- Title: NICARAGUA: Sandinistas rally in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
- Date: 10th December 2012
- Summary: MANAGUA, NICARAGUA (DECEMBER 9, 2012) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) GENERAL VIEW OF VENEZUELAN FLAG BEING WAVED OVER CROWD AT EVENT TORCH BURNING AT EVENT GENERAL VIEW OF CROWD AT EVENT IMAGE OF HUGO CHAVEZ BEING DISPLAYED ON LARGE SCREEN SUPPORTERS OF NICARAGUA'S SANDINISTA PARTY WAVING THEIR ARMS PEOPLE SINGING AND CLAPPING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PORFIRIO ZAMORA PICADO, MEMBER OF SANDINISTA YOUTH ORGANIZATION, SAYING: "We have gathered with a roar to pray that God empathises with him and that this man has more years to live so that he continue his good deeds." WOMEN SINGING DURING EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REVEREND SIXTO ULLOA, SAYING: "As we know that he (Chavez) will be treated in Cuba, the Nicaraguan people, Catholics, Evangelists, have come here to pray for that great man and for his people." MAN ON STAGE OFFERING PRAYER FOR CHAVEZ VARIOUS OF YOUNG WOMEN PRAYING AND SINGING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) MARIANA PEREZ, MEMBER OF SANDINISTA YOUTH ORGANIZATION, SAYING: "We are sending a message of solidarity to our commander in Havana. As we can see, the Sandinista youths are showing themselves yet again because of the revolutionary values which have been instilled in us." PEOPLE WAVING THEIR ARMS DURING THE EVENT VARIOUS OF BAND PLAYING DURING THE RALLY
- Embargoed: 25th December 2012 12:00
- Location: Nicaragua
- Country: Nicaragua
- Topics: Politics,People
- Reuters ID: LVABOGKVXW213UMXITO1QR06961O
- Story Text: Hundreds of Nicaraguans rallied in the capital of Managua on Sunday (December 9) to show support for ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
On Monday, Chavez flew to Cuba for cancer surgery, vowing to quickly return despite an unprecedented admission that the disease could end his 14-year rule in Venezuela.
Many of those at the rally were members of Nicaragua's Sandinista Party, whose leader, Daniel Ortega, is one of Chavez's closest foreign allies.
"We have gathered with a roar to pray that God empathises with him and that this man has more years to live so that he continue his good deeds," said Porfirio Zamora Picado, a member of the Sandinista Party's youth organization.
In the past, Chavez has used oil revenues to help bankroll Nicaragua's anti-poverty programs. Chavez's financial aid to Nicaragua has helped power it to faster economic growth and helped to cut poverty rates from around two-thirds of the population in 2005 to 57 percent in early 2012.
Both nations are members of the Bolivarian Alliance For the Americas (ALBA) which Chavez first proposed in 2004.
Reverend Sixto Ulloa, the Sandinista's special ombudsman for citizen participation, said that Nicaraguans from all faiths were at the rally to pray for Chavez's swift recovery.
"As we know that he (Chavez) will be treated in Cuba, the Nicaraguan people, Catholics, Evangelists, have come here to pray for that great man and for his people," he said.
Chavez, 58, is facing his fourth operation since mid-2011 for a third bout of an undisclosed form of cancer in the pelvic area.
"We are sending a message of solidarity to our commander in Havana. As we can see, the Sandinista youths are showing themselves yet again because of the revolutionary values which have been instilled in us," said Mariana Perez, another member of the Sandinista's youth organization.
Chavez stunned Venezuelans over the weekend with his announcement that more malignant cells had been found, despite twice declaring himself completely cured in the past.
He won re-election in October and is due to start a new six-year term on January 10. Chavez's departure from office, either before or after that date, would trigger a vote within 30 days.
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