In a statement issued this afternoon in recognition of the passing of the Venezuelan president, Mottley said:
“The Barbados Labour Party extends its deepest sympathy to the government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the passing of President Hugo Chavez.
“President Chavez was a charismatic populist leader driven by a passion to lift ordinary Venezuelans out of poverty. He will long be remembered for the manner in which he used the rich natural endowments of his country to spread the benefits of education, housing, health care and economic enfranchisement to the most vulnerable and marginalised in his country.
“His vision of economic and social empowerment extended well beyond the shores of Venezuela, and many developing countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and further afield benefited substantially from cooperation programmes, and loan arrangements funded through facilities such as Petrocaribe.
“Hugo Chavez was a dynamic and influential figure who had a far-reaching impact on the political landscape of Latin America and the Caribbean. His loss will be deeply felt by all of his allies in the region.
“We pray that a spirit of courage, calm and national unity will guide the Venezuelan people as they face the difficult transition ahead.”