The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 6, 2013

Chavez death: Venezuelans in US hopeful of change

— DORAL, Fla. (AP) — Cheering Venezuelans in the U.S. waved their country's flag and voiced hope that change would come to their homeland after the death Tuesday of long-ruling populist President Hugo Chavez.

"He's gone!" dozens in a largely anti-Chavez community chanted after word spread swiftly of the death of the 58-year-old leftist. Many said they were rejoicing after nearly a decade and a half of socialist rule, heavily concentrated in Chavez's hands.

"We are not celebrating death," Ana San Jorge, 37, said amid a jubilant crowd in the Miami suburb of Doral. "We are celebrating the opening of a new door, of hope and change."

Wearing caps and T-shirts in Venezuela's colors of yellow, blue and red, many expressed cautious optimism and concern after the announcement of the death. But some were anxious, too.

"Although we might all be united here celebrating today, we don't know what the future holds," said Francisco Gamez, 18, at El Arepazo, a popular Venezuelan restaurant in Doral.

In Caracas, Venezuela's foreign minister announced late Tuesday that Vice President Nicolas Maduro would be interim president and run as the governing party candidate in elections to be called within 30 days. It wasn't immediately clear when presidential elections would be held.

Chavez, though cancer-stricken in recent years, had led the oil-rich Latin American nation for years by espousing a fiery brand of socialism. All the while he bickered with a succession of U.S. governments over what he called Washington's hegemony in the region.

Many in Florida's large Venezuelan community and similar communities around the U.S. are stridently anti-Chavez and had fled their home country in response to the policies his government instituted.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee