After the announcement of the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, politicians took to Twitter and their websites, reflecting on the life of the controversial leader and the future of his country.
See their reactions below:
President Barack Obama
The White House released the following statement: "At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez’s passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government. As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)
Diaz-Balart issued a <a href="http://mariodiazbalart.house.gov/press-releases/a-brighter-future-for-venezuela-and-its-people/">statement</a>: “For more than a decade, the Venezuelan people have suffered under the authoritarian rule of Hugo Chavez. He cracked down on freedom of the press and arrested judges and opposition leaders who didn’t agree with him. Additionally, he used petro dollars stolen from the Venezuelan people to extend his influence and fund the sinister agendas of cruel dictators like Castro, Ahmadinejad, and Assad. “Now, there is hope for the restoration of freedom in Venezuela with truly free and fair elections, renewal of a civil society, and the protection of an independent press. I share the hopes of South Florida's patriotic Venezuelan community that today will mark a new era and the start of a brighter future for their beloved country.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
Ros-Lehtinen released a <a href="http://ros-lehtinen.house.gov/press-release/death-hugo-chavez-marks-opportunity-democracy-venezuela-ros-lehtinen-says">statement</a>, saying: "The Venezuela people now have an opportunity to emerge from this oppressive regime and regain their democracy and human rights. However, this can only be done through a true democratic process with free, fair, and transparent elections. I am hopeful that democracy will rise from the ashes of the Chavez regime and again become a part of a new Venezuela. Now it is up to the Venezuelan people to redefine and rebuild their nation as a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous state free of the clutches of Chavez and his disastrous social and economic policies.”
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.)
Rep. Mike Rogers (D-Mich.)
“Hugo Chavez was a destabilizing force in Latin America, and an obstacle to progress in the region. I hope his death provides an opportunity for a new chapter in US-Venezuelan relations.”
Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)
Cotton released a to-the-point <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/republican-lawmaker-reacts-death-hugo-chavez-sic-semper-231834736--politics.html">statement</a>, saying: "Sic semper tyrannis," meaning "thus ever to tyrants." "After the welcome news of Hugo Chavez’s death, I hope that the oppressed people of Venezuela will be able to live in freedom, not under miserable tyranny. I look forward to working in the House to promote a free, democratic, and pro-American government in Venezuela," he said.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.)
Royce issued a statement saying: "Hugo Chavez was a tyrant who forced the people of Venezuela to live in fear. His death dents the alliance of anti-U.S. leftist leaders in South America. Good riddance to this dictator. Venezuela once had a strong democratic tradition and was close to the United States. Chavez’s death sets the stage for fresh elections. While not guaranteed, closer U.S. relations with his key country in our Hemisphere are now possible.”
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)
Also on HuffPost: