I learned tonight with sadness of the death of President Hugo Chávez.
On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to extend my sincere condolences to Vice President Nicolás Maduro and to the people and government of Venezuela and to the family of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who died this evening in Caracas.
President Chávez worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Venezuelan citizens. He dedicated himself to building a new and radical society in Venezuela.
His progressive social and economic changes took millions out of poverty. He extended free health care and education for all citizens and his re-lection last year with a huge majority was testimony to his vision.
President Chávez was a hugely influential figure in South America and in world politics. He was an energetic and enthusiastic leader and when it was discovered that he had cancer he confronted his illness with the same courage and determination that marked his political life. He will be greatly missed.