AS condolences continue to pour in for deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Coromoto Godoy Calderon says she would miss mostly Chavez's voice.
Chavez, born Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, died on Tuesday after battling cancer for nearly two years, ending 14 years of rule.
Chavez's death means Venezuela will now be led by the head of Congress, Diosdado Cabello, who will assume the interim presidency until elections are called later this year.
In an interview yesterday at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on Victoria Avenue, Port of Spain, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary-designate Calderon said, while fighting back tears: "The people of Venezuela are mourning, they are united now in his death. He is immortal in the eyes of the people. We honour Chavez."
When the Express visited the Embassy, several ambassadors came to express their condolences, including Mervyn Assam, T&T Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary with Responsibility for Trade and Industry, and Spanish Ambassador Joaquin de Aristegui.
The first to visit and sign the condolence book was head of the Bankers Insurance and General Workers' Union Vincent Cabrera, while leader of the Movement for Social Justice David Abdulah was the last.
Former prime minister Patrick Manning, the Express was told, came with neither guards nor entourage and signed four words: "My friend, Patrick Manning."
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar arrived around 2.30 p.m., along with acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Roodal Moonilal.
"Chavez's immortality would keep us going; he inspired us, the people of Venezuela. They are in the streets mourning and we must celebrate his life, we should not have sadness... the greatest honour of my life has been working for Chavez," Calderon added.
She said Chavez was the warmest person, a man of values and principles, and was brilliant and intelligent.
The Trinidad and Tobago Bolivarian Solidarity Movement said it would be hosting a "Trini-style" wake at the Embassy today, beginning at 6 p.m.