Hugo Chavez, a living legend for millions of poor people in Venezuela and a divisive figure of global politics, died after a prolonged battle with cancer on Tuesday 05 March 2013, at the age of 58. He was suffering with cancer from two years and had multiple rounds of surgeries and chemotherapy in Cuba and at home. But the Venezuelan president finally lost his battle with death at a military hospital in the capital Caracas.
Hugo Rafael Chaveza Frias was born on 28 July 1954, at his paternal grandmother’s home, which is located in a rural village called Sabaneta in Venezuela's Barinas state. Chavez was born as the second of seven children to Hugo de los Reyes Chaveza and Elena Frias de Chaveza. His father was a school teacher and was leading a life of poverty, so the couple sent Chavez and Adán (his elder brother) to live with their grandmother Rosa. He completed his elementary studies in Julián Pino Elementary School and graduated from the country's military academy in 1975 with a master's degree in military sciences. He further studied politics at Simon Bolivar University from 1989 to 1990.
In December 1988, Chavez won the presidency with 56 percent of votes. Again in 1999, he won by 70 percent of votes in a referendum on a new constitution that expanded executive power. He was re-elected in the new constitution with 60 percent of votes in 2000. In 2002, the opposition party in Venezuela called up a nationwide strike demanding a referendum on his presidency. But a national campaign in June 2004 collected 2.5 million signatures in favor of the referendum, and this made Chavez to win the referendum. Recently in 2012, Hugo Chavez was re-elected for the third time for the presidential elections with 55.07 percent votes.
Coming to his personal life, Hugo Chavez married twice, first to a woman from a poor family from his hometown, and her name was Nancy Colmenares. Their relationship remained lasted 18 years and they had three children; they separated in 1992. Chavez had an affair during his first marriage with historian, Herma Marksman and their relationship lasted for nine years. He then got married to a journalist, Marisabel Rodriguez de Chavez, and had a child with her. They were divorced in 2000.
As a president of Venezuela, he has done a lot for the poor people of his country. He provided decisive drift for new regional integration movements, based on an eminently Latin American vision, while showing commonality towards other nations in the hemisphere. He has contributed his best in the current peace talks in Colombia between the Government of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. His government has implemented a wide number of missions and programs which include health and educational sector.
Paying tributes to Hugo Chavez, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff described him as a great Latin American. He also said that Hugo's death is a great loss to the country. Hugo Chavez has gone but it seems that he has left behind a legacy, and the people of the country are not likely to deviate from his philosophies and policies.