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March 05. 2013 5:02PM

Venezuelan President Chavez dies of cancer

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader's 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech.
 
The flamboyant 58-year-old leader had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on Dec. 11 and he had not been seen in public since.
 
"It's a moment of deep pain," Maduro, accompanied by senior ministers, said, his voice choking.
 

Chavez easily won a new 6-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.
 
Detractors, however, saw his one-man style, gleeful nationalizations and often harsh treatment of opponents as evidence of an egotistical dictator whose misplaced statist economics wasted a historic bonanza of oil revenues.
Chavez's death paves the way for a new election that will test whether his socialist "revolution" can live on without his dominant personality at the helm.


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  • In the 1970’s there were a couple hundred SWAT raids annually in the U.S., that number now tops 50,000. To what do you attribute the spike?
  • More violent crime
  • 22%
  • Erosion of civil liberties
  • 12%
  • Militarization
  • 31%
  • Overtime pay
  • 6%
  • Police safety
  • 7%
  • War on Drugs
  • 19%
  • Other
  • 4%
  • Total Votes: 181

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