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Hugo Chavez: A journey in pictures

Last updated on: March 6, 2013 10:23 IST

Hugo Chavez: A journey in pictures

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Hugo Chavez, the firebrand president of Venezuela, who rose from poverty to unequal influence, lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday. He was 58.

Born into a working-class family in Sabaneta, Barinas, Chavez became a career military officer, and after becoming dissatisfied with the Venezuelan political system, he founded the secretive Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 in the early 1980s to work towards overthrowing it.

Chavez led the MBR-200 in an unsuccessful coup d'etat against the Democratic Action government of President Carlos Andres Perez in 1992, for which he was imprisoned.

Released from prison after two years, he founded a social democratic political party, the Fifth Republic Movement, and was elected president of Venezuela in 1998. He subsequently introduced a new constitution which increased rights for marginalized groups and altered the structure of Venezuelan government, and was re-elected in 2000.

Rediff .com brings you some rare pictures of this controversial Latin American leader.

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Image: Right in the middle of a ceremony marking the birthday of South American liberator Simon Bolivar, Chavez pulled out a pair of pistols that he claimed belonged to the Venezuelan independence hero and his lover Manuela Saenz
Photographs: Reuters
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Chavez (right) and his brother Adan are pictured during their childhood in their hometown Sabaneta, in the state of Barinas, in this undated handout photo.

Chavez described his policies to be anti-imperialist, and he was a vocal critic of neoliberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. More generally, Chavez was a prominent adversary of the United States' foreign policy.

Photograph: Reuters

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Chavez is pictured during his school years in his hometown of Barinas, in this undated handout photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of Information and Communication.

Allying himself strongly with the Communist governments of Fidel and then Raul Castro in Cuba and the Socialist governments of Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, his presidency was seen as a part of the socialist "'pink tide' sweeping Latin America.

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Chavez (centre) is pictured with his friends during his school years in his hometown Sabaneta, in the state of Barinas in this undated handout photograph.

Attending the Julian Pino Elementary School, Chavez's hobbies included drawing, painting, baseball and history.

He was particularly interested in the 19th-century federalist general Ezequiel Zamora, in whose army his own great-great-grandfather had served. In the mid-1960s, Hugo, his brother and their grandmother moved to the city of Barinas so that the boys could attend what was then the only high school in the rural state, the Daniel O'Leary High School.

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Chavez is pictured during his first year at Military Academy in Caracas in this undated photograph.

At the academy, he was a member of the first class that was following a restructured curriculum known as the Andres Bello Plan. This plan had been instituted by a group of progressive, nationalistic military officers who believed that change was needed within the military.

This new curriculum encouraged students to learn not only military routines and tactics but also a wide variety of other topics, and to do so civilian professors were brought in from other universities to give lectures to the military cadets.

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Chavez (right) is pictured at the military academy in Caracas in this undated photo provided by Venezuela's ministry of information and communication.

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Chavez (left) is pictured at a party during his time at Military Academy in Caracas in this undated photo provided by Venezuela's ministry of information and communication.

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Chavez is pictured during his Military Academy years with his parents Elena and Hugo, in this undated handout photo.

The Chavez family were of Amerindian, Afro-Venezuelan, and Spanish descent. His parents were working-lower middle class schoolteachers who lived in the small village of Los Rastrojos. Hugo was born the second of seven children, including their eldest, Adan Chavez.

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Chavez is pictured with the army baseball team during his Military Academy years, in this 1972 handout photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of Information and Communication.

Living in Caracas, he saw more of the endemic poverty faced by working class Venezuelans, something that echoed the poverty he had experienced growing up, and he has maintained that this experience only made him further committed to achieving social justice.

He also began to get involved in local activities outside of the military school, playing both baseball and softball with the Criollitos de Venezuela team, progressing with them to the Venezuelan National Baseball Championships.

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Chavez is pictured at his cell during his period at Yare prison (1992-94), in this undated handout photo provided by Venezuela's Ministry of Information and Communication.

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Chavez is pictured during his army years, in this undated handout photo.

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Chavez holds a copy of the newspapers as his daughters, Rosa Virginia (right) and Maria watch while recovering from cancer surgery in Havana in this photograph released on February 15, 2013.

The government said the photos were taken in Havana on February 14, 2013.

Chavez first underwent surgery for an unspecified type of pelvic cancer in Cuba in June 2011 and went back in December after tests had found a return of malignant cells in the same area where tumors were previously removed.



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