Dictator Hugo Chavez Dead

Katie Pavlich

3/5/2013 5:02:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

NBC News is reporting Venezuelan Dictator Hugo Chavez is dead after months of battling cancer and other health complications. AP has the details:

President Hugo Chavez, the fiery populist who declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, crusaded against U.S. influence and championed a leftist revival across Latin America, died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro, surrounded by other government officials, announced the death in a national television broadcast. He said Chavez died at 4:25 p.m. local time.

Venezuela is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to natural resources which includes oil, uranium and gold. Chavez's death presents an opportunity for the United States to support Venezuelans opposed to Chavez before his death. During the most recent election in the country, many students took to the streets among allegations of massive voter fraud leading to Chavez's re-election.

On Sunday night and throughout Monday, reports that votes were manipulated began to circulate on social media sites like Twitter.

This prompted some Venezuelans to express their distaste with the country's electoral system, and create a hashtag called #fraudeVenezuela, which became a trending topic.

The Monday night protest was made up of about 250 people, mostly university students, in Caracas' Altamira neighborhood.

"We're tired of being stepped on," said Ligia Cabruja, an audiovisual production student at a local university. "Six more years of this government would be an abuse a dictatorship," added the student, who pointed out that Chavez has held power in Venezuela since 1999.

For now, Chavez's tanks have left the streets.

Chavez's death will come as a blow to Iran, whose close ties to the Latin American country allow the harboring of Hezbollah terrorists closer to the United States.