The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 5, 2013

Hugo Chavez, fiery Venezuelan leader, dies at 58

(Continued)

Chavez wasn't shy about flaunting his government's achievements, such as free health clinics staffed by Cuban doctors, new public housing and laptops for needy children.

But even Chavez acknowledged in 2011 that one of his government's greatest weaknesses was a "lack of efficiency." He called it "a big error that many times has put in danger the government's policies."

Running a revolution ultimately left little time for a personal life. His second marriage, to journalist Marisabel Rodriguez, deteriorated in the early years of his presidency, and they divorced in 2004. In addition to their one daughter, Rosines, Chavez had three children from his first marriage, which ended before he ran for office. His daughters Maria and Rosa often appeared at his side at official events and during his trips.

Chavez acknowledged after he was diagnosed with cancer in June 2011 that he had recklessly neglected his health. He had taken to staying up late and drinking as many as 40 cups of coffee a day. He regularly summoned his Cabinet ministers to the presidential palace late at night.

Even as he appeared with head shaved while undergoing chemotherapy, he never revealed the exact location of tumors that were removed from his pelvic region, or the exact type of cancer.

Chavez exerted himself for one final election campaign in 2012 after saying tests showed he was cancer-free, and defeated younger challenger Henrique Capriles. With another six-year term in hand, he promised to keep pressing for revolutionary changes.

But two months later, he went to Cuba for a fourth cancer-related surgery, blowing a kiss to his country as he boarded the plane.

After a 10-week absence, the government announced that Chavez had returned to Venezuela and was being treated at a military hospital in Caracas. He was never seen again in public.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee