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The Democratic Will of the Venezuelan People

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'I join with millions of Venezuelans, Latin Americans, Caribbeans, fellow U.S. citizens, and many more millions of freedom-loving people around the world who embraced Hugo Chavez as a social champion of people-centered democracy, material development, and spiritual well-being.

'As his ideological and political opponents continue to wrangle, I ask all honest proponents of equality, justice, and peace in Venezuela and across the world to temper divisive disputes and find genuine ways to support those Venezuelans who seek to continue the course of participatory democracy and programs of social development, social security, and efforts to achieve equality that were and continue to be the goals of Hugo Chavez's policies of education, health, and a livable income for all. I ask everyone to listen to and respect the expressed democratic will of the Venezuelan people who supported, in unprecedented numbers, the recent re-election of Hugo Chavez.

'There is no doubt some will continue to vilify Hugo Chavez in death as they did during his governance and his terrible illness. Others, inside and outside of Venezuela, will unfortunately seek to overturn his progressive national political development agenda and the policies of solidarity and internationalism he established and sought to extend. This, despite the fact that programs like Petro-Caribe, the Bank of the South, and the New Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations have so greatly benefited the region, as has Chavez' emphasis on South-South cooperation.'