A small group of political activists gathered here on Saturday evening to pay tribute to socialist leader and former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer on March 5.

Members of various communist parties and progressive organisations spoke about the legacy of this revolutionary leader, who championed the cause of the poor and the voiceless not just in his country and in Latin America, but also across the world.

Organised by the CPI(M), the event saw participation from members of several unions, Dalit Sangharsha Samiti, the CPI and the Janata Dal (Secular).

Support of the poor

CPI(M) State secretary G.V. Srirama Reddy spoke of Chavez’s struggle against imperialism and the support he had among the poorest of his land. “We can learn a lot from social reform he was able to bring about in his country.”

Janata Dal (S) State unit vice-president Syed Shafiullah said: “His biggest achievement was that he was a leader who cared about and worked for the poor. He was truly exceptional.” Mavalli Shankar of the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti said that after Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, Chavez was one of the few leaders who had global mass appeal.

Greg Palast’s documentary, Assassination of Hugo Chavez, was screened on the occasion.

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