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Venezuela's populist president stood up to Washington and was one of the most influential Latin American leaders of the past century.

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In this July 24, 2000 file photo, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds Simon Bolivar's sword at an event celebrating the independence hero's 114th birthday in Caracas, Venezuela.

Andres Leighton/AP

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In this Nov. 19, 2005 file photo, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez wears a Mexican sombrero as he sings a Mexican ranchera song at a rally in Caracas, Venezuela.

Fernando Llano/AP

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez addresses the audience as he visits Peoples' Friendship University of Russia in Moscow September 9, 2009.

Denis Sinyakov / Reuters/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks in support of the Palestinian people during a meeting of the Venezuelan Communist Party (PSUV), in Caracas January 7, 2009.

REUTERS

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In this July 15, 2001 file photo, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, center, his wife Marisabel with their daughter Rosa Ines watch a parade on Children's Day in Caracas.

Ivan Gonzalez/AP

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds a new Russian Kalashnikov assault rifle next to Defense Minister Orlando Maniglia during an special ceremony at the current Expo Ejercito (Expo Army) 2006 exhibition in Caracas in this June 14, 2006 file photo.

HANDOUT/REUTERS

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Cuban President Fidel Castro, left, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wave to a crowd while touring Canaima National Park in eastern Venezuela in a canoe in this Aug. 12, 2001 file photo.

EGILDA GOMEZ/AP

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez addresses the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations at United Nations headquarters in New York, September 20, 2006.

RAY STUBBLEBINE/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez runs between second and third base during a friendly softball game, between teams comprising Venezuelan MLB players, retired veterans and government staff, in Caracas in this February 11, 2010 file photo.

JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez shows the pistols of independence hero Simon Bolivar during a ceremony to mark the his birthday in Caracas in this July 24, 2012 file photo.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, during an official welcoming ceremony for Chavez in Tehran, Nov. 19, 2007.

VAHID SALEMI/AP

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