Knew he was sick, still wasn’t expecting this today:

The symbol of Latin American socialism succumbed to a respiratory infection on Tuesday evening, 21 months after he first revealed he had a tumour. He had not been seen in public for three months since undergoing emergency surgery in Cuba on 11 December. He will be given a state funeral in Caracas, likely to be attended by millions of supporters and left-wing leaders from across the globe who have been inspired by Chávez’s doctrine of “Bolivarian 21st-century socialism”, grateful for the subsidized energy he provided or simply impressed by his charisma. His death will also trigger a presidential election, which must be held within 30 days, to decide who controls the world’s greatest untapped reserves of oil. Chávez’s designated successor is the vice-president, Nicolás Maduro, who is likely to face Henrique Capriles, the losing opposition candidate in the most recent presidential election. Until then, according to the constitution, the interim president should be the head of the national assembly, Diosdado Cabello.

I think the moral quality of a person’s life is measured in part by who despises you. Chavez was far from perfect but he was hated by the people that any decent person would want to be hated by. Rest in peace.