Added by Gary Dunn on March 6, 2013
In a nationally televised announcement Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Maduro announced President Hugo Chavez died at 8:25 GMT/UTC on Tuesday.
In the televised statement Vice President Nicolás Maduro said, “Today, 5 of March after participating in the meeting of the council of ministers, we came here to the military hospital to follow the sequence of our Commandant President’s health. We were receiving information and we were accompanying his daughters, his brother, his family members when we received the hardest and the most tragic of news that we will ever transmit to our people. At 4:25 in the afternoon, today, 5th of March, Commandant President Hugo Chavez Frias died”
Just hours before the announcement Chavez was reported to be in “delicate condition”. Chavez died after a two-year long battle with an unspecified cancer first reported in June 2011. The Venezuelan government reported he underwent radiation treatment and chemotherapy following three earlier operations between June 2011 and February 2012. In December 11 2012 Chavez underwent cancer surgery in Cuba and was flown back to Caracas, Venezuela on February 18 2013. Mr. Chavez condition deteriorated following the final surgery as a result of complications that included a lung infection, bleeding, and difficulty breathing.
Mr. Chavez legacy includes a new constitution that established the right to public education, healthcare, housing and food, added protections for indigenous peoples, created new environmental protections, and increased government transparency.
The head of Congress, Diosdado Cabello, assumed the role of interim president and announced, in accordance with the constitution, a presidential election must be held within 30 days.
Chavez’ final Tweet, on February 18 2013 read:
“I still clung to Christ and trust in my doctors and nurses. Ever onward to victory! We will live and overcome!” (approximate translation provided by Google Translate)