In apparent reaction to Colombian President Juan Santos’ award of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced that he is establishing the Hugo Chavez Peace and People’s Sovereignty Prize. The award is named in honor of the “lifelong efforts for peace” by the former Venezuelan president who died in 2013, Maduro says.
Although a panel of judges for the new award has yet to be formed, Maduro already has the first year’s winner in mind. It’s Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Maduro’s announcement of the new peace prize was made Friday at the unveiling of a statue of Chavez in his hometown of Sabaneta. The statue, by Russian sculptor Sergey Kazantzev was ordered by Putin and paid for by Russia.
“It seems appropriate that President Putin should receive the first award and that is my suggestion,” Maduro said. “Like Hugo Chavez, he has spent his life fighting for peace and for a fair balance of power in the world.”