Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died from a two-year bout with cancer, reports the NY Times. He was 58.
The Socialist leader, who came to power 14 years ago, has rarely been seen since December, with the exception of released photos last month.
As the leader of a country with one of the largest oil reserves in the world, Chavez was able to take advantage of his political power by organizing leftist groups that were antagonistic to U.S. interests and empowering the poor in his region. He was also known for his strong alliance with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Recently, Chavez endorsed Vice President Nicolas Maduro to succeed him, but despite his passing the torch, analysts say Venezuela is headed for an uncertain future as opposition groups have clashed over constitutional interpretation recently in light of the leader's illness.
Additional source: U.S. News & World Report