Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit says Dominica looks forward to strengthening relationships with Venezuela now that Hugo Chavez has emerged victorious in that country’s election on Sunday.
“First of all I would like to congratulate President Chavez and the Venezuelan people,” Skerrit said, describing Chavez as ‘a very dear friend.’ “Clearly is it a very sound mandate. People have gotten into his policies and his programs. They are satisfied with what he has done for the people of Venezuela.”
The Prime Minister said Dominica is looking towards deepening ties with the South American country. “We celebrate in his victory. We have been excellent partners in advancing the development of the Caribbean and Latin America and we look forward to further deepening and strengthening out bilateral relations with Venezuela,” he noted.
PM Skerrit said this also stands true for Dominica’s multilateral relations with ALBA and Petrocaribe. “We look forward to our continued close collaboration and cooperation,” he reiterated.
Despite predictions that it was going to be a close race Chavez scored a comfortable victory in Sunday’s poll that could extend his rule to 20 years.
“Truthfully, this has been the perfect battle, a democratic battle,” Chavez told tens of thousand of jubilant supporters from the balcony of the presidential palace late on Sunday while holding up a replica of the sword of independence hero Simon Bolivar. ““Venezuela will continue along the path of democratic and Bolivarian socialism of the 21st century.”
It was an extraordinary victory for a leader who just a few months ago feared for his life as he struggled to recover from cancer. He won 54.4 percent of the vote, with 90 percent of the ballots counted, compared with 45 percent for his main rival Henrique Capriles.
More than 80 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
“We celebrate in his victory…he has been a very dear friend of Dominica,” Prime Minister Skerrit said.