Puebla, Mexico, February 3, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela issued condolences Thursday to the family of prominent leftist Marisa Leticia Rocco, the wife of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva.
“Venezuela and its people will remember Mrs. Marisa as an advocate and defender of the just causes of the Brazilian people, and for her active and decisive participation in political struggle,” the government said in a statement.
Rocco died Thursday of an aneurysm, after being hospitalised in late January due to a stroke. By Wednesday, her health had deteriorated, and doctors announced her condition had become “irreversible”.
She was 66 years old.
Shortly after her death, Da Silva took to social media to thank Rocco’s supporters for "all the expressions of affection and solidarity received in the last 10 days for her recovery”.
The Venezuelan government described Rocco’s death as a a loss to both Venezuela and Brazil.
“The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reiterates its solidarity with the people of Brazil and with former president Lula da Silva, who has been affected by such a sensitive loss, and also sends words of regret to his children, and relatives and friends of comrade Marisa,” the government said.
Rocco was Brazil’s first lady between 2003 and 2011, when her husband Da Silva served as president. Da Silva’s presidency saw Brazil move to the left, enacting far reaching social programs that dramatically reduced poverty. Both Rocco and Da Silva were close allies of Venezuela. The couple has, however, been hit by controversy in recent years, regarding alleged links to a corruption scandal involving state oil firm Petrobras.
Despite the controversy, Da Silva remains one of Brazil’s more popular public figures, and has repeatedly hinted at plans to run for president again in 2018.