but also in Latin America, where Venezuela joined a group of nations intent on reducing US control in the region.
Chávez changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded.
|Chávez, director Oliver Stone and Tariq Ali at the Venice film festival in 2009.|
"I don't believe in the dogmatic postulates of Marxist revolution. I don't accept that we are living in a period of proletarian revolutions. All that must be revised. Reality is telling us that every day. Are we aiming in Venezuela today for the abolition of private property or a classless society? I don't think so.
But if I'm told that because of that reality you can't do anything to help the poor, the people who have made this country rich through their labour – and never forget that some of it was slave labour – then I say: 'We part company.'
I will never accept that there can be no redistribution of wealth in society. Our upper classes don't even like paying taxes. That's one reason they hate me. We said: 'You must pay your taxes.'
I believe it's better to die in battle, rather than hold aloft a very revolutionary and very pure banner, and do nothing … That position often strikes me as very convenient, a good excuse … Try and make your revolution, go into combat, advance a little, even if it's only a millimetre, in the right direction, instead of dreaming about utopias."
The Canadian Globe and Mail immediately boasted that "torrents of oil" will now be available to US and Canadian oil monopolies under its headline "Chavez's death opens door to Venezuela's oil riches"