Venezuela and Zimbabwe lead tributes to Gaddafi

He may have been a Mad Dog to some – but to others he was a best friend

LAST UPDATED AT 13:41 ON Fri 21 Oct 2011

COL GADDAFI’s longtime ally Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, has reacted angrily to the "murder" of his friend. Chavez had consistently criticised Nato intervention in Libya, calling instead for a peaceful solution to the civil war.
Chavez told reporters last night that Gaddafi would be "remembered all of my life as a great fighter, a revolutionary and a martyr".

Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe claims Gaddafi is the victim of western neo-colonialists. A sympathetic obituary on state television stated: "He will be to many a hero who went down fighting and exposed the west's colonising mission in Africa in order to secure the continent's rich resources, that is oil in the case of Libya."

Retired Major Cairo Mhandu, a member of Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party, echoed those sentiments: "This is a sad day for the people of Africa", he told the Global Post. "This is the beginning of a new re-colonisation of Africa. Through the forces of Nato and the West, we have lost one of our brothers".

In the Toro Kingdom of Uganda, leading daily New Vision reports that the population is in mourning. "Gaddafi has been a darling of Toro kingdom and is well remembered for having rehabilitated the Kingdom’s palace, constructed the main mosque in Fort Portal town and paid school fees for Princess Ruth Komuntale."

Information minister Arthur Tamara says: "We are consulting each other to see how best we can mourn our hero. We are most likely to hold special prayers to show our grievances to the fallen revolutionist."

Former President Fidel Castro of Cuba has yet to comment. He has defended Gaddafi throughout the uprising and Nato campaign. · 

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