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Miraflores Presidential Palace-Condolence Statement

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela joins the pain that today overwhelms the entire world for the physical loss of our compatriot, poet, brother and friend Mario Benedetti.

With great sadness, we wish to express our deepest words of solidarity to our brother country Uruguay and to the world over the painful passing of a writer and poet whose life was committed to the humanity. His pen, ideas and merits, as a word defender, will remain forever in the memory of South American People.

Men go beyond by their works and the good deeds on earth; in this regard, what we learnt from him is endless, we learnt, among many other things, “not to let our eyelids fall heavily as judgments”. This phrase summarizes his work, a man that lived defending his environment and deeply compromised with the reality of the Peoples of our America.  

With prophetic words, he talked about fears and misfortunes and depicted horrible things, but he also defended, on time, the happiness and hopes that belonged to his people, trying to answer to the bright consciousness that was portrayed on his books as a subtle comprehension of the reality of common men and women, of our Peoples. That is the legacy that transcends this life and gives us time for consolation.

Ali Primera, another People’s singer, said wisely: “those who die for life can’t be called dead people”, that is why, we do not say Good bye to Benedetti, we just say “so long” to a friend and a brother of the entire world that raised his “words” the same as a combat weapon, and made from his poems “songs of life and hopes”. He will be remembered this way.  

To his family, his friends and his loved ones our solidarity and the deepest feelings from who will always bring in his heart such a lovely person. We will honor him by reading his books with revolutionary passion and making the world conscious that “the South also exists”.

Now, more than ever, Master, our mission is and will be “to defend happiness: defend it from fright and nightmares / from the neutral ones and the neutrons / from the sweet disgraces / and the darkened diagnostics”.

Not a single minute of silence in the memory of Benedetti! Million of applauses and songs in honor of his exceptional life and works!

Caracas, May 18, 2009

Hugo Chávez Frías

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