Hugo Chávez dies in Caracas

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, died this afternoon in Caracas of respiratory complications caused by the cancer treatment he had been receiving for the past year and a half. He underwent surgery in Cuba on December 11th and never fully recovered from complications that resulted.

Chávez did not live long enough to be sworn in for his third term as President, which would have expanded his socialist regime over two decades.

Venezuela’s Vice-President, Nicolás Maduro, addressed the country accompanied by Information and Communications Minister, Ernesto Villegas. “He has passed…after a difficult fight against disease for almost two years,” Maduro said with a cracking voice and a tear-streaked face.

Up until now, Venezuelans had only received vague and incomplete reports on the disease that eventually took the President’s life and his supposed recovery; over the course of the past year and a half, Chávez underwent four surgeries in Cuba, the specific type of cancer he was suffering from has never been revealed.

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