The funeral for former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will be held tomorrow and a New Yorker will be representing the United States at the event–Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks.
“I am honored to be a part of a delegation that will represent the United States at the Funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday, March 8,” Mr. Meeks, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “My deepest sympathies go out to the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela. Venezuela is an important nation to the Western Hemisphere. I remain committed to building the relationship between our nations. As always, I stand in continued support of the Venezuelan people especially at this time of mourning.”
This won’t be Mr. Meeks’ first trip to Venezuela and one of his past visits to the country was rather controversial.
Several years ago, Mr. Meeks reportedly had a string of meetings with Mr. Chávez. Allegedly, during these meetings, Mr. Meeks requested Mr. Chávez launch a criminal probe against a man who was an enemy of one of his donors. In response to this incident and others, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington labeled him “corrupt.”
In addition to Mr. Meeks, the U.S. delegation to Mr. Chavez’s funeral will also contain former Massachusetts Congressman Bill Delahunt, and U.S. Embassy Caracas Chargé d’Affaires James Derham.