World Leaders and Sean Penn Attend Chavez Funeral

Nicaraguas President Daniel Ortega and his wife stand with Venezuelas Foreign Minister Elias Jaua before the funeral ceremony for Venezuelas late President Hugo Chavez on Friday, March 8, 2013.
Share
Copy

A strange mix of world leaders and global celebrities attended the state funeral for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

The nationally televised event which lasted around three hours, included close allies of Chávez, such as Cuban leader Raul Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales, and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who praised Chávez and said that the deceased Venezuelan president would "return" someday, along with Jesus Christ.

But Latin American leaders who have often had a more frosty relationship with the Venezuelan president, or who simply do not care for his socialist ideology -- but must sustain good relations with Venezuela nevertheless -- also attended the massive funeral. This set of guests, included Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos, and Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto.

Peña Nieto made a televised statement, in which he called on regional leaders to "work together," on common projects, despite existing "ideological differences." But he also seems to have taken a little siesta during the funeral, as this picture circulating on twitter suggests.

Also present at the funeral, was a hodgepodge of artists, actors and sportsmen who at some point or another shared Chávez's politics. This group of guests included two time Oscar winner Sean Penn, former Detroit Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordoñez, and Venezuelan conductor and music genius Gustavo Dudamel, who currently leads the Los Angeles Philarmonic.

Dudamel was presented in the funeral as "one of the children" of Chávez's socialist revolution, and asked to stand by Chávez's coffin during part of the proceedings. His youth orchestra performed traditional Venezuelan songs after interim President Nicolás Maduro, delivered a highly politicized speech in which he said that no leader in the world in the past 200 years had been "persecuted," and "slandered" like Chávez. Check out this footage of the VIPs at today's funeral.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...