Venezuela's Hugo Chavez dies from cancer

Published: March 6, 2013
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Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez react to the announcement of his death in Caracas. PHOTO: REUTERS

Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez react to the announcement of his death in Caracas. PHOTO: REUTERS

CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of tumultuous rule that made the socialist leader a hero for the poor but a hate figure to his opponents.

The flamboyant 58-year-old 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 Dec. 11 and he had not been seen in public since.

“We have just received the most tragic and awful information. At 20:55 GMT today March the 5th, President Hugo Chavez Frias died,” Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced in a televised address, his voice choking.

“It’s a moment of deep pain,” he said in the address, in which he appeared with senior ministers.

Chavez easily won a new six-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-US 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 traits of an egotistical dictator whose misplaced statist economics wasted a historic bonanza of oil revenues.

Chavez’s death opens the way for a new election that will test whether his socialist “revolution” can live on without his dominant personality at the helm.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • HKhan
    Mar 6, 2013 - 8:47AM

    such a tragedy, awful news
    RIP

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  • Max
    Mar 6, 2013 - 9:50AM

    In a world of minnows this guy stood out with his anti-status quo stance and refusal to give in to imperialist powers. RIP Mr. Chavez.

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  • afroze fatemah
    Mar 6, 2013 - 10:01AM

    great man !! he was the one who kicked the donor agencies out from his country .

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  • Shafaq
    Mar 6, 2013 - 10:04AM

    RIP. We Pakistani also need a leader like him.Recommend

  • Fawad
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:01PM

    The workers, poor of the world have lost an inspiring leader.
    RIP, Chavez.

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  • goggi
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:17PM

    A very sad Goodbye from a great and charismatic politician, who had the courage to fight with the Devil and make friends with his arch enemies!

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  • Ibex
    Mar 6, 2013 - 3:53PM

    Another comrade fall :(
    I have heard Venezuelan govt has accused US of poisoning Chavez which resulted in cancer!
    US is back with its cheap cold war tactics, earlier they tried to assassinate Che, than tried to take out Castro and north korean leader…
    I have even heard they took out Zia, after when he started showing them eyes and stopped complying with them.

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  • Arzoo
    Mar 6, 2013 - 4:52PM

    Viva La Revolucion. A Great Leader has passed away. Hugo Chavez became the heart-throb of the Venezuelan poor and the dispossessed. As everything mortal, he had to die one day, but he died after giving dignity, pride, and honor to his people by standing up against hegemony, arrogance, and those who loot resources from the poor to benefit the rich. Hugo’s death resonates in Pakistan because Pakistani people are also dispossessed, victims of insecurity and terrorism by the forces of evil. You can also see those “Leaders” around in Pakistan with a grin on their faces while they only give submission, meekness, and ignominy to the nation. And those “leaders” also bring us shame who are proceeding to “religious pilgrimage” to other nations while Abbas Town tragedy is making even the sky weep.

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