Indonesia Expresses Condolences for Death of Chavez

Hugo Chavez 'He was our father' (Credit: AFP) Budapest — Indonesia`s Foreign Affairs Minister Mary Natalegawa here on Thursday (7/3) expressed the government`s condolences and sympathy for the death of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez.

“The Indonesian national, people and government profoundly lament the death of President Chavez,” Minister Marty Natalegawa said when accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in a two-day working visit in Hungary.

Chavez was a prominent leader who had contributed significantly to his country`s development and played an important role internationally.

“We pray for the people of Venezuela and his family to be strong and the Venezuelan people could rise and continue the development that he had initiated,” he said.

President Yudhoyono also mourned the death of Chavez, he said.

In line with Indonesia`s foreign policy of active and independent that prioritizes friendship with a slogan of “million friends and zero enemy”, the Indonesian government has established sound relationships with many nations including with Venezuela through bilateral as well as multilateral cooperation such as in the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

BBC reported that Venezuela`s President Hugo Chavez died aged 58 on Wednesday, after 14 years in power.

Chavez had been seriously ill with cancer for more than a year, undergoing several operations in Cuba.

Crowds of supporters gathered outside the Caracas hospital where he died, chanting “We are all Chavez!”

A staunch critic of the US, he inspired a left-wing revival across Latin America.

Following his death, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro will assume the presidency until an election is held within 30 days, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said.

The exact nature of his cancer was never officially disclosed, leading to continuing speculation about his health, and he had not been seen in public for several months.

Vice-president Nicolas Maduro was emotional as he announced Hugo Chavez`s death. Seven days of national mourning have been declared and his body will lie in state until a funeral on Friday.[]

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