Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has lost his battle with cancer aged 58
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Seven days of national mourning have been declared in Venezuela after President Hugo Chavez passed away on Tuesday evening.
Aged 58, Venezuela's iconic president was in power for 14 years until he lost a two-year battle with cancer at a hospital in Caracas.
Vice-president Nicolas Maduro announced Chavez' death in an emotional television address.
"We have received the toughest and tragic information that... Comandante President Hugo Chavez died today at 16:25 (20:55 GMT)," Maduro said, promising he would maintain Chavez' "revolutionary, anti-imperialist and socialist legacy".
Maduro assumes the presidency until an election is held within 30 days, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua confirmed.
The death of Hugo Chavez was greeted with great sadness, not only within Venezuela, but also across Latin America and the rest of the world.
Argentinia's vice president Amado Boudou took to Twitter to respond to the news: "Great pain all over America. One of the best has left us."
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offered his "deepest condolences to the families and people and the government of Venezuela."