Leaders of countries closely allied to Venezuela have been reacting to the death of President Hugo Chavez. In China, Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, issued a statement saying that China had sent condolences to the people of Venezuela and regretted the death of their President.
She said, “President Chavez was a great leader of Venezuela, and a good friend of the Chinese people, who made significant contributions to pushing forward friendly and co-operative Sino-Venezuelan relations.”
Meanwhile, Russia also expressed condolences and support for Venezuela, calling President Chavez “a strong and extraordinary man, who always looked towards the future.” Russia and Venezuela have signed several agreements notably in the areas of armaments and energy.
Vitali Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the UN said, “You know, I think it’s a tragedy. He was, I think, a great politician for his country, for Latin America, and for the world. And of course he played a very important role in the development of relations between Venezuela and Russia, so we feel very badly about it.”
Iran also expressed condolences and declared a national day of mourning for the late Venezuelan president. The two countries share the same antipathy towards the United States, and both have openly said that they suspect the US of having a role in the death of President Chavez.