Dominican President Eliud Williams said "We are fervently supporting Venezuela, and we are here to say to our friend (Vice President Nicolas) Maduro that although your leader is going through a difficult time, you can count on Dominica as a reliable friend."
El Salvador's Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said "Venezuela converted itself into (a) guiding light for Latin America that the Cuban Revolution was in the 1960s."
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica told Venezuelan television "You hardly see this sort of solidarity anywhere in the world."
It's seen nowhere like in Venezuela. Americans can't imagine popular support on this scale. It's real. People have reason to rally. Doing so gives thanks for unmatched social justice.
Maduro rallied supporters passionately. He accused opposition forces of trying to exploit events their way.
"They are trying to manipulate and opportunistically take advantage of the circumstances of Chavez's situation in order to destabilize the country," he stressed.
"Yet however they come after us, we always beat them. Here we are ready to continue with this revolution. Make no mistake. Here the people have demonstrated their strength."- Advertisement -
He galvanized supporters "to send a shout of gigantic love on the count of three" to Chavez. Thousands raised their hands. In unison they said:
"I swear by the Bolivarian Constitution that I will defend (Chavez's presidency) in the streets, with reason, with trust, and with the strength and intelligence of a people that have liberated themselves from the yoke of the bourgeoisie."
If popular sentiment could heal, Chavez would be well and home. The power of popular support lifts him. He knows how Venezuelans feel. He hopes he'll be well enough to return soon. World class medical care helps him.
Chavistas rallied supportively in his absence. La Prensa headlined "Venezuelan grassroots support President Chavez, saying:
Mass support was impressive. It rallied impressively across the country. It extended well beyond the capital. A "common denominator of support" was expressed.
Regional leaders attended. They included Bolivia's Evo Morales, Uruguay's Jose Mujica, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Surinam's Desi Bouterse, and Dominca's Eliud Williams.
Representatives from 30 organizations came. Twenty-seven regional countries sent theirs. Prime ministers, vice-chancellors, and other ministers attended. Council of Ministers Vice President Diaz-Canel Bermudez headed Cuba's delegation.