HOUSTON (CBS Houston) President Hugo Chavez, a world leader known for his brusk government policies and who also declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro said that Chavez died “after battling a tough illness for nearly two years.”
The death of Chavez now puts into motion a presidential election to replace Chavez; his illness prevented him from taking the oath of office for the term to which he was re-elected last year. Under Venezuela’s constitution, the head of Congress, Diosdado Cabello, would assume the interim presidency.
Chavez was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007; he went on later to become the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Chávez who once declared that his governing policies were anti-imperialist, was an advocate of neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. Chávez was also seen as a prominent adversary of the United States’ foreign policy.
Supporters of Chavez the 58-year-old president of Venezuela, prayed for him this week after learning that his condition was “delicate”.
Chavez had neither been seen nor heard from, with the exception of photographs released in February, since undergoing a fourth round of surgery in Cuba back in December for cancer.
Chavez ran Venezuela for more than 14 years.
Venezuela, officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is located on the northern coast of South America.