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  1. Venezuela Main Page
  2. The Hugo Chavez Era Begins
  3. Chavez Survives Referendum, Consolidates Power
  4. New Referendum Fails but Chavez is Undeterred
  5. New Challenges for Chavez at Home and Abroad
  6. Chavez Experiences Electoral Setback and Battles Health Issues
  7. Major League Baseball Player Kidnapped
  8. An End to the Monroe Doctrine?
  9. Chavez Wins 2012 Presidential Election
  10. Chavez Still Battling Cancer in Late 2012
  11. Chavez's New Term Begins Without Him
  12. Chavez Dies After a Long Battle with Cancer
  13. Special Election Held to Replace Chavez
  14. Protests Turn Violent in 2014
Chavez Dies After a Long Battle with Cancer

On Feb. 18, 2013, President Chavez returned to Venezuela after being in Cuba for more than two months recovering from surgery for cancer. It's unclear if Chavez's return was to confront the suspicion of the opposition and lead the country while continuing his recovery or if he wanted to be present to help Vice President Nicolás Maduro's transition to power. Chavez announced his arrival on Twitter, "We have returned to the Venezuelan fatherland. Thank you, my God! Thank you, my beloved people! We will continue the treatment here."

After 14 years at the helm of Venezuela, Chavez succumbed to cancer on March 5, 2013. Elections must be held within 30 days. Maduro will serve as interim president and will run in the election, likely against Henrique Capriles Radonski, who lost to Chavez in October's election. Throughout his presidency, Chavez, a polarizing populist and rabidly anti-American, bitterly divided the country. He was beloved by the country's poor, seeing him as their staunchest advocate, but his opponents saw him as anti-business and said he harbored an unquenched thirst for power.

Maduro was sworn in as interim president in March 2013. Minister of Science and Technology Jorge Arreaza would serve as vice president. Arreaza married Hugo Chavez's eldest daughter, Rosa, in 2007.

Next: Special Election Held to Replace Chavez
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