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France

World 'needs dictators like Chavez' says French minister

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-03-11

Victorin Lurel, the minister for France's overseas territories, was impressed by the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez’s funeral and said on Saturday that the world needed “more dictators” like him.

The minister for France's overseas territories lamented the death of Hugo Chavez on Saturday, saying the world "needs more dictators" like him after attending the late Venezuelan leader's funeral a day earlier.

Victorin Lurel described Chavez as a cross between French General Charles de Gaulle and reforming left-winger Léon Blum, who served three times as French prime minister.

“De Gaulle because he profoundly changed his country’s institutions, and Blum because he fought relentlessly against injustice,” he told RTL radio.

Angry reactions after French minister's homage to Hugo Chavez

“I’ll be criticised for saying this, but the world needs more dictators like Hugo Chavez, if it’s a dictator that he actually was. He showed a strong respect for human rights.”

Lurel described Chavez’s funeral service as “moving”, adding that “while not everyone can agree with all his policies and actions, the people here are very proud of what he accomplished in 14 years.”

Some 32 foreign leaders and a host of celebrities attended the funeral in Cararacas on Friday at the city’s military academy.

Embalmed and on display “like Lenin”, Chavez’s body will remain on public display for a week. Officials said his body would then be placed in a glass casket and housed at the military barracks where he plotted a failed coup in 1992.

The barracks are due to be transformed into a Museum of the Bolivarian revolution.

Lurel said that while the embalming seemed to be “from another era”, he was “impressed by an operation that seemed to "genuinely sanctify” Chavez.

 

 

Date created : 2013-03-09

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