Members of the Chicago Latino Community, particularly the Puerto Rican and Mexican communities, held a service at Adalberto United Methodist Church on Paseo Boricua on Sunday, March 10th to honor the deceased President Hugo Chavez. The program opened with a welcoming statement by Emma Lozano from Centro Sin Fronteras and José E. López of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center with an invocation by Rev. Slim Coleman. This was followed by a cultural presentation of a song from one of the young members of Adalberto Church and a poetry reading by Judy Diaz of Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School.
The Consul General of Venezuela, Jesús Rodríguez Espinoza, delivered a moving and powerful message. He recounted the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution, including the reduction of poverty from 60% to 20%. He also pointed to the successful literacy and health campaigns and the level of engagement of the participatory democracy projects they have developed throughout the country, where the citizens are even able to articulate the local budgets. Additionally, another great achievement will be the upcoming implementation of the 6-hour workday. The Consul General of the Republic of Haiti of Chicago, Lesly Condé and the Consul General of the ComorrosIslands, Sultan Shafiq Hakim also expressed their condolences to the Venezuelan people and their admiration for President Hugo Chávez.
A group of young people who had attended the World Youth Congress in Caracas in 2005 mounted a symbolic honor guard in front of the registry book with a picture of Hugo Chavez. All who attended the event signed the registry book. Minister Abel Muhammad from the Nation of Islam and Pastor Pedro Windsor of La Capilla del Barrio delivered a closing prayer. View our Flickr set of the event here.