Venezuelan ambassador to Cuba and a former foreign minister Ali Rodriguez has passed away in Havana, said family sources.
Rodriguez, who served as an ambassador to Cuba since 2014, breathed his last at the age of 81 on Monday, they said.
Following the news of Rodriguez’s demised, condolences were poured in from across sectors, including President Nicolas Maduro and Vice-president Delcy Rodriguez.
“His experience and honesty were a school for all of us,” Maduro said on Twitter, calling Rodriguez, “a tireless fighter” who was “indispensable to the revolution.”
I have received the very sad news of the passing of Ali Rodriguez Araque – A tireless fighter, one of those who are essential in the Revolution. I convey my sympathies to all his family. His experience and honesty were a lesson for all of uspic.twitter.com/IzW1GuIX7f— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) November 20, 2018
“He (Ali) has in our history, a place of honour and decorum in popular struggles! Ambassador of excellence and dignity! Long live Ali forever!,” Delcy tweeted.
We express our condolences to the relatives of our beloved Ali! He has in our history, a place of honor and decorum in popular struggles! Ambassador of excellence and dignity! Long live Ali forever! pic.twitter.com/8bN9cYlWBa— Delcy Rodríguez (@DRodriguez_en) November 20, 2018
Rodriguez, an icon of Venezuela's socialist revolution who went on to serve as a diplomat in top government posts, used the position to defend Venezuela’s anti-American foreign policy amid two decades of socialist rule, said the sources.
Rodriguez served as president of PDVSA until November 2004, when late President Hugo Chavez made him foreign ambassador to Cuba, it said.
Born in 1937 in Venezuela’s central state of Lara, Rodriguez joined guerrilla fighters as a young man inspired by the Fidel Castro-led revolution in Cuba. He earned a reputation as an expert in explosives and was given the nickname of ‘Comandante Fausto.’ The revolutionary fervour in Venezuela, however, never captured mass appeal, and in the 1970s most rebel groups surrendered, said the sources.
(With inputs from agencies)