Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expressed the Islamic Republic’s deepest condolences to the Venezuelan government and people over the death of President Hugo Chavez.
Ahmadinejad said in a message to Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday, “I express my sympathy over the sad incident to the great nation of Venezuela, the respected family of Hugo Chavez and to all nations in the world.”
“Indeed, he is a martyr [who lost his life] in the path of serving the Venezuelan people and preserving human and revolutionary values,” the Iranian president stated.
Chavez passed away at a military hospital in the capital, Caracas, on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer.
Hours before his death, the Venezuelan vice president stated that someday there will be “scientific proof” that the socialist leader was infected with cancer by “imperialist” enemies. “We have no doubt that commander Chavez was attacked with this illness.”
“The old enemies of our fatherland looked for a way to harm his health,” Maduro stated.
The Iranian government has declared one day of national mourning for the death of the late Venezuelan leader.
On February 18, the 58-year-old Chavez returned to Caracas from Cuba, where he had undergone cancer treatment.
In late March 2012, Chavez began radiation treatment in Cuba after an operation in February 2012 that removed a second cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez’s first tumor was removed in June 2011, and then he received chemotherapy.
Chavez became involved in revolutionary movements within the armed forces in 1977.
Chavez won his first presidential election in 1998. He also won the presidential elections in 2000, 2006, and 2012.
The Venezuelan leader founded the Bolivarian Revolution movement to establish popular democracy and economic independence and the equal distribution of wealth in Latin America.