Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said.

Flanked by Cabinet ministers, Maduro teared up as he announced the news in a national broadcast.

“We must unite now more than ever,”

he said, calling on Venezuelans to remain peaceful and respectful.

In the coming hours, Maduro said, plans for Chavez’s funeral would be announced.

Maduro said Chavez died Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. (3:55 p.m. ET). He did not specify when elections would be held, or who would run the country in the meantime.

“Our people can count on having a government of men and women committed to protecting them,”

Maduro said.

The announcement came hours after Maduro met with the country’s top political and military leaders about Chavez’s worsening health condition and suggested someone may have deliberately infected Chavez with cancer.

Venezuela’s defense minister echoed Maduro’s calls for unity and peace.

  • Old Skool quote

    R.I.P to a great leader and soldier for the right cause!!

  • jamar

    did he die…or was he killed…i said last year this guy better be carefull…if you have your own supply of oil you mite end up on somebodies hit list…there’s a gang out there that wants to control the worlds natural resources.

    • and this gang name is???

      • bloggette

        OPEC !?

    • Moor

      We both said it after Kim passed or was that after Khaddafi? These were all enemies of the Obama admin. This is crazy.

  • Ice

    so what does this mean for america

  • Dawn_05

    What does this mean for oil prices?

  • Yaz

    Rest in peace Hugo.

  • Amen7

    Hopefully Venezuela has a strong successor

  • RIZZ

    Government thinking-“another GIANT has fallen,let’s start the negotiation as soon as possible”

  • dmv

    He is fueled by Spite of the U.S.

    I mean how many guys turn down a MLB contract to start a revolution?

  • guillelon

    Venezuelan here. For what I, friends and my family have seen in the streets, the situation is really really tense. Many Chavez people are gathering in Miraflores Palace (The government HQs) and the Military Hospital (where right now Chavez remains). In some big city there is a military deployment but the government has said in many times is only for security reasons.

    But the thing is that the actual president Diosdado Cabello, hasn’t go on tv or radio, hasn’t tweet or something, as far as I know he can be anywhere and he’s the President of our country. Many rumors said that he and Maduro didn’t get alone, but just rumors. We’ve to wait

  • Korgull

    “Libya 2011”

    “Let’s sit on our asses for a couple months while a peaceful protest turns into a civil war, making minimal ‘get out or else lol’ statements to show we care, but not much, and only get involved once France gets fed up with waiting around, and the UN decided to hand the reigns to us” counts as a covert foreign regime change action?