Windhoek-Cuban Ambassador to Namibia Giraldo Mazola has paid a glowing tribute to the late Venezuelan Ambassador to Namibia Juan Carlos Barrios, who recently died at a specialist oncology clinic in neighbouring South Africa, where the diplomat was admitted for treatment of a malignant tumor.
A memorial service will be held in Windhoek today, where fellow diplomats and Namibian officials from the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation are expected to pay tribute to the late Venezuelan ambassador, whose passing has left a big void in diplomatic circles.
Mazola said the late diplomat represented the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as plenipotentiary ambassador in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia, where he had his permanent residence over the past six years.
Mazola described the late Venezuelan – fondly known as JuanK in diplomatic circles – for his personal peculiarities, “his contagious sympathy, his simplicity, affability, his infinite love for his country”.
He said Ambassador Barrios was an ardent follower of the late liberator Simon Bolivar and the late revolutionary and Venezuelan leader Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, who ruled that country from 1999 to 2013.
Describing him as neat and extremely careful of his personal presence, he apparently had high respect for fellow humans, and knew that as a diplomat he carried a heavy responsibility.
Mazola said the fallen diplomat also had the courage to vigorously campaign against the permanent censure exacted by the American government against the Bolivarian Revolution in a move intended to have a share of that country’s oil.
Mazola commended the late Barrios for having worked tirelessly to expand diplomatic relations and ties between Latin America and Africa and on this score Mazola noted that the late ambassador had a passion to promote the teaching of the Spanish language to Namibians on the premises of his mission.
“Son of a mestizo of half-caste people, he was aware of our debt to the African continent whose enslaved child forged with their sweat and blood the riches and independence that we enjoy today in Venezuela, Cuba and in many other countries of our region,” Mazola reminisced.