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Ear to the Ground

Hugo Chavez Dead

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Posted on Mar 5, 2013
AP/Shiho Fukada, File

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 58. News of the socialist leader’s death was announced by Vice President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday afternoon.

CNN:

Once a foiled coup-plotter, the swashbuckling former paratrooper was known for lengthy speeches on everything from the evils of capitalism to the proper way to conserve water while showering. He was the first of a wave of leftist presidents to come to power in Latin America in the last dozen years.

Chavez leaves a revolutionary legacy

As the most vocal U.S. adversary in the region, he influenced other leaders to take a similar stance.

But the last months of Chavez’ life were marked by an uncharacteristic silence as his health condition became “complicated,” in the words of his government. Chavez underwent a fourth surgery on December 11 in Cuba, and was not publicly seen again. A handful of pictures released in February were the last images the public had of their president.

Chavez’s ministers stubbornly maintained a hopeful message throughout the final weeks, even while admitting that the recently re-elected president was weakened while battling a respiratory infection.

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