CARACAS–Venezuela–A monument commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide was unveiled during a solemn ceremony Sunday in one of the main squares in Caracas. The monument is a replica of the Dzidzernagabert monument in Armenia.
The ceremony began with the blessing of the monument by Venezuela Prelate Bishop Gomidas Ohanian. Also attending the ceremony was Caracas mayor Leopoldo Lopez–clergy from neighboring Venezuela parishes–representatives of community organizations and hundreds of Venezuela-Armenia’s who had weathered the rain to attend this important gathering.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Nov. 3–2000 during the pontifical visit of His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. While in Venezuela the pontiff met with high-level government officials and discussed the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
In his remarks–Prelate Ohanian–in Spanish–praised the memorial monument–emphasizing the importance of this memorial in the pursuit of international recognition for the Genocide.
Venezuela community leader Hagop Chorbajian read the message from Aram I–who praised the Venezual-Armenian community for realizing the erection of a monument. Also speaking at the event were the director of Banco Venezuelia Michel Goginian and Margo Dzaghigian–who is the daughter of a founding member of the Venezuela-Armenian community the late Stepan Dzaghigian.
In his remarks–mayor Lopez said that the monument also represented innocent victims of all crimes against humanity.
Following the official portion of the ceremony–the crowd began a march toward the monument–placing red and white carnations at the foot of the memorial.