As word spread of the death of Hugo Chavez, supporters from across the country were overcome with grief.
Sean Penn and Oliver Stone were the most well known names to voice their condolences but many others also came together after the news.
Maura Rosen of Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties section joined with those she calls “comrades” at a local pub last night.
Rosen stared into a dripping candle outside and expressed her thoughts, “I’m devastated but the people will continue the workers struggle. One step at a time and not one step back! We still have our leader and progressive change will soon be at every doorstep across the United States”.
Another Chavez supporter and self-proclaimed “super-liberal”, Fernando Lopez spoke through tears while expressing hope for the future. “Many American’s don’t realize what a friend Chavez was to workers here. Sean Penn said that too. Hugo Chavez was the one who inspired me to bang on doors this past fall so reactionaries didn’t ruin what we’ve accomplished.”
As the crowd in Northern Liberties huddled together last night, television monitors showed images of the government of Iran declaring a day of mourning for Chavez.
“Iran stands for progress!” yelled one patron. “Viva the revolution!” cried out another as the crowd cheered.
Candle light vigils in memory of Hugo Chavez were being planned for this weekend in Philadelphia and other liberal strongholds around the country.