The local community joined hands with Venezuelans yesterday with prayers for ailing Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez with a special mas at the La Divina Pastora Church, Siparia. Although there has been talk about who would replace Chavez if he were not able to resume the post as president, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary designate Coromoto Godoy-Calderon said Chavez was expected to make a full recovery.
Chavez, who was first voted in as president of the oil-rich nation in 1999 under the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), underwent his fourth cancer surgery in just 18 months on?December 11. He has not been seen in public since. Yesterday, he was said to be still in hospital in Havana, Cuba, suffering from "respiratory deficiency" after complications from a severe lung infection.
Speaking with reporters yesterday, Godoy-Calderon said the service was one of many being held around the Caribbean, South and Central America, as Chavez had touched the lives of many around the world. "Women and men all over the world are praying for him and we are so thankful to the people of T&T," she said.
"When we came to the mass, we realised that people here really understood the difficult times that President Chavez is going through. "With the prayers and the love of the people, he will recover." She said her compatriots have been praying more than ever and they are adamant that their "Comandante Chavez" will return to the helm.
She said all she knew about his present condition was what had been reported in the media. She said the La Divina Pastora Church was chosen as it had symbolic ties with its namesake in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. Delivering his sermon, Fr Martin Sirju was thankful that ties with Venezuela which spanned over 200 years had not dissolved. He prayed for Chavez's recovery, saying he had performed many good works, especially with impoverished communities.