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Cancer Claims Hugo Chavez
By Harold Hutchison

Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez passed away earlier today after a lengthy struggle with cancer. Chavez, who won election in 1998 despite his involvement in a failed 1992 coup, had been concentrating power over his reign.

Chavez was an army officer prior to entering politics. He cultivated close ties with a number of regimes hostile to the United States, including Cuba and Iran, and had also assembled a bloc of allies in the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas, including Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

The Venezuelan dictator’s death creates an uncertain future for the country. For now, power devolves to Vice President Nicolas Maduro.