Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the charismatic socialist whose Bolivarian Revolution reduced poverty and galvanized anti-American sentiment across Latin America but left his nation deeply polarized and ever more dependent on oil dollars, died today in Caracas after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. He was 58.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the passing on national television, saying that Chavez had died at 4:25 p.m.
His death followed repeated treatments for pelvic cancer in Cuba, the country of his idol Fidel Castro, where his condition was first diagnosed in June 2011.
Chavez returned home from Cuba on Feb. 18 following his most recent surgery and remained out of sight at a military hospital in Caracas. Though he had been scheduled to be sworn in for a fourth term on Jan. 10, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled he did not need to take the oath of office to remain president, a decision questioned by legal scholars.