Venezuela begins seven days of mourning after death of Hugo Chávez

  • Chavez Funeral to Be Held on Friday
  • Chavez coffin taken through streets
  • Hundred of thousands gather round coffin
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was the President of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013. Citizens of Venezuela said he was more than a president, he was a generous man, he understood what it meant to be poor. And he also made the country a place where everybody could live.
Mr Chavez, a controversial figure and staunch critic of the US, was seriously ill with cancer for more than a year.

He died aged 58 on Tuesday after 14 years as president.

A self-proclaimed revolutionary, he inspired a left-wing revival across Latin America.
Latin American leaders are in Caracas to pay their respects - among them President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Jose Mujica of Uruguay and Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Cuba and the Caribbean island of Dominica have declared periods of official mourning.

Another Chavez ally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also announced a day of mourning, describing him as a "martyr".
The streets were filled with thousands of people who came out to pay their last respect to their leader who changed the life of the nation.

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