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Hugo Chavez, influential leader with mixed record, dies at 58

Posted by Ethio Tribune on March 6, 2013

By CNN

President Chavez greets supporters with his then-wife, Marisabel Rodriguez de Chavez, beside him as he arrives to preside over a parade in his honor on February 4, 1999, in Caracas. Chavez was sworn in as president on February 2.

Caracas, Venezuela (CNN)Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Chavez, who had battled cancer, was 58.

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’s life were marked by an uncharacteristic silence as his health worsened. 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….click here to read for more

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