'WE NEED HIM': Fr Martin Sirju greets Venezuelan Ambassador Coromoto Godoy Calderon at La Divina Pastora RC Church in Siparia yesterday, when a mass was held for ailing Venezuela President Hugo Chavez. —Photo: INNIS FRANCIS

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Prayers for Chavez in Siparia

By Innis Francis innis.francis@trinidad.express.com

Venezuelan Ambassador Coromoto Godoy Calderon said citizens of her homeland were not thinking of another person to replace ailing President Hugo Chavez.

Godoy Calderon was speaking to the media following a mass at La Divina Pastora Roman Catholic Church in Siparia, where a prayer service was held for Chavez.

Prayer services have been held worldwide for Chavez since he underwent an operation in Cuba last month for an undisclosed cancer.

"We hope he retains the presidency. We voted for him. We are not talking about another president, we are not talking about somebody else. We want our president to rule the country. He won the elections and we pray for him to come back," said the Ambassador.

Bearing white anthurium flowers, Godoy Calderon said the flowers were hand-picked from the gardens at her official residence and offered to the La Divina Pastora statue.

She said it was with a kind gesture that the people of Siparia hosted the mass, led by Parish priest Martin Sirju, in honour of Chavez.

Godoy Calderon said she understood the importance of La Divina Pastora because of the link between both nations.

Godoy Calderon said she has served in the embassy for two-and-a-half months and was hoping to have consultations with the authorities of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago on the issue of fishing.

"I believe the time will come between the fishermen of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago and they can work it together. The authorities will do their best to solve all the problems. The problems have been for many years, but there is nothing that the political will cannot solve."

Sirju said the mass was purely for the speedy recovery of Chavez. He said there is a lot of spiritual history between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.

Sirju said, "It was a mass for good health, for his (President Chavez) recovery. We feel honoured, I am glad that we are seeing a continuity in history, because of the ancient link that this parish was founded by missionaries from Venezuela. There is a strong spiritual link." —See Page 21

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