One of Venezuela's great statesman has completed 50 years in public life. To mark the?
One of Venezuela's great statesman has completed 50 years in public life. To mark the occasion, a "day of homage" was held in honour of Senor Romulo Betancourt in his birth place of Guatire - a village 60 kilometres from the capital, Caracas. Among the congratulating messages he received from foreign leaders, was one from President Carter. Observers said the message underlined America's desire to forge closer ties with Venezuela.
SYNOPSIS: Spanish Socialist Workers Party Secretary Felipe Gonzalez flew into Caracas at the invitation of President Andres Perez to take part in the celebrations. The President was among the 40,000 who converged on Guatire to honour Senor Betancourt.
Seventy-year-old Senor Betancourt was twice President of Venezuela. His political career began when he was still a student at Caracas University.
Senor Gonzalez said it was "extraordinary" that Senor Betancourt's active public life had spanned had a century.
Big posters with pictures of Senor Betancourt adorned the streets of Guatire, and special cakes were prepared to mark the occasion.
Senor Betancourt was first President in 1945 until 1948, and again from 1959 to 1964. He founded Venezuela's most powerful party, Democratic Action, and spent several years in exile. In an editorial, the Congress newspaper, El Universal, described him as a great strategic and a most prominent figure in the country. "He occupies a supremely important position in the contemporary history of our country", said the newspaper.