Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
6 March 2013
The Communist Party of Ireland expresses its condolences and solidarity with the family of Comandante Hugo Chávez, with the people and government of Venezuela.
Hugo Chávez has left an indelible mark on the history of the Venezuelan people and of Latin America. Through his policies of distributing wealth in the interests of the poor and working people he has transformed the lives of millions. His Bolivarian Revolution has inspired millions of Venezuelans and has given hope and inspiration to millions of working people throughout Latin America, greatly contributing to the changes now under way in that continent. His revolution broke the spell of “TINA” (“there is no alternative”), so cleverly woven by western imperial interests.
His contribution was to put socialism back on the agenda, with renewed vigour, as the only real alternative to the bankrupt and moribund system that is inflicting great hardship on working people.
His revolution touched not only the lives of the Venezuelan people but also the poor of the United States, to whom the nationalised Venezuelan oil company distributed free fuel for a decade or more. He did more than any president of the United States, from Clinton to Obama, did for the poor of the United States itself.
His policies ensured that millions obtained access for the first time to health and education, making food available and affordable to the masses. His government carried out land reforms that have benefited hundreds of thousands of campesinos, while western governments—his greatest critics and detractors—carry out polices that are driving millions of their own people and the poor around the world into poverty, hunger, and despair.
We dip our banners in homage to a great anti-imperialist and internationalist, but we raise them again so that the struggle against imperialism and for socialism continues with renewed vigour.