Chavez loses cancer battle, dies age 58

| 05/03/2013

chavez.jpg(CNS): Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has died at the age of 58. Chavez had been seriously ill with cancer for more than a year, undergoing several operations in Cuba, but returned home to Venezuela last month. Nicolas Maduro, his vice president, made the announcement on Tuesday, flanked by political and military leaders. The Venezuelan leader had suffered a severe respiratory infection just before his death, officials in the country stated. In the wake of the president’s death Maduro also announced that the government had expelled two US diplomats from the country for spying on Venezuela's military.

In an emotional television address Tuesday evening, Maduro relayed the “tragic information that … Comandante President Hugo Chavez died today at 4:25 pm." He spoke of a plot against Venezuela, suggesting that Chavez' cancer, first diagnosed in 2011, was a result of foul play by Venezuela's enemies. The US rejected the accusations as "absurd" but Madura insisted that a scientific commission could one day investigate whether Chavez' illness was brought about by an enemy attack.

Struggling to hold back tears, Maduro called on the nation to close ranks after their leader's demise. He said the government had deployed the armed forces and police nationwide "to accompany and protect our people and guarantee the peace".

A statement by the military said it would protect the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. It would remain loyal to the vice-president and to parliament, it added, urging people to remain calm.

Under the constitution, the head of Venezuela's Congress, Diosdado Cabello, will assume the interim presidency before an election is held.

Analysts say Chavez' death could alter the political balance in Latin America, dealing a blow to leftist states while favouring more centrist countries. There could also be an economic impact, given that Venezuela sells oil at below market prices to some neighbouring countries, especially in the Caribbean.

One of the most visible, vocal and controversial leaders in Latin America, Hugo Chavez won the presidency in 1998 and had most recently won another six-year presidential term in October 2012.

Chavez was renowned for his flamboyant public speaking style, which he has put to use in his weekly live TV programme, Alo Presidente (Hello President), in which he talked about his political ideas, interviewed guests and sang and danced.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that this story re-visits the assassination theory but other reports are suggesting that the cause of death was actually reaction to the aggressive chemotherapy employed by doctors in Cuba during recent months in a desperate (futile?) effort to keep Chavez alive. Whatever, he may have transformed the lives of poorer Venezuelans but he also squandered billions on the military. His air force fly state of the art Sukhoi fighters (and was negotiating a further purchase) yet his hospitals couldn't provide the cancer treatment he needed – doesn't that tell you something?

    • Whodatis says:

      While I see the point you are trying to make, you appear to ignore the reality of the world today.

      The pressures of the western ("democratic") world on any leader / entity / country that refuses to bow down to their demands and expectations dictates the need for a strong and well armed defence system.

      President Hugo Chavez clearly realized this and wisely kept defence as a high priority.

      That being said, I wonder what are your views regarding the UK and Germany having just secured mega billion dollar deals with India to supply that country with state-of-the-art military aircraft and weaponry – even as half of its billion plus population remains in abject poverty? (Not to mention the worrying claims and evidence of mass corruption surrounding the aforementioned deals, no less.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    R.I.P Mr.President


  3. Caymanian to the bone says:

    What a great leader and dictator. Venezuela shows another world is possible based on democracy and social progress at the same time in face of capitalistic opposition by greedy vultures. He was a man for the people and by the people. Hugo Chavez is an inspiration to us all.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure most here and CNS are hearthbroken over this news,

  5. Observer. says:

    If you should see the posts on certain American news sites. I am American and it just confirms why the world sees problems our way of governance. The Venezuelan people democratically elected Pres Chavez. It was their choice to elect him; those elections were fair as confirmed by International Monitors. Its wrong to frame this as a "lefty" or "righty" debate. In other words, Americans should not try pigeon hole every other country's choices into its own vision of "left" and "right." More than half the population in Venezuela repeatedly re-elected the guy, regardless of what the opposition said or did. And, why? He actually did what Mitt Romney said. He gave things for "free." Gas in Venezuela was less than $1. Food was heavily subsidized. He reduced poverty drastically. In any event, if the rich people that want wealth accumulation that attack American "left" policies are "truly conservative" than they would appreciate not to stick their nose in other countries' business. They would be more innovative instead of trying to buy out politicians in Washington. President Chavez was the Venezuelan peoples' choice (and I dont mean the Venezuelans in Florida), I mean more than half the Venezuelan population in Venezuela that repeatedly voted for him. His method of governing worked for them. Now, respect it and move along. Not every country in the world has to copy the American model of "left" and "right" (two party system), accomplish nothing because of partisan gridlock to qualify as a "democracy." It is not a democracy! American principles of democracy is more like an oligarchy, a system governed by wealthy elite individuals that would want more than anything the virgin beaches in Cuba and to take away the natural resources from people who live other than on American soil. The UK is guilty of this too. Chavez was a man who fought against global corporatism. He had to pose himself as a dictator in order to do it. He was not a perfect guy. He would fight back at you if you fought against him. My respects for the good he brought to the South American people.  

    • Anonymous says:

      “The Venezuelan people democratically elected Pres Chaves. ” Yes. The Caymanian people democratically elected Prem Bush. It only means the process was legitimate, not the man.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Caymanian people did not elect McKeeva as premier. He was elected as an MLA by the WB people and voted in as premier by his party. 

    • Whodatis says:

      Knocked it outta the ballpark with that one … excellent post!

      Personal favorite: "He had to pose himself as a dictator in order to do it."


      Most westerners fail (or refuse) to understand the dynamics of the situation at the time leading up to and when he rose to power.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, don't blame us gringos. Chavez just needed an "enemy" to keep people from noticing that their economy has gone down the drain.

  6. Anonymous5 says:

    @Anonymous 8:25 – You mean an elite democracy. This is what Castro has been talking about. Over 700 U.S. military bases in other countries not their own, and large corporations wanting to get their hands on the natural resources of South America. Democracy is used as a red herring for these U.S. Capitalists to disenfranchise those on the low end of the scale.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The have oil and Chaves is dead; I'm sure that means the US will go and try to implement democracy there now too.

    • The Pastafarian says:

      Not just yet.  They're still trying to get Africa and the middle east "Democracised".   It's not easy to get a puppet in every country!

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a great hero to all those in the world oppressed by American corporate imperialism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Give me a break. You are free to go live in Cuba if you admire Chavez and his ambitions.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Every despot dictator has their day and their end in this world as they move on to be judged by a higher power for the crimes and sins they have committed on humanity and their own people. Finally Venezuela
    Is now free from the darkest period in their history. The country has regressed significantly under his rule from where they were as quite a progressive and vibrant economy. Bullies all have their day, take note Mr. Bush for your day is fast approaching as you will be judged by your own people first.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must be talking about G.W.Bush!

    • baffled by CNS comments everyday says:

      I cannot beleive that you are comparing these two people…this only shows your ignorance and on top of that your comparing a man dying from cancer to our former preimier…what is wrong with you….I dont like Big Mac all the same but wake up there is more to this world than our island…things like this cannt be compared!

    • anonymous says:

      I would think "the darkest period in their history" was 1522 when the Spanish arrived, stole their  land, and proceded to wipe out an estimated million people.

  10. Whodatis says:

    A controversial but inspiring character.

    Yes, he was loathed by many, however, he must be respected for the convictions and accomplishments of his life.

    Those that are quick to criticize him have clearly been led astray by the western world and its media and fail to understand how everything in this world is relative to every individual therein.

    Not a perfect man by any means, but definitely a world leader that I would admire and respect before Blair or Bush on any given day.

    Never afraid to speak his mind, call a spade a spade and take the international community to task regarding its gross hypocrisies. The world could do with a few more "real men" like him – instead we are stuck with the manufactured, never-did-a-real-days-work, public schoolboy puppets of the day.

    RIP President Hugo Chavez.


    • Iddie Ezard says:

      Chavez was a total tool. And so are Bush (GW/WM take your pick) and Blair.

      But I'll say this. You MyDearDat are THE BEST troll on CNS!


    • Anonymous says:

      easy to say that when you benefit from the democarcies and freedoms that the blairs/bushs of the world provide for you…..

      • Adult fiction says:

        You gotta be kidding.  You are kidding aren't you?  Blairs and Bushes??  War-mongers and capitalist puppets is what they were. If there is democracy left it is in spite of them.

    • Jimip says:

      I would say that it is you that has been led atray and influenced by idealism. As someone with first hand experience of what this man did to my country I can tell you that he did more bad than good, the bad will take decades to reverse. Please try not to preach about something you know nothing about. Unless you have been there on the gorund you have absolutley no right to comment. 

      • Anonymous says:

        This guy has to give us am opinion on just about everything, always in the same preaching, parochial, ill-informed way of the true tw*t.

      • Whodatis says:

        Unfortunately for you, your individual opinion is trumped by the millions of Venezuelans that democratically elected President Hugo Chavez to his position … on more than one occasion.

        However, somehow some of us tend to disregard those tiny little details of his legacy … as will be evidenced by the thumbs ratio to this very comment.


        • Anonymous says:

          Anything to do with fridges and freebies…?

        • Whodatis says:


          Now they're trolling me to thy kingdom come.


          Gotta love this parallel universe that is the CNS forum.

    • Adult fiction says:

      I know what you're speaking of Whodatis unfortunately there are many who blindly follow the U.S. propaganda machine known as it's media.  The information about Hugo Chavez has been expertly filtered to give an impression of a despotic president.  Sadly while all this was taking place, the people of the United States had for a president an undereducated and illiterate frat boy.  And…after a questionable election…brought them such niceities as… 9/11, Homeland Security, The Patriot Act, wiretapping of citizens, torture, a fraudulent war, banksters and as final insult… the looting of the treasury.  But it was much easier for corporate media to point the finger elsewhere at what they described as the  "despotic ruler" of Venezuela. The same despot who supplied heating oil to poor Americans during one of the worst winters in history.


      I judge people by their actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      While everyone is entitled to their own opinion – some are best kept to oneself.

      Whodatdummy, you are a total idiot  – "real men" –  I'm shaking my  head in utter disbelief.


    • Anonymous says:

      Only Whodatis would use Chavez’s death to take a cheap shot at the UK. Unbelievable.

      • Charles Brown says:

        A cheap shot at the UK?  It appeared to be a shot at Mr. Blair.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Public schoolboy puppets”- sounds like UK govt. in general to me.

          • Whodatis says:


            Yes, it does, doesn't it?

            Therefore, may God have mercy on that poor country …


  11. Anonymous says:

    Not as reviled in the world as the U.S. media would have you believe. Check it out before you follow the U.S. propaganda. And I'm a conservative!

    • Voter in GT says:

      I do not condone oppression and have heard of freedom violations, but will agree that the USA propoganda machine should not be the sole source of news.  Always investigate BOTH sides of a story and THEN decide for yourself.

      I DO have to ask, if many Caribbean neighbors are receiving low priced oil, why aren't we? You don't have to sell your soul to take bread from your bother?  Did Mac Bush not bother since it would kill his cronies that are soaking us at the petrol stations and his tax on fuel to fill hos pockets?  For fifty years, it has all been about the oil.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who says we AREN'T and they are just jacking up the prices even more to inflate their profits?? 

  12. Harrow says:

    Don't Rejoice over a man's death because we don't know when our number will call. We in Cayman are no better than people in other countries. God will call everyone of us in His time

  13. St Peter says:

    I let this one through the gates just to annoy Lucifer…

    I'm waiting to see whether becoming a baby father will help the one from North Korea, but I already promised Lucifer than he can have the one from Iran…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Been to Venezuela many times and other than the poor who he maintained on welfare and subsidies, the rest REAL Venezuelans are all breathing a sigh of relief.. even the toughest STAIN gets rubbed out eventually.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yes they all can control man but not GOD

    • Slowpoke says:

      There is a GOD and nobody told me?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, it can be hard to control a fictional anthropological construct.

      • Anonymous says:

        Why is it that everytime someone mentions God, people like you get all defensive?  We live in a free country with freedom of speech.  You seem very adamant to not want to believe however, one day you will believe and then it will be too late.  Think first, true science has always concluded that their must be a supreme being (God) out there.  He is only fictional to you because you choose to see Him that way.   

        • Anonymous says:

          I was not getting defensive.  There simply is no evidence to support the existnece of a theistic deity and lots of anthropological evidence that "god" is just a functional toolto acheive social ends. 

          • Anonymous says:

            There is plenty of evidence in supernatural phenomena.

            People like you latch on to atheism because you think it makes you sound smart (look I'm with the smart guys, so I must be smart!), but then you write such nonsense that it reveals that you aren't really.    

            • Anonymous says:

              In fact belief in God is inversely proportional to the level of education achieved.  That statistic says a lot. 

        • Anonymous says:

          "True science"?  Yes, in the 16th century. 

        • The Pastafarian says:

          The idea of a supreme being is quite widespread.  For myself, being a pastafarian is the answer.  If you are not familiar with Pastafarianism, check Wikipedia.

        • Diogenes says:

          Outright statements without evidence are belief, not facts.  Just because you believe does not make it a fact, or mean you can decry the man that does not.  Embrace your belief and rejoice in it instead – belief / faith is meant to be a core part of religion, after all.  

      • Anonymous says:

        i can't understand why do we always wait until something tragically happen in our lives,  then we bow to our knees close our hands together and cry "OH GOD".   If you didn't believe in god then why call his name? i guess then that means he'sreal but people won't acknowledge it.