(7 March 2013) The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, arrived in Caracas today to represent the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, at the funeral of the President of the Bolivarian Republic Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, which will be held tomorrow on 8 March.
When Ban Ki-moon found out about the death of the President on 5 March, he sent his condolences to the leader's family, and the Government and people of Venezuela.
The United Nations Secretary-General stated that "Chávez spoke to the challenges and aspirations of the most vulnerable Venezuelans. He provided decisive impetus for new regional integration movements, based on an eminently Latin American vision, while showing solidarity toward other nations in the hemisphere".
Ban Ki-moon also reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to cooperate with the Venezuelan Government and people to support their development and prosperity.
Echoing the words of the Secretary-General, Alicia Bárcena sent a letter of condolence to the Vice-President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in which she highlighted the unfailing commitment of Hugo Chávez to the disadvantaged and reiterated ECLAC's unchanging commitment to cooperate with the country.
According to Ms. Bárcena "I was lucky enough to witness the unfailing commitment of President Hugo Chávez Frías to the disadvantaged, the most modest and the most humble".
Ms. Bárcena went on to say "He was a determined campaigner for Latin American brotherhood, and his vision and tenacity are at the root of the new road map for integration, as UNASUR to CELAC, and ALBA to PETROCARIBE owe their origins to Mr. Chávez."
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