World leaders have been commenting on the remarkable rescue of the 33 Chilean Miners.
US President Barack Obama took time out from his schedule to praise the work of the rescue teams and the Chilean government:
“This is obviously something that has captivated the world’s attention and this rescue is a tribute not only to the determination of the rescue workers and the Chilean government but also the unity and resolve of the Chilean people who have inspired the world.”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez kept in contact with the dramatic events from the capital Caracas:
“A few minutes ago I spoke to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. Like the rest of the world, we’ve been following this great achievement closely. I also spoke to Bolivan President Evo Morales who has been in Chile for the rescue operation since one of the miners is Bolivian.”
Morales was at the mine to greet Carlos Mamani the only non-Chilean trapped underground:
“When I saw one of my Chilean brothers getting out of the mine I said to myself ‘What is this?’ This is like bringing something up from the grave but alive. Well a cemetery is just that, but 700 metres under I just couldn’t understand, it was like a dream.”
Morales offered Mr Mamani the chance to return to Bolivia where a house and job await.