Hugo Chavez | Life in photos

  • Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, salutes former Venezuelan Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez, Friday, Dec. 15, 1994 at Havana's Jose Marti Airport. Chavez, who led two 1992 coup attempts against then Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, left Cuba after a short visit. JOSE GOITIA / CANADIAN PRESS PHOTO

  • Venezuelan presidential candidate Hugo Chavez holds his daughter as he greets supporters in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Friday, Nov. 27, 1998. JOSE CARUCI / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Presidential candidate Hugo Chavez and his wife, Maria Isabel, wave to a crowd of thousands of supportters that attended his closing campaign rally in Caracas, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1998. TIMOTHY PADEK / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuelan presidential candidate Hugo Chavez smiles in Caracas, on Friday, Dec. 4, 1998 during the presentation of a book about his failed 1992 coup. ANDRES LEIGHTON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela's President elect Hugo Chavez, left, talks to unidentified army and a navy officers during a visit to the Army Officers Club in Caracas, Dec. 7, 1998. JOSE CARUCI / STF

  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez embraces Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, both wearing the Venezuelan national baseball team uniform after a batting exhibition at the Universtity Stadium in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Feb. 25, 1999. Sosa hit four home runs against the pitches of Chavez. ANDRES LEIGHTON / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, right, drives his car with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez in Baghdad Aug. 10, 2000. Chavez arrived in Iraq from Iran, as the first head of state to visit Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. AFP

  • Venezuela President Hugo Chavez and former U.S. President George Bush hold a private meeting at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Feb. 16, 2001. JUAN BARRETO / AFP

  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, left, speaks with National Guard Cpl. Juan Rodriguez in Maracay, Venezuela, Sunday, April, 14, 2002. When Chavez was being detained during a botched coup, Rodriguez, who was one of his guards but was opposed to his detention, asked the president to write a letter saying he had not resigned the presidency, as coup leaders claimed. Chavez hid the missive in a trash can, and Rodriguez recovered it Saturday and faxed it for distribution among the media. Chavez on Sunday thanked the corporal for his actions. MIAMI HERALD STAFF / AL DIAZ

  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and U.S. President George W. Bush in Monterrey, México, during a Jan. 12, 2004 Summit of the Americas. LUKE FRAZZA / AFP

  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, right, jokes with Argentinian former soccer star Diego Armando Maradona during the "People's Summit" massive rally against the Summit of the Americas on Nov. 4, 2005 in a stadium in Mar del Plata, Argentina. STR / STRINGER

  • American singer and activist Harry Belafonte speaks as Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez looks on during Chavez's weekly television and radio program in El Consejo in Venezuela's Aragua state, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2006 in a Venezuelan palace handout photo. MARCELO GARCIA / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez holds up a book written on the Vietnam war by Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap, at right, during a Aug. 1, 2006 visit to Hanoi, Vietnam. HOANG DINH NAM / POOL

  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, left, and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez, right, review an honor guard at al-Shaab Palace in Damascus Aug. 30, 2006. LOUAI BESHARA / AFP

  • VVenezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, talks with U.S. actor and director Sean Penn in Cumana, east of Caracas, on Oct. 19, 2008. Penn accompanied Chavez in a visit to a Venezuelan Petroleum company (PDVSA) gas plant. MARCELO GARCIA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, left, and Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev visit the Admiral Chabanenko, a Russian destroyer docked at La Guaira port, Venezuela, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008. DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AP FILE

  • Columbian President Alvaro Uribe with President Hugo Chavez on Jan. 24, 2009 in Cartagena, Colombia. MIGUEL ANGEL SOLANO / EFE

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, speaks with President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Friday, April 17, 2009, in this photo released by Miraflores Press Office. ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, Cuba's President Raul Castro and Bolivia's President Evo Morales raise their fists as they pose for the official photo of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, ALBA, trade group summit in Havana, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009. FRANKLIN REYES / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, greets his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran in October 2010. ATTA KENARE / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

  • Defense Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Hugo Chávez shake hands in a photo with Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos and Chile's Sebastián Piñera in Brasilia on Jan. 1, 2011, for the installation ceremony of President Dilma Rousseff. FERNANDO BIZERRA JR / EFE

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks after a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011. The photo was taken two months after Chavez underwent surgery in Cuba that removed a cancerous tumor from his pelvic region and shaved his head after starting to lose his hair due to chemotherapy. FERNANDO LLANO / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez points at his head to show that his hair has started to grow back after his last round of chemotherapy at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. At left Chavez's daughter Rosa Virginia. FERNANDO LLANO / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez waves to the crowd while riding atop a truck upon his arrival to the elections office in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, June 11, 2012. Chavez rallied thousands of his supporters wearing his signature red beret and blowing kisses to the crowd as he formalized his presidential candidacy and launched his re-election bid. Chavez's younger daughter Rosines second from the left and his brother Adan is at right. ARIANA CUBILLOS / ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez unveils a photograph-like portrait of Venezuela's independence hero Simon Bolivar on the 229th anniversary of Bolivar's birth at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, July 24, 2012. A team of researchers produced the image based on studies of Bolivar's remains. FERNANDO LLANO / ASSOCIATED PRESS