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World Leaders Pay Tribute to Hugo Chavez as Wave of Grief Washes Over Latin America

Becky Bratu and F. Brinley Bruton - NBC News
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March 6, 2013

Chavez death brings uncertainty in Latin America (AlJazeeraEnglish)

A wave of public grief washed over Latin America following the death of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, reflecting the powerful emotions the charismatic leftist leader evoked in the region and around the world.

The Cuban government, Venezuela's closest ally, declared official mourning for Wednesday and Thursday, and nationwide mourning for Friday.

"I tell you, this is sad and painful news not just for me, because ... Cuba and the entire world has lost a great man," said Armando Fuentes, a store clerk in Havana, after Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro broke the news of Chavez’s death Tuesday.

Dayana Calzado, a 27-year-old Cuban lawyer, said the world had lost a great leader.  "A very long time will pass before there is another leader like him," she said.

Chavez's passing was acutely felt in Latin America where his anti-colonialist and anti-American policies and rhetoric provoked both loyalty and anger.  Reports featuring crying mourners from around the continent dominated Venezuelan television in the hours after his death was announced.

Read the whole story at NBC News

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