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OAS Permanent Council Observes Minute of Silence in Tribute to President Chávez

  March 7, 2013

OAS Permanent Council Observes Minute of Silence in Tribute to President Chávez
Photo: OAS

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today observed a minute of silence, during a special meeting, in tribute to the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, who passed away on Tuesday, March 5th.

In the absence of the OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, who traveled to Caracas to attend the funeral of President Chávez tomorrow, his Chief of Staff, Hugo de Zela, expressed on his behalf to the delegation of Venezuela “our deepest sorrow for the painful moments you all are going through.” The minute was called for by the Vice-Chair of the Council and Permanent Representative of Barbados, John E. Beale, acting as Chair in the absence of the Chair and Permanent Representative of Nicaragua, Denis Moncada.

Carmen Velásquez, the Alternate Representative of Venezuela to the OAS said, “I know if President Chávez were here, he would say that we must keep working. Even though he is not dead for us, as is true for many in the Latin American and Caribbean countries, because he simply left to visit, in spirit, mind and soul, each and every one of the corners of this hemisphere, to look at and bring strength to all those people who were invisible and that need to remain visible. I know he asked us not to remember him with tears, but it is impossible for tears not to spring to our eyes, because there will definitely be a hemisphere before Chávez and another after Chávez.”

The tribute was held during a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council to receive civil society representatives within the process of the strengthening of the Inter-American System of Human Rights, which will conclude on March 22nd with an Extraordinary General Assembly at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: FNE-11573