RIP Venezuela’s President Hugo, his vice-president has announced.

Mr Chavez had not appeared in public since he returned to Venezuela last month after cancer treatment in Cuba.

An emotional Nicolas Maduro made the announcement on Tuesday evening, flanked by leading Venezuelan political and military leaders.

Earlier, he said the 58-year-old Venezuelan leader had a new, severe respiratory infection and had entered “his most difficult hours”.

He also announced the government had expelled two US diplomats from the country for spying on Venezuela’s military.

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