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  March 7, 2013

A Sea of Tears in Caracas

In a raw emotional outpouring, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans walk along side the coffin of President Hugo Chavez
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Oscar León is an experienced international press correspondent and documentary filmmaker based in Arizona. His work has reached continental TV broadcast in many occasions on Telesur, ECTV, Ecuavisa, Radio Canada, Canal Uno and even Fox Sports Latin America and El Garaje TV; he has been a TRNN correspondent since 2010. Oscar has reported from as many as 9 countries and more than 12 cities in US; his coverage includes TV reports, special reports and TV specials, not only covering social movements, politics and economics but environmental issues, culture and sports as well. This includes the series "Reportero del Sur", "Occupy USA - El Otoño Americano", "Habia una vez en Arizona", "Motor X" all TV mini series broadcasted to all Americas and "Once upon a time in Arizona" finalist in Radio Canada's "Migration" 2010 contest.


OSCAR LEÓN, PRODUCER, TRNN: The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frias caused a flood of emotions in the country's capital Caracas.

CROWD (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The people united can never be defeated!

LEÓN: Vice President Maduro delivered the news during the evening rush hour on Tuesday, when many people were heading home from work. There on the streets, people stopped and cried.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We love you. May you rest in peace. May God have you in His glory.

Chávez! Why did you take him? Why did you take my president? Oh, my God, why?

CROWD (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The fight goes on! Chavez is alive!

LEÓN: Chavez's coffin was paraded in the streets of Caracas. Men, women, and children said their final goodbye to the man whom they called Commandante Chávez. He changed the life of the poor in this country and the political landscape all over Latin America.

But what will the future hold for this country? Chávez will be replaced by Vice President Nicolás Maduro before a special presidential election will take place. But for many here, Maduro already has their support.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): We support candidate Nicolás Maduro now, and we are going to elections to make him win, because revolution is not dead in here. It goes on.

UNIDENTIFIED (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): The fight goes on. Revolution does not end here, because we are all Chávez. We now have a project for our government and our country, a project where poor people are included.

LEÓN: The mourning over Chávez's death did not take place in Venezuala alone, but some South American leaders also expressed their grief. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has declared three days of national mourning.

RAFAEL CORREA, PRESIDENT OF ECUADOR (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): Wherever you are now, dear Hugo, our compromise stands today more than ever. We won't take a single step back until we fulfil your dreams, dreams that we all share.

LEÓN: The presidents of Uruguay, Argentina, and Bolivia traveled to Caracas to show their support.

EVO MORALES, PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): He fought for his country. He also fought for the Greater Homeland, much like Simón Bolívar did.

JOSÉ MUJICA, PRESIDENT OF URUGUAY (SUBTITLED TRANSL.): He was the most solidary ruler through all Latin American history. Many people think he was controversial, but for the poor and the weak a romantic fighter is now gone.

LEÓN: Other leaders from different sides of the political spectrum also expressed their condolences and called for peace and unity, like President of Peru Ollanta Humala and President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla.

Even in his death, Chávez rallied the region. and his legend has just begun.

For The Real News, this is Oscar León.


DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


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