Venezuela's embassy in Dominica joined the rest of their country and Venezuelans all over the world in observing the 3rd anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez Frias on Saturday last week.

Embassy officials were joined by diplomates from Cuba, China, Dominica and other countries in a brief wreath-laying ceremony at the Simon Bolivar Square at Goodwill.

In a short speech there Edixo Chourio, the counsellor of the Venezuelan Embassy, said Chavez had tremendous influence on the social and economic landscape of Venezuela and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Chavez died of cancer on 5 March 2013 at the age of 55.

He first became president of Venezuela in 1998; he was re-elected in 2000, 2006 and 2012; Chavez was unable to take the oath of office for a 4th term after the 2012 election due to illness.

Nicolas Maduro, his vice president, was then elected president and continued Chavez's policies as the country struggled mainly due to the sharp drop in the price of oil.

One of Chavez's most important regional achievements was defeating the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA); a continental agreement that would have created a free-trade zone between the United States and Latin America.

From the moment he was elected, President Chavez began forging relations with all the countries of Latin America in honour of independence leader Simon Bolivar's dream of regional unity. Chavez found reliable friends and allies in Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Argentine President Nestor Kirchner.

Eastern Caribbean countries led by Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit joined the ALBA group of nations and benefited from oil on concessionary terms through the PetroCaribe agreement.

Supporters contend that Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution has improved Venezuela's economic performance, enriched lives through public services, increased social investment that has led to huge improvements in education, health and the reduction of poverty.

But his critics have accused Chavez of being "dictatorial" and of championing the poor at the expense of Venezuela's middle class, the BBC said in a recent report.

Critics add that President Maduro's policies have ruined the economy of the oil-rich country by alienating foreign investors.

In recent months tens of thousands of people have taken part in marches demanding that more be done to curb insecurity and improve the economy.

Venezuela has one of the world's highest murder rates and official figures published in December put inflation at 56.2%, the BBC said.