Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who had been up against with battle against cancer has finally lost his struggle and died in hospital at the age of 58. He was suffering from a severe respiratory infection during his battle with cancer.
The country's vice president Nicolas Maduro, surrounded by other government officials, made the announcement during a national television broadcast last night.
He said that the long-standing president died at 4:25 pm local time in the country's capital Caracas, using the broadcast to call for 'unity, tranquility and understanding'.
Supporters gathered on the streets of the capital following the announcement, many in tears, brandishing effigies and national flags.
The death is expected to trigger an election to determine who will replace the socialist leader, after his illness prevented him from taking the oath of office after being re-elected last year.