The 10th anniversary of the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was commemorated across the Caribbean, with special commemorative activities in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent & The Grenadines – and all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member-states that benefitted from the Petro-Caribe initiative he and Venezuela championed.
A special commemorative ecumenical services was held at the Benedictine Monastery in Ciceron on March 5, to mark the decade of Chavez’s death in 2013, which was attended by the island’s Heads of State and Government and several other dignitaries, including diplomats.
Acting Governor General Errol Charles and Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre led the prominent members of the congregation, which also included former Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony, Speaker of the House of Parliament Claudius Francis, as well as the Ambassadors of Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela.
Also on hand were regular devotees including Dr Winston Parris, as well as members of the Bergasse, (JQ) Charles and Devaux families, with the mass conducted by Rev. Fr Clovis and ten Benedictine nuns officiating.
Against the background of a life-size portrait of President Chavez between the flags of Venezuela and Saint Lucia, the memorial service heard scriptures and responsories about simplicity and honour, which Venezuelan Ambassador Lieff Escalona likened to Chavez’s life history.
A mixed musical band from the Saint Lucia School of Music that included two Venezuelans, mixing Kweyol and indigenous Venezuelan rhythms accompanied by violins and African ‘conga’ drums was part of the proceedings.
The 10th anniversary memorial mass is the latest in a memorial series initiated by Ambassador Escalona at the same venue several years ago during her first six-year tenure.
The first foreign policy act by the Philip J. Pierre administration after the July 26, 2021 General Elections was to reverse the sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic by the previous Allen Chastanet administration, re-establishing full ties with Caracas.