On March 5, the Latin American world both mourned and spurned the death of Venezuela’s enigmatic president, Hugo Chavez. Chavez, who died after a two year battle with an undisclosed type of cancer, was one of Latin America’s most influential and admired leaders, although his presidency caused deep and polarized divides among the population in his home country of Venezuela. As the news of his death spread, condolences poured in and dignitaries from around the world, including Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Cuba’s Raul Castro, arrived for his state funeral.

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