Ban saddened by death of Venezuelan President
New York, Mar 7 : United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was saddened by the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died Tuesday after struggling with cancer for almost two years.
A statement issued last night by Ban's spokesperson said that Chavez "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."
Chavez, 58, had ruled the country for 14 years.
Ban also praised Chavez's contribution to the current peace talks in Colombia between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), saying they have been of "vital importance."
Ban offered his condolences to the family of Chavez, and the Government and the people of Venezuela. He also renewed the UN's commitment to work alongside the Government and its citizens in support of Venezuela's development and prosperity.
The UN Security Council Wednesday observed a minute of silence in honour of Chavez.