Letter from Cuba: What Hugo Chávez’s death means to us

It is with deep grief that the Cuban people absorbed the news of the death of Comandante President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias. Overwhelming grief is felt in each Cuban home for what this person represents for Cuba, Latin America and the rest of the world.

Although we knew that for two years he was carrying on a struggle against cancer, we thought that with his willpower, the treatments to the illness and our desire for his cure, for the good of all people he would win this battle.

The news hit us hard and it hurts.

Since he appeared in public, social and economic and political life with his Bolivarian project and with his ideas of social change for Venezuela, always benefitting the poor, we knew that a great leader had appeared, able to draw multitudes into action and to give a new direction to the destiny of our peoples of the Americas.

His intense fight to achieve his liberating goals demonstrated how much this man was worth.

Through his different “missions” in all the spheres of social life he demonstrated how much one could do in favor of those who had been deprived: Houses, schools, lands, education, health, a dignified life for those who had no hope of a better future, for those who needed so much, who needed everything, for those suffering poverty.

Hugo Chávez traced a path for Venezuela and for all the peoples of Latin America, with the foundation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as a first step and most recently with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). Our people share a forward-looking economic, political and social project, far from the influence of the monopolies and of the International Monetary Fund, that foretells big advances and national development for different countries of the region.

Hugo Chávez left us physically that fateful day March 5, 2013, at that fateful hour 4:25 p.m. It all seemed like a nightmare, but no, it is a reality and it is necessary to accept it without cries, without tears. Now more than ever the people of Our America should continue united and march in tight formation to honor the memory and the ideas of this man who already occupies a meritorious place in the history and who became the Savior of the Peoples.

Ildefonso Gustavo Díaz Sandoval
Rosa María Oliva Enriquez
Artemisa, Cuba
March 7