Tibisay Lucena, the former president of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) and current minister of university education, died this Wednesday, April 12, as reported by Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez via social media.
“Tibisay Lucena changed our landscape,” Rodríguez wrote. “Distinguished daughter of Venezuela, former president of the electoral power and minister of university education. She was a true militant in life, and she fought her last battle without respite. Our condolences to her family and friends. Fly high, sister!” While her cause of death was not specified, it was known that Lucena had fought cancer for a number of years.
“With great sadness, we must say our final goodbye to the great fighter, Tibisay Lucena,” announced President Nicolás Maduro via social media. “Patriot, defender of democracy and education; my condolences and strength from her to all her family and friends from her. May God have her from her in his glory from her!” He then added: “Tibisay Lucena was a woman of great spirit who remained loyal to her principles and ideals, always defending the just causes of the people. Venezuelans will always remember her for her integrity and moral strength.”
Con gran tristeza nos toca darle el último adiós a una mujer de grandes batallas, Tibisay Lucena. Patriota, defensora de la democracia y la educación en nuestro País. Mi abrazo de condolencias y fuerza a toda su familia y amigos. ¡Dios la tenga en su gloria! pic.twitter.com/Zvm2jZEwRP
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) April 12, 2023
Born in Barquisimeto, Lara state, on April 26, 1959, Lucena was close to turning 64 years old. She graduated from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) as a sociologist, and was president of the National Electoral Council between 2006 and 2020.
Lucena also performed as a cellist in the Venezuelan Orchestra. In 2015, she participated in a concert for the 40th anniversary of El Sistema, under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel.
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Excluding expressions of hate by far-right activists, many lamented the loss of Lucena, publishing their mourning through social media and local news outlets.
“Tibisay was brave and upright in all aspects of her life, a warrior of admirable dedication and honesty,” the minister for communes, Jorge Arreaza, wrote through social media. “A high-spirited being; our recognition of her life and our embrace to her loved ones.”
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Jorge Rodríguez, president of the National Assembly, also wrote a farewell message on social media. “Goodbye, dear sister!” wrote the PSUV leader. “We already miss your dawn smile, your poetic speech, your love for music, so many dreams shared by your humanity as a brave, bright, and dignified woman! Here, deep inside, beyond the pain, you’re still with us.”
“We mourn the departure of Dr Tibisay Lucena,” Interior Minister Remigio Ceballos published via Twitter. “A tireless warrior who provided immense contributions to the Venezuelan state and to the Venezuelan people, contributing to the life and peace of the homeland. Peace to her remains, and condolences to her family and friends.”
Me duele y lamento enormemente el fallecimiento de Tibisay Lucena, muy triste en lo personal. Confrontamos duro, pero las diferencias políticas siempre las administramos desde el respeto y el aprecio. Mujer de coraje y pasión. Un abrazo sincero a toda su familia. Adiós Tibisay. https://t.co/O85FYaMPUy
— Vicente Díaz (@VicenteDz) April 12, 2023
“With firmness and with grace, in that magical way of the Venezuelan woman, she made a name for herself in academia, music, and politics,” wrote Ernesto Villegas, minister for culture. “Her hands played the cello, made peace, and disarmed hatred. Now she stands as a beacon, among the greats. Salute to Tibisay Lucena!”
“The death of Tibisay Lucena hurts; I am extremely remorseful, and personally very sad,” former CNE president and opposition activist, Vicente Díaz, published on social media. “We fought hard, but our political differences were always managed with respect and appreciation. She was a woman of courage and passion. A sincere embrace to all your family. Goodbye, Tibisay.”
(Alba Ciudad) with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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