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Hugo Chavez Dies at 58
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday at the age of 58 after his battle with cancer. The announcement was made by Vice President Nicolas Maduro on national television. He said that Chavez died around 4:25 p.m. local time.
Chavez was in office for over 14 years and underwent surgery in June of 2011 to remove a baseball-sized tumor from his pelvic area. The cancer came back multiple times over the next 18 months despite radiation, chemotherapy, and more surgeries.
In December, just two months after being re-elected, he returned to Cuba for another surgery. This was the last time he was seen in public.
He was born on July 28, 1954 in Sabaneta as Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias. He came into public view in 1991 as a paratroop commander who led a rebellion that saw tanks approach the presidential palace. He was released from prison in 1994 and President Rafael Caldera dropped the charges against him.
He was first elected to the presidency in 1998 at the age of 44. He won with 56 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 2000 during an election called by a new constitution that was created by his allies.
“I’m still a subversive,” Chavez said in a 2007 interview with The Associated Press. “I think the entire world has to be subverted.”