In an emotional address to the nation, Prime Minster Roosevelt Skerrit, who described Chavez as a personal friend “who held my hand in the brightest and darkest hours of my tenure and indeed as the prime minister, said that all flags will be flown at half mast from Wednesday until the morning after his burial.
“I have lost a colleague, a father, a brother and a friend,” he said, adding “we have suffered a great loss. For many of us here in Dominica, he was not just another head of government or a head of state…Hugo Chavez was… a good friend of Dominica. Indeed he was Dominican in many respects.
“I wish from the outset to declare a national state of mourning in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Each of us feels that special sense of loss because of our genuine friendship and warmth that President Chavez expressed and manifested for and towards Dominica and Dominicans,” Sklerrit said.
“At this hour I ask that each of you place the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela in your prayers. We share the pain and great loss,” he said, adding that a special Church service will be held on Thursday where “we will join officials from the Venezuelan Embassy and other Venezuelan interest in Dominica in celebrating the life of our late brother and comrade”.
Skerrit said that this is not the time to itemise the “specific acts of kindness of President Chavez to Dominica”.
He said Chavez’s assistance to his island transcended many things including those material, adding “his love had manifested itself in our every encounter, whether in Caracas, Roseau or on the regional front.
“I am sure that in the days ahead several Caribbean leaders will speak to the social and economic benefits Dominica and the rest of the region derived from President Chavez’s full Caribbean policiesm” he said making reference to the PetroCaribe oil initiative and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), an international cooperation organization based on the idea of the social, political and economic integration of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The impact of these policies on the lives and well being of Caribbean people will be recorded I am sure. Dominica will associate with all these tributes and acknowledgements and above all Dominica will cherish the special place he held in the work of President Chavez”.
He said Dominica could have looked to Chavez for “guidance and received such in a spirit of mutual friendship and respect.
‘His passing is a great loss to me,” an emotional Skerrit said, assuring the Vice President Nicholas Maduro “of Dominica’s continued support and solidarity” for Venezuela’s work in the region.
Reprinted from Caribbean360