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No ‘Hugo Chavez street’ in Paris anytime soon

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-26

After Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s death earlier this month, there was a bid by far-left politicians in the French capital to name a street after the late leader. The idea, however, was vetoed on Monday at a meeting of the Paris city council.

Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez may have died three weeks ago, but the city of Paris is just getting around to sorting out how it wants to react to the news. While some politicians have preferred to remain silent on the issue, others have been clamouring for a street named in Chavez’s honour.

At a meeting of the Paris city council, Danielle Simonnet, a member of a coalition comprised of the communist party and the far-left Parti de Gauche, championed the cause, arguing that Chavez deserved to be memorialised in France’s capital.

“On March 5, 2013, Venezuela’s democratically elected and re-elected president Hugo Chavez died while in office and his death evoked great emotion across the whole world… We regret that at the time of his death, the city of Paris did not make any official comment,” Simmonet said.

But other members on the Paris city council apparently disagreed with Simmonet, and ultimately axed the idea of naming a part of the French capital after the late Venezuelan leader.

Pierre Schapira, a member of the Socialist Party and a deputy to Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë in charge of foreign affairs, did concede that the city should have given an official response following Chavez’s death.

“The city of Paris should have written to President [Nicolas] Maduro to tell him that we send a fraternal salute to the Venezuelan people,” Schapira said.

“We can acknowledge that he was an important figure for Venezuela, but at the same time controversial… Let’s wait for history to play its role and then we will see,” Schapira added.

Date created : 2013-03-26

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