Puebla, Mexico, December 9, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelans marked Thursday the four year anniversary of former president Hugo Chavez’s last speech, with current head of state President Nicolas Maduro calling for national unity.
“We must keep alive the flame of our comandante Hugo Chavez,” Maduro told supporters in Caracas.
The president said the last four years have been difficult for Venezuela, but argued the country’s socialist revolution has survived despite an “economic war” being waged by his political opponents.
“We can say that in four years we have been loyal to comandante Chavez,” Maduro said.
Elsewhere in Caracas, light shows displayed images of Chavez on buildings and a special service with cabinet ministers, social movement leaders and international guests such as the former president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was held in the "El Cuartel" Mountain Barracks where Chávez was laid to rest.
Thursday marked four years since Chavez gave his last speech, before heading to Cuba to undertake a final round of cancer treatment in December 2012. During the now iconic speech, Chavez expressed hope he would return to Venezuela to resume his position as president.
“I have complete faith that with God's help we will emerge victorious. We have always lived from one miracle to another,” he said at the time.
He also urged his supporters to back Maduro in the case of his own death.
“If something were to happen that would make it impossible for me to be president, Nicolas Maduro should assume power for the short time left in this term. But also, it is my firm opinion, my complete and irrevocable opinion, that under this scenario, you should all vote for Nicolas,” he said.
Chavez made the speech less than two months after winning the October 2012 presidential elections by a landslide. He died in March 2013, after years of battling with cancer.