Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Dead At 58
SAN FRANCISCO, March 05, (THEWILL) – Venezuelan President, Mr. Hugo Chavez, 58, the socialist leader and sworn enemy of the United States, has died from cancer, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced Tuesday.
Update from Reuters
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader's 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech.
The flamboyant 58-year-old leader had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on December 11 and he had not been seen in public since.
"It's a moment of deep pain," Maduro, accompanied by senior ministers, said, his voice choking.
Chavez easily won a new 6-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.
Detractors, however, saw his one-man style, gleeful nationalizations and often harsh treatment of opponents as evidence of an egotistical dictator whose misplaced statist economics wasted a historic bonanza of oil revenues.
Chavez's death paves the way for a new election that will test whether his socialist "revolution" can live on without his dominant personality at the helm.