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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 6:31 pm

Chavez death echoes with leftists worldwide

The Associated Press

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's death is eliciting reactions as mixed and outsized as the fiery leader drew in life, with some saying his passing was a tragic loss and others calling it an opportunity.

Some of the many Venezuelans living in Florida are reacting with cautious optimism that there will be change in their homeland following his death on Tuesday. Republican U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida called Chavez's death "an opportunity for democracy in Venezuela."

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter released a statement saying Chavez "will be remembered for his bold assertion of autonomy and independence for Latin American governments."

At the United Nations, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the death "a tragedy. He was a great politician for his country, Latin America and the world."