Venezuelans commemorate former President Hugo Chavez on 10th anniversary of his passing

Venezuelans commemorate former President Hugo Chavez on 10th anniversary of his passing

Chavez died in 2013 at age of 58 after battling cancer for nearly 2 years

By Sinan Dogan

BOGOTA (AA) – Thousands of people in Venezuela joined a march Sunday to commemorate the 10th anniversary of former President Hugo Chavez’s passing.

The march was held in several cities, including the capital Caracas, under the leadership of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also commemorated Chavez's death, saying the late leader “lives in the heart and soul of the people.”

“Chavez is not a distant memory. He is a living presence. Your greatness is the measure of what we aspire to be. You are and will always be guiding us with your infinite love,” Maduro added.

The commemoration ceremony held at the Teresa Carreno Theater in Caracas was attended by Bolivian President Luis Arce, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Cuba’s former President Raul Castro, Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales, Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa and Honduras’ former President Manuel Zelaya.

Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, born in Sabaneta in the western Venezuelan state of Barinas, began his political career with his victory in the Dec. 6, 1998 presidential elections.

Diagnosed with cancer for the first time in June 2011, Chavez returned to his country on Feb. 18, 2013 after undergoing four surgeries in Cuba and was later treated at the military hospital in Caracas.

Chavez, who ruled Venezuela for 14 years, died on March 5, 2013 at the age of 58.

Seven days of national mourning were declared following his death and more than 2 million people attended his funeral.

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