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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of the most prominent & controversial leaders in Latin America… has died at age 58 following a nearly two-year bout with cancer.
Serving more than 14 years in office, Chavez had just been elected in October to a third six-year term. He often referred to his goal of 21st-century socialism as a winning model for Venezuela.
Throughout his presidency, Venezuela’s economy was plagued by blackouts, food shortages and a lack of investment. Government intervention from price controls to the seizures of land and companies, hindered private enterprise causing havoc to the economy. Soaring inflation and a homicide rate among the highest in the world.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro will be interim president in the wake of Hugo Chavez’s death and run as the governing party candidate in elections that according to the Venezuelan Constitution – must be called within 30 days.
In a very odd twist, Maduro ordered the expulsion of U.S. military attaché David del Monaco, whom he charged with advancing “destabilizing projects” within the ranks of the Venezuelan military. “We have not a single doubt and at the proper moment we will convene a medical board to confirm that Chavez was attacked,” stated Maduro.
Now, it will be up to Venezuelans to determine the future… a future without the bombastic Chavez!
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