This evening, vice-president Nicolás Maduro announced the death of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías.
President Chávez had been suffering from cancer since 2010 and had undergone various treatments on the island of Cuba on at least 4 occasions. After winning the elections on October 7th 2012, which secured his mandate from 2013 to 2019, he announced in December that he had to return to Cuba for another operation. More than 80 days later, during which he did not appear in front of the cameras, his health worsened as a result of respiratory complications and the advance of the cancer.
Twitter users reacted immediately to Maduro's announcement.
@marujatarre [es] writes:
@marujatarre: Muere el hombre y comienza la leyenda, eso es inevitable.
@marujatarre: The man dies and the legend begins, that is inevitable.
Mardi (@mardicienta) [es] displays gratitude towards Chávez:
@mardicienta: No me alcanzará la vida para agradecerte lo que hiciste por nosotros, mi comanche. Tu siembra florece eternament en esta Revolución de amor!
@mardicienta: I will never be able to thank you enough for all that you did for us, my comrade. Your seed flowers eternally in this Revolution of love!
While @LaDivinaDiva [es] declares:
@LaDivinaDiva: y ojala todos entendamos q son timepos de bajarle 2 a confrotaciones innecesarias y tratemos de resolver en paz y armonia las diferencias
@LaDivinaDiva: and let's hope that we all understand that this is a time to forget unnecessary confrontations and that we try to resolve our differences in peace and harmony
Hugo Chávez governed Venezuela from 1999 until 2013. He won 4 presidential elections and developed a new Constitution. His method of governance was known around the world for its anti-imperialist ideology which was critical of the United States, although his country continued to be a supplier of oil to the US.
He also drove various proposals for regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean. At home, he dedicated a considerable part of his public policy to favour the country's poorest classes through social investment funded by the money brought by high oil prices during his years of government.
In Venezuela discussion of the political polarisation which has divided Venezuelans between pro- and anti-Chavez for all these years is inevitable, making it more complex to understand many of the things which happen due to the constant presence of two competing perspectives. Despite this, the President's death is a time of national mourning.