Venezuela says goodbye to Hugo Chavez, its leader for 14 years, as his flag-draped coffin was taken through the streets of Caracas to his old military academy where his body will lie in state. (Includes video + transcript)
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The hearse carrying the coffin of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez makes its way to the Military Academy amid thousands of supporters, on March 6, 2013, in Caracas. AFP PHOTO/Juan BARRETO
Venezuela bids farewell to Chavez as an era ends
CARACAS, AFP: The flag-draped coffin of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was borne through throngs of weeping supporters on Wednesday as a nation bade farewell to the firebrand leftist who led them for 14 years.
His mother Elena wept over his wooden casket as a band played the national anthem outside his military hospital. Presidential guards with red berets then placed his remains on top of a black hearse, surrounded by flowers.
Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro, walked alongside the car through dense crowds, wearing a sombre expression and a striking outfit in the colour of the national flag.
Chavez’ death after a two-year struggle with cancer was a blow to his adoring supporters and the alliance of left-wing Latin American powers, and plunged his oil-rich country into uncertainty as an election is organized.
His body, surrounded by soldiers, was being taken to the military academy that the former paratrooper colonel once called a second home, where he will lie in state until an official ceremony with foreign dignitaries on Friday.
People watched from their apartment windows, others climbed fences to get a better view of the hearse, many held or wore iconic images of Chavez.
A member of the Presidential Guard of Honor holds a replica of Simon Bolivar’s sword while accompanying the hearse carrying the coffin of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. AFP
The 58-year-old leader succumbed to a respiratory infection on Tuesday. A new election is due to be called within what are sure to be 30 tense days.
Maduro, who tearfully broke the news to the nation that his mentor had lost his battle with cancer, was poised to take over as interim president and to campaign for election as Chavez’s chosen successor.
The death brought thousands of Venezuelans to public squares across the nation, weeping and celebrating the life of a divisive figure whose oil-funded socialist revolution delighted the poor and infuriated the wealthy.
Video transcript: Outspoken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appeared to never back down from the challenge. Chavez’s rise to power was rocky. Born in an impoverished neighbourhood, he joined a military academy and began pushing for social reform.
But his first attempt backfired in 1992 when he helped stage a military coup to overthrow the Venezuelan government and failed. After two years in prison Chavez went from soldier to politician and he won the 1998 presidential election.
He’s a man that cared about us, this woman says. He did not give anything to me but he gave it to my people.
During his presidency, Chavez was very critical of the US. He objected to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and during this United Nations speech even referred to President George W Bush as the devil.
“Yesterday, the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today.”
But Chavez also saw his fair share of protests, strikes and coup attempts. He used his country’s oil to form connections with world powers and developed relationships with Iran and Cuba.
In 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer. After several surgeries and chemotherapy, Chavez claimed he had recovered and in 2012 won another term in office. Chavez ran Venezuela for more than 14 years as a virtual one-man show. For any successor it will be a hard act to follow. Brandi Hitt, ABC news, Los Angeles.
coffin – a box in which a dead body is buried or cremated โลงศพ
hearse – a long vehicle used for carrying the coffin at a funeral รถศพ
military academy – a training college for soldiers
bid farewell (past: bade farewell) – to say goodbye ล่ำลา, กล่าวลา, ลาจาก
era – a period of time that has a particular quality or character ยุค, สมัย
flag-draped – covered with a flag
borne – carried ถือ หรือนำไป
throng – a crowd or large group of people ฝูงชน, ประชาชนจำนวนมากที่มาชุมนุมกัน, กลุ่มคน
weep – to cry because you feel unhappy or have some other strong emotion ร้องไห้
firebrand – someone who has strong feelings, especially about politics, and wants to change things or encourage other people to feel the same ผู้ปลุกระดม, นักปลุกระดม
leftist – a person who supports left-wing (in favour of social change) political parties and their ideas ผู้นิยมฝ่ายซ้าย
casket – a box for a dead body or, in this case, for the ashes of a dead person พระโกศ
national anthem – the official national song of a country เพลงชาติ
beret – a circular, flat hat that is made of soft material หมวกกลม
remains – the body of a person who has died ศพ
successor – someone who has an important position after someone else ผู้สืบทอดตำแหน่ง
dense – very thick แน่น,หนาแน่น,หนาทึบ
sombre (or somber) – serious, sad and without humour or amusement เคร่งขึม
expression – a look on a person's face that shows their thoughts or feelings ลักษณะท่าทาง, การแสดงออก
striking – very noticeable เด่นชัด
outfit – a set of clothes that are worn together เครื่องแต่งกาย
struggle – a very difficult task that you can do only by making a great effort ความพยายาม
cancer – a serious disease in which growths of cells, also called cancers, form in the body and kill normal body cells. The disease often causes death มะเร็ง
blow – an event that damages your chances of success สิ่งที่ทำให้เกิดความเสียหาย
adoring – showing great love and admiration อย่างรักและบูชา
alliance – a group of people, political parties, etc. who work together in order to achieve something that they all want พันธมิตร
plunge into uncertainty – to suddenly cause a situation to become uncertain or unstable ก่อให้เกิดสถานการณ์ก็จะกลายเป็นความไม่แน่นอนหรือไม่แน่นอน
paratrooper – a member of the paratroops (soldiers who are trained to jump from planes using a parachute) ทหารพลร่ม
colonel – an officer of high rank in the army, the marines, or the air force พันเอก
lie in state – putting the dead body of an important person in a public place so that people can see and honour it before it is buried นำศพมาให้ประชาชนแสดงความเสียใจและคารวะเป็นครั้งสุดท้ายก่อนทำพิธีทางศาสนา
dignitary – a person who has an important official position บุคคลที่มีตำแหน่งสูง, ผู้มีฐานะสูงส่ง
iconic – acting as a sign or symbol of something เป็นสัญลักษณ์แทนบาง
image – a photograph, painting, or other work of art that represents a person or thing รูปภาพ
replica – an accurate copy of something งานศิลปะที่จำลองจากของจริง, ของจำลอง
succumb – to die ตาย
respiratory – involving breathing เกี่ยวกับการหายใจ
infection – a disease or medical condition that is caused by a bacteria or by a virus or a parasite การติดเชื้อ
tense – feeling nervous or worried เครียด
mentor – an experienced person who helps someone who has less experience, especially in their job ผู้ให้คำปรึกษา
poised – about to do or achieve something ได้มาซึ่ง
interim – temporary and intended to be used or accepted until something permanent exists ชั่วคราว
campaign – to take part in a planned series of activities (a campaign) designed to persuade voters to vote for a particular candidate or political party รณรงค์หาเสียง
divisive – likely to cause arguments between people อันจะก่อให้เกิดความแตกแยก
figure – someone who is important in some way บุคคลสำคัญ
delight – to give somebody a lot of pleasure and enjoyment ทำให้ดีใจ, ทำให้ปลื้มปิติ
infuriate – to cause someone to become extremely angry ทำให้โกรธ
wealthy – having a large amount of money, land, and other valuable things ที่มั่งคั่ง ร่ำรวย
outspoken – giving your opinion strongly and honestly, even if other people do not like it พูดโผงผาง,พูดตรงไปตรงมา,พูดจาเปิดเผย
challenge – something that needs a lot of skill, energy, and determination to deal with or achieve สิ่งที่ท้าทาย, การท้าทาย
rocky – involving a lot of problems เต็มไปด้วยปัญหา
impoverished – very poor ยากจน
neighbourhood – a particular area of a city or town ละแวก, ย่าน
reform – a change that is intended to correct a situation that is wrong or unfair การปฏิรูป, การแก้ไข
backfire – to have the opposite effect or result than the one you intended ส่งผลตรงข้ามกับที่หวังไว้
coup – the seizure of power in a country by a group of people, usually members of the armed forces รัฐประหาร
overthrow – to force a leader or government out of power ขับไล่ออกจากอำนาจ
critical – saying that someone or something is bad or wrong ที่ชอบจับผิด
object – to disagree with คัดค้าน
devil – the most powerful evil spirit in many religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam ภูต
sulfur (or sulphur) – a pale yellow substance that produces a strong unpleasant smell when it burns ธาตุกัมมะถัน
fair share – an significant amount of something
strike – a period of time when an organized group of employees of a company stops working because of a disagreement over pay or conditions การหยุดงานประท้วง
diagnose – to find out what physical or mental problem someone has by examining them วินิจฉัย,ตรวจโรค
surgery – medical treatment in which a doctor cuts open someone’s body การทำศัลยกรรม
chemotherapy – the treatment of disease, especially cancer, with the use of chemical substances เคมีบำบัด
claim – to say that something is true although it has not been proved and other people may not believe it อ้าง
recover – to become healthy and fit again after an illness or injury การฟื้นไข้
virtual – almost the same as เกือบจะ