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Venezuela's populist president, who attempted a coup in 1992, won the presidency in 1998 and held power through several subsequent elections. He was a vocal critic of neoliberalism and U.S. foreign policy.

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Hugo Chavez waves to supporters while climbing into his vehicle after voting in a school on the outskirts of Caracas, December 6, 1998.

RIckey Rogers/REUTERS

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Honduras' President Manuel Zelaya poses with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro (L) and Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez (R) during the Central American integration meeting in Managua June 29, 2009. Honduras came under pressure on Monday to reinstate ousted President Zelaya as many Latin American leaders agreed to withdraw envoys, Washington called his overthrow illegal and street protests turned violent.

HO

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Castro shares a moment with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez in Havana Jan. 29, 2007.

HO/HO/REUTERS

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British supermodel Naomi Campbell arrives at an event with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas.

Jorge Silva/Reuters/Jorge Silva/Reuters

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A file photo shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez with U.S. actor and director Sean Penn in Cumana, 400 kilometres east of Caracas, Oct. 19, 2008.

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People walk a mural depicting Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez past in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. The ailing president's health crisis has raised contentious questions ahead of the swearing-in set for Jan. 10, including whether the inauguration could legally be postponed. Officials have raised the possibility that Chavez might not be well enough to take the oath of office, without saying what will happen if he can't. The constitution says that if a president or president-elect dies or is declared unable to continue in office, presidential powers should be held temporarily by the president of the National Assembly and that a new presidential vote should be held within 30 days.

Ariana Cubillos/AP

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) meets his Cuban counterpart Fidel Castro in Havana August 13, 2006.

HO/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez hugs his daughters Rosa, left, and Maria while appearing to supporters on a balcony of Miraflores Palace soon after his return to the country from Cuba, where he underwent surgery and treatment for cancer, in Caracas July 4, 2011.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez waves to supporters in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Sept. 1, 2006, where thousands of supporters gave Chavez a hero's welcome home from his international tour.

LESLIE MAZOCH/AP

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez waves the national flag while celebrating from a balcony at Miraflores Palace in Caracas October 7, 2012.

JORGE SILVA/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gestures as he arrives to cast his vote for the presidential elections in Caracas October 7, 2012.

JORGE SILVA/Reuters

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his daughter Rosa Virginia are welcomed by Cuban First Vice-President of the Council of State Jose Machado Ventura at Havana's airport, April 15, 2012.

HOLGER BENNEWITZ/REUTERS

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez sings during an election rally in the low income neighborhood of Petare in Caracas, July 28, 2012.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins/REUTERS

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The leader of the Bolivarian Revolutionary Movement 200 (MBR200), army officer Hugo Chavez, talks to reporters in Caracas Feb. 4, 1992.

Ali Gomez/AP

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks next to Vice President Nicolas Maduro during a national broadcast at Miraflores Palace in Caracas December 8, 2012.

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