THE EDITOR, Sir:
The passing of Hugo Chávez is a monumental loss which extends well beyond the national boundaries of Venezuela. Like no other luminary since Simon Bolivar, his outreach embraced the nation states of Latin America and the Caribbean.
President Chávez was determined to pursue policies which would work particularly for the poor and disadvantaged in his homeland and beyond. He asserted the need for developing countries to fashion their own alternative path to development and intensify collaboration between the countries of the South through mutually beneficially economic relationships.
It was this overarching vision which paved the way for the PetroCaribe Agreement of 2005. In addition to the preferential payment conditions from which Jamaica and its Caribbean neighbours have benefited enormously, PetroCaribe also offers funding and expertise to undertake research and to promote alternative sources of energy.
I have lost a former colleague whose indefatigable energy and pioneering spirit were precious indeed. I will always treasure those special moments shared with a dear brother.
Another giant has departed, who in a comparatively short period of political leadership has made an indelible contribution in the search for a better world.
Former Prime Minister