Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has expressed deep and profound sadness at the passing of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, describing him as a faithful and avowed friend of Jamaica.
Although it was well known that President Chavez was battling very serious health issues, I was always of the view that the brave and courageous fighter that he was, would have led him to overcome the challenge with which he was afflicted. This was not to be and we will have to live with the reality of him not being with us anymore.
The Prime Minister said that in the last few years, I came to know President Chavez personally and found him to be a sincere, jovial, and a very vociferous and committed leader in the defence of the rights and welfare of the most marginalized and vulnerable in the society and a fighter to correct inequalities in his country, the Americas, and the Caribbean region.
His call for conscience' and persistent efforts to introduce and maintain the operation of the Petro Caribe agreement is a living testimony of the high esteem in which President Chavez held the people of Jamaica and the region.
I will miss him dearly. Long live my friend. Long live Mr. President. Gone but not forgotten. On behalf of the government and people of Jamaica I express sincere condolences to his family and the government and people of Venezuela during this period of grief, the Prime Minister concluded.