CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died from cancer, said vice-president Nicolas Maduro.
“We got the most terrible and tragic news that President Hugo Chavez died today (Tuesday) at 16.25” – said Maduro, who is considered a successor to Chavez, on state TV.
Since the beginning of December 2012 Chavez was in Cuba, where he underwent surgery for cancer. It was the fourth one in a row since mid-2011, when Venezuela’s leader was diagnosed with cancer. Last surgery led to complications. According to official report, Chavez has contacted pulmonary infection, which later led to respiratory failure.
In mid-February, Chavez was suddenly transported from Havana clinic in a military hospital in Caracas, where he continued treatment. Venezuelan authorities claimed that Chavez ran the country from his hospital room.