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

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
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