After a two-year battle with cancer, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died today at the age of 58. Flanked by other government officials, vice president Nicolas Maduro announced Chavez's death at 4:25 p.m. this afternoon in Caracas. Chavez spent over 14 years in office, and, as the Associated Press mentions, challenged the status quo both domestically and internationally.
Though the Venezuelan leader was confrontational, he was still a skilled communicator who was able to gain support—particularly among the poor—by charging Venezuelans up with nationalism. In June 2011, Chavez had a "baseball-size" tumor removed from his pelvic area, but the cancer returned several times over the following 18 months despite various treatments.
Three days prior to his final surgery, he announced that Maduro would be his successor.
[via the Associated Press]