VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chavez has met his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro and former president Fidel Castro in Havana.
By Larry Moonze in Havana, Cuba
Sat 17 Apr. 2010, 17:20 CAT
President Chavez made known his trip to Havana while leaving Managua, Nicaragua where he held discussions with fellow leftist leader Daniel Ortega.
The duo inked a series of accords in health, tourism and food production with the objective of strengthening bilateral ties within the framework of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) alliance.
President Chavez, who arrived in Havana at 06:00 AM local time was received by host President Raul Castro at Havana’s Jose Martio International Airport.
According to Cuban National Television, President Chavez and Raul “held each other in a warm embrace as a symbol of the fraternal bonds between Venezuela and Cuba.”
President Chavez is accompanied by foreign minister Nicolas Maduro, communication and information minister Tania Diaz, food minister Felix Osorio, health minister Luis Reyes and national oil company (PDVSA) vice-president for production and exploration Eulogio del Pino.
Full details of his meetings in Cuba are unknown but President Chavez’s week has been positive following the swearing-in of the Chavista 30,000-plus strong Bolivarian National Militia last Tuesday.
Tuesday April 13 is dubbed “a day of rebellion and the victory of the people” who eight years ago forced the army to restore President Chavez following a coup.
During the ceremony in Caracas’ Bolivar Avenue, President Chavez said building the 21st Century socialism was not an easy task.
He said the mistakes of April 11, 2002 would not be repeated. “I want you to know that the stupid Chavez was left behind,” President Chavez said.
He called on the opposition to respect the constitution and laws of the country otherwise the people and the armed forces would make them do so.
“If they opponents do not do so we are here, men and women, people and soldiers willing to make them respect the laws, sovereignty, the sacred independence of Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution,” President Chavez said.
“I am going to proceed to the swearing in of the 30,000-plus male and female militia of the student brigades, of the combat corps units, of the campesino militia battalions and of the workers’ militia battalions,” he said. “I am very proud that there are a lot of women among the ranks, giving more strength, courage and passion to the task of fighting for country’s independence and sovereignty,” said the top leader of the revolutionary process.”
President Chavez said on April 11, 2002 a crowd of mentally poisoned bourgeois matched to the Miraflores executive palace after his life.
He said the coup plotters wanted to assassinate him.
“However, they ran into the people in the Puente Llaguno where a group of brave people gave their lives. They set a line of resistance and ensured that that mob of poisoned minds never entered Miraflores to murder me,” he said.
President Chavez said with people and patriot soldiers, victory was delivered on April 13.
“I came back,” he said. “And how many things have occurred in eight years? I feel that I’m living an after-life since that April 13. You extended my life. The people gave me another life.”
President Chavez said the 35,000 militia prepared to defend their homeland were students from the Bolivarian Armed Forces National Experimental Polytechnic University.
He said that the institution in 11 years of his Bolivarian revolution had grown from barely 2,000 students to the 224,000.
President Chavez said he was fully committed to fight capitalism and give a definite space to socialism.
“I am fully devoted to this fight until the last day of my life,” said President Chavez. In the meantime, I will be here standing, devoted to the battle of the people, to the socialist homeland, to build the new homeland. As a people we must not lose motivation because of a personal, family or any other kind of problems we could encounter.
If we want a just homeland, as we want it, then patience and more patience, perseverance and more perseverance, work and more work, studies and more studies, unity and more unity, consciousness and more consciousness are the way to reach that socialist homeland.”