How close was Leamsy Salazar to President Chávez? Well, why don’t we let the eternal commander himself answer that question, in this Aló, Presidente clip from just after the 2002 coup attempt:
“Salazar, which one are you in this picture?” asks Hugo Chávez, holding up a photo of a group of soldiers waving a flagon top of a building, apparently the Palacio Blanco that houses the Presidential Honor Guard, right across the street from Miraflores Palace.
“The one holding the flag,” answers a young and hesitant Leamsy Salazar.
“Aaah, the one holding the flag… Salazar Villafaña, a humble, great, marine.”
Then, after greeting some of his roof-mates, Chávez closes emphatically:
“¡Cumplieron con la patria! Siéntanse orgullosos, muchachos.”
Gotta love the internet.