Hugo Chavez, recently reelected president of Venezuela and the political figure charged with leading a leftist revival in Latin America, died Tuesday after a long bout with cancer.
As the leader of the Bolivarian revolution, his plan to turn Venezuela into a socialist state, he empowered millions of the poorest Venezuelans with a legacy of increased literacy and healthcare. They were also in large part responsible for the two elections Chavez won in his more than 14 years in power. The last election in particular was called “a model of democracy” by observers.
Chavez also survived a coup attempt in 2002 that later investigations found had connections to the George W. Bush administration.
The last tweet from his account said: “I still cling to Christ and trust in my doctors and nurses. Ever onward to victory! We will live and overcome!”
Sigo aferrado a Cristo y confiado en mis médicos y enfermeras. Hasta la victoria siempre!! Viviremos y venceremos!!!
— Hugo Chávez Frías (@chavezcandanga) February 18, 2013
His death was announced by Vice President Nicolas Maduro in a national television broadcast. According to the Venezuelan constitution, Maduro will take power until a new election takes place, within 30 days of Chavez’s death, according to The New York Times.