Colombia’s second largest rebel group, ELN, on Thursday sent their condolences to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
“With deep respect and solidarity, the National Liberation Army (ELN), sends its deepest condolences to the family, the people and government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for the painful departure of its leader President Hugo Chavez Frias,” read the letter posted on their website on Thursday,
“Chavez lives forever in the hearts of the people and revolutionaries around the world,” it continued.
The rebel group, currently numbering about 1,500, has used Venezuelan territory for decades, and since President Chavez came to power in 1999 their presence has been more accepted. However, since Juan Manuel Santos became Colombia’s president in 2010, he has improved relations with Chavez, which has hindered Venezuela’s relations with the guerrilla group.
Nonetheless, the ELN will honor Chavez by lowering their flag to half mast in guerrilla camps, for “the Commander and Chief, brother, friend, and one of the largest Bolivarian revolutionaries of all time.”
The ELN closed their statement with the quote “Those who die for life can not be called dead.”
Colombia’s largest rebel group, FARC, have also sent condolences to Chavez, sympathizing with the “intense pain of Venezuela after his death.”
Through a statement they mentioned the “great leader” [Chavez] and encouraged Venezuelan authorities “to go ahead and up the win with a beautiful Bolivarian Revolution.”
- Comunicado Publico (ELN Website-voces de colombia)
- ELN in Venezuela (Insight Crime)
- Eln envia condolencias a Venezuela por muerte de Hugo Chavez (El Espectador)