Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has passed away at the age of 58 following a two-years-long fight against cancer and a severe respiratory infection. His untimely demise raises serious questions about the future of the oil-rich regional power.
The president of Venezuela died on Tuesday afternoon, Vice President Nicolas Maduro has announced. “It’s a moment of deep pain,” he said, accompanied by senior ministers.
The country’s military chiefs have appeared live on state television to pledge their loyalty to Vice President Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez had named as his preferred successor.
According to the country’s constitution, head of Venezuelan Parliament Diosdado Cabello assumes the interim presidency until the elections.