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Caracas, Venezuela (CNN)Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Chavez, who had long battled cancer, was 58.

Chavez’s democratic ascent to the presidency in 1999 ushered in a new era in Venezuelan politics and its international relations.

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