Hugo Chavez has died after a long battle with cancer, initial reports have confirmed.
Hugo Chavez has been in steadily declining health, and the Venezuelan president was said to have been precipitously close to death in recent days.
Univision is reporting:
Maduro: “We’ve received the most tragic and hard information to deliver to our people: at 4:25pm
A recent post on The Inquisitr regarding Hugo Chavez’s health indicated that South America was bracing for his death, quoting Information Minister Ernesto Villegas in an official statement as confirming Chavez’s condition:
“Today there is a worsening of his respiratory function. Related to his depressed immune system, there is now a new, severe infection… The president has been receiving high-impact chemotherapy, along with other complementary treatments … his general condition continues to be very delicate.”
As Hugo Chavez dies, few outlets have yet to release any information aside from a confirmation that the leader has passed and a time of death.
Villegas said yesterday that Chavez was “standing by Christ and life, conscious of the difficulties he faces.” An American news report on the death of Hugo Chavez adds:
“Chavez had been battling cancer since at least 2011, when he announced his condition to the Venezuelan public. He most recently sought treatment in Cuba, but returned to Venezuela on Feb. 18… Several media reports indicated he was bed-ridden and feeding from a tracheal tube. He had not been publicly seen since December, but the Venezuelan government released a photo of him with his daughters in a Cuban hospital.”
Chavez has been widely quoted on Twitter as having said in 2012 of his worsening health:
“I can carry 100 crosses, your crown of thorns, but don’t take me yet.”
An initial New York Times report on the death of Chavez, obituary pending, the paper indicates that the Venezuelan leader’s death thrusts the nation into political uncertainty, saying:
His departure from a country he dominated for 14 years casts into doubt the future of his socialist revolution. It alters the political balance in Venezuela, the fourth-largest foreign oil supplier to the United States, and in Latin America, where Mr. Chávez led a group of nations intent on reducing American influence in the region.
Hugo Chavez was elected to a new six-year term on January 10 despite his severe illness, and the paper quotes Javier Corrales, professor of political science at Amherst. Corrales says that the death of Chavez means more than the loss of a singular person to his party, explaining:
“In regimes that are so person-based, the moment that the person on which everything hangs is removed, the entire foundation becomes very weak because there was nothing else supporting this other than this figure,.”
Hugo Chavez was 58.