Wednesday, March 6 2013 1:32 AM EST2013-03-06 06:32:16 GMT
The reaction to longtime Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's death in the mainstream media has been measured. More >>
The reaction to longtime Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's death in the mainstream media has been measured. But on social media, the reaction to the death of a controversial political figure has been much more emotional, reflecting the polarization caused by the Venezuelan leader.More >>
(RNN) - The Venezuelan government has reported its president, Hugo Chavez, has died and will be laid to rest Friday.
Officials announced he died at 4:22 ET Tuesday. Chavez was recently hospitalized with a severe respiratory infection, according to his representative.
"Commander, wherever you are, thank you, a thousand thank you's, on behalf of this country you loved, you protected, and that you never let down, " said Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
The government has called for seven days of mourning for Chavez, and all schools are closed for the week.
The funeral is reportedly going to be a lavish affair attended by heads of state from allied countries.
No date or place were yet announced for Chavez's burial.
According to the Associated Press, elections will be called in the next 30 days, though it was not clear exactly when they will be held.
Maduro will run Venezuela as interim president until the elections, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua confirmed Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports that the Venezuelan constitution mandates that the speaker of the National Assembly should take control if a president cannot be sworn in.
However, those left in charge of the country during Chavez's illness haven't been following the letter of the law, a precedent that has human rights and free speech advocates concerned.
President Barack Obama issued a neutral statement soon after the death that hinted at a criticism of Chavez's controversial rule.
"At this challenging time of President Hugo Chavez's passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government," Obama said. "As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."
On Twitter, several hashtags began trending moments after the death was announced. "#QEPD Chavez," Spanish for "RIP Spanish," had mostly neutral reactions, including one twitter who said: "I'm not a Chavez supporter at all, but he's a human who fought for his life."
In a press conference from the hospital where Chavez passed away, Maduro accused foreign countries of poisoning the president. He also said David Delmonaco, a U.S. Embassy official, would be expelled from the country.
Chavez had been president of Venezuela for the past 14 years and won re-election in October 2012 when he defeated Henrique Capriles, governor of Miranda.
Capriles was widely expected to run for president again upon Chavez's death.
Chavez had been battling cancer since at least 2011, when he announced his condition to the Venezuelan public. He most recently sought treatment in Cuba, but returned to Venezuela on Feb. 18.
Several media reports indicated he was bed-ridden and breathing from a tracheal tube. He had not been publicly seen since December, but the Venezuelan government released a photo of him with his daughters in a Cuban hospital in February.
Chavez missed his inauguration in January because of his poor health.
Chavez was born on July 28, 1954. The son of teachers and raised by his grandmother in a mud hut in rural Venezuela, Chavez's boyhood dream was to be a baseball player in the major leagues, according to Rory Carrol, author of Comandante, a biography of the Venezuelan leader.
His love of baseball was the initial reason for joining the military. But soon after joining, he became inspired by revolutionary ideals and felt that his country needed a socialist change in its leadership.
Rising through the ranks of the military, Chavez served as an army officer before participating in an attempted coup in 1992, for which he served two years in prison.
But after his release, he took advantage of his popularity and became president of the South American country in 1999.
Soon after taking office, Chavez created a new constitution that, among other things, gave him a longer 6-year term.
During his 14-year presidency, Chavez made great strides in reducing poverty in Venezuela with the help of socialist reform programs and oil wealth.
However, critics argue that more could have been done with the oil monies and point out that violent crime increased dramatically and the country did too little to reduce it.
Although popular, Chavez faced tough opposition from other parties in the country. But with a tough grip on the media and high support among Venezuela's poor, Chavez was able to maintain power until his death.
Chavez's final tweet was sent on Feb. 18. He said: "I still clung to Christ and trust in my doctors and nurses. Ever onward to victory! We will live and overcome!"
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:40:02 GMT
An official with the Walterboro Public Safety Department tells Live 5 News that Chief Otis Rhodes was fired Friday morning. The department is expected to release a statement today. Stay with www.Live5News.comMore >>
Walterboro Public Safety Chief Otis Rhodes has been let go. The department released a statement Friday afternoon stating Rhodes, who has been the chief of police and public safety director for nine years, has been relieved of his duties.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:24 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:24:35 GMT
Swimming is a life-saving skill says James Island swim team coach Eddie Mason, who teaches kids as young as five. "It keeps them from being afraid of the water as they get older, and we find that the kidsMore >>
As kids make their first splashes of the summer, the City of Charleston is encouraging parents to keep their kids out of danger by enrolling them in swim lessons, and some coaches say the younger the better.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:28 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:28:52 GMT
Charleston County deputies say they are searching for a suspect who took officials on a high speed chase that was called off in Orangeburg after the suspect was spotted selling cocaine in West Ashley. AccordingMore >>
Authorities have released dash camera video of a chase where a suspect led investigators on a high speed chase on I-26 in a pursuit that started in West Ashley and ended in Orangeburg. In the newly released video, authorities are seen pursuing the suspect who is driving a Lincoln Navigator along I-26 on Monday.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:01:35 GMT
Authorities have arrested two people suspected of an armed robbery in downtown early Friday morning. The Charleston Police Department charged 23-year-old Eric Wigfall and 22-year-old Brittany RobinsonMore >>
Authorities have arrested two people suspected of an armed robbery in downtown early Friday morning. The Charleston Police Department charged 23-year-old Eric Wigfall and 22-year-old Brittany Robinson.More >>
Authorities say a 15-year-old runaway has been found safe following an investigation by the Moncks Corner Police Department which led to the arrest of two men. Investigators announced Friday evening that Dana Sweazy has been found and is back home with her parents. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:45 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:45:25 GMT
Officials with the Mount Pleasant Police Department say the intersection of the Isle of Palms Connector and Rifle Range Road is closed following an accident. Authorities say the area will be closed forMore >>
Charleston County dispatch officials say traffic is moving again on the Isle of Palms Connector following an accident.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:56 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:56:45 GMT
The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting outside of Club Pluto in Goose Creek early Tuesday. Deputies aren't commenting on what happened, but our photojournalist saw shell casingsMore >>
Law enforcement reports recently released reveal that after a man was shot twice at a Berkeley County nightclub, a car leaving the same club was shot at and suffered damaged from the shooting.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 5:02 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:02:58 GMT
The man convicted of voluntary manslaughter two years ago in the 2009 death of 28-year-old Kate Waring is again seeking a new trial. According to the South Carolina Attorney General's Office, 33-year-oldMore >>
The man convicted of voluntary manslaughter two years ago in the 2009 death of 28-year-old Kate Waring is again seeking a new trial.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:41 GMT
Plans for a new road in Mt. Pleasant are in the works to ease the traffic on Highway 17 near Wando High School. Developers are building a new road behind the high school that will connect the roundaboutMore >>
Plans for a new road in Mt. Pleasant are in the works to ease the traffic on Highway 17 near Wando High School.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 4:06 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:06:59 GMT
Charleston County sheriff's deputies are looking for 47 year old Walter Stanley Mintz. Mintz is wanted on charges of burglary 2nd degree. Deputies say on February 21, 2013, Mintz broke into the D&V convenienceMore >>
Charleston County sheriff's deputies are looking for 46 year old Walter Stanley Mintz. Mintz is wanted on charges of burglary 2nd degree. Investigators say on February 21, 2013, Mintz broke into a convenience store in Adams Run and stole five rolls of lottery tickets. Deputies say he was paid $20 to commit the crime and gave the lottery tickets to two men who cashed them.More >>
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