Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Sachin Pilot will represent India at the funeral of Hugo Chavez, former President of Venezuela, in Caracas on Friday.

The Rajya Sabha condoled Chavez’s death with Chairman Hamid Ansari observing that India cherished the special bond of friendship that was strengthened during the “charismatic leadership” of Chavez.

“President Hugo Chavez’s indomitable spirit shone while dealing with challenging national issues as well as difficult personal circumstances. He always strived towards betterment of underprivileged masses,” he observed. The members then stood up and observed silence as a mark of respect to the memory of Chavez.