Fair
67°FFairFull Forecast

Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan leader, dies at 58

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez was a fighter. The former paratroop commander and fiery populist waged continual battle for his socialist ideals and outsmarted his rivals time and again, defeating a coup attempt, winning re-election three times and using his country’s vast oil wealth to his political advantage.

A self-described “subversive,” Chavez fashioned himself after the 19th Century independence leader Simon Bolivar and renamed his country the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

He called himself a “humble soldier” in a battle for socialism and against U.S. hegemony. He thrived on confrontation with Washington and his political opponents at home, and used those conflicts to rally his followers.

Almost the only adversary it seemed he couldn’t beat was cancer.

Chavez was a master communicator and savvy political strategist, and managed to turn his struggle against cancer into a rallying cry, until the illness finally defeated him.

He died Tuesday in Caracas at 4:25 local time after his prolonged illness.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Daily Chronicle.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch Now

Player embeded on all DDC instances for analytics purposes.

New Huskie Pup Line

More videos »

Reader Poll

Do you post photos of your children younger than 10 on social media?
Yes, without hesitation
Yes, with strict privacy restrictions
Yes, but I'll take them down later
No