Venezuela's Hugo Chavez slid into a coma the day before he died of respiratory failure after cancer spread into his lungs, sources say.
Venezuelan Acting President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that the body of late president Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and displayed so that "people can see forever."
Chavez was born on July 28, 1954, in Venezuela's Barinas state, and graduated from the country's military academy in 1975 with a master's degree in military sciences. He also studied politics at Simon Bolivar University from 1989 to 1990.
In February 1992, as a paratrooper, Chavez led a failed coup against then President Carlos Andres Perez and was jailed until 1994.
Nevertheless, in December 1998, Chavez won the presidency with 56 percent of votes after campaigning for reform, constitutional changes and a crackdown on corruption.
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Venezuela's government Friday released the first images of ailing President Hugo Chavez since he underwent cancer surgery in Cuba two months ago, showing him propped up in bed flanked by his two eldest daughters, reading a copy of the Cuban daily.
After Hugo Chavez spent two months out of the public eye for cancer surgery in Cuba, the Venezuelan government hailed his homecoming on Monday and said the president had achieved another milestone - 4 million followers on Twitter.He took to Twitter with a passion back in April 2010.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived home Wednesday after his latest round of cancer treatment in Havana, Cuba. "I am still in recovery, and fortunately there hasn't been any adverse reaction to the treatment," he said as he stepped off the presidential plane.
Russian President sent a letter of support to Venezuela's ailing President Hugo Chavez, describing him as a "true fighter." "Throughout the many years of our friendship, you have convinced me more than once that you are a true fighter, a brave man, a man of strong will," Putin wrote.