Venezuela marks anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s death

Venezuela is marking the first anniversary of the death of Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer after 14 years as president.

His protege and successor, Nicolas Maduro, will lead a parade and a ceremony at the military headquarters in Caracas where Chavez is buried.

The anniversary comes at a time of tension, with people staging daily anti-government demonstrations.

Venezuelans are deeply divided about Chavez’s legacy.

His supporters point to the significant reductions in inequality, poverty and malnutrition which Venezuela experienced under his leadership to explain their unwavering backing for “Chavismo”, his distinct brand of socialism.

His critics accused him of being “dictatorial” and of championing the poor at the expense of Venezuela’s middle class.

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They say he and President Maduro, who has promised to continue the policies of his predecessor, have ruined the economy of the oil-rich country by alienating foreign investors.

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in marches over the past month demanding that more be done to curb insecurity and improve the economy. (BBC)

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