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Hugo Chavez

Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was the President of Venezuela since 1999. After an unsuccessful coup d'etat in 1992 against former President Carlos Andres Peres for which he was imprisoned for two years, he founded the social democrat Fifth Republic Movement,of which he was the leader until 2007 when he took leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

On assuming his role as president in 1999 he implemented various social reforms as part of his 'Bolivarianism' ideology. These included the introduction of a new constitution, the restructuring of government and the nationalisation of key industries.

Chavez describes himself as anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, and has allied himself firmly with the Communist governments of Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

In June 2011 Chavez publicly announced that he was undergoing treatment for cancer, and as of December 2012 he is undergoing his fourth operation in Cuba to remove a recurring tumour in his pelvis. These treatments were ultimately proven to be unsuccessful and he was announced to had died on March 5, 2013, in Caracas.

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