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Maduro Announces Chavez Death, Asks Venezuelans to Keep Peace

March 5 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the death of President Hugo Chavez on state television today.

“When we were accompanying his daughter and his brothers, we received the most difficult and tragic news that we could convey to the people.

‘‘At 4:25 p.m. this afternoon, our comandante and president passed away after battling hard with a sickness for almost two years, for the love of the people, with the blessings of the people and the loyalty of his comrades in arms.

‘‘We convey our heartache and solidarity to their families.

‘‘We have sent the special police and the armed forces to the street to protect our people and guarantee peace.

‘‘We take up the legacy of Chavez, his plan, his challenges. Their flags will be raised with honor and dignity. Wherever you are comandante, thank you from this people, whom you protected and loved.

‘‘We ask that the people channel our grief in peace, with tranquility.

‘‘We call on the people to sing in all the Bolivarian plazas of this nation. Those who die for life cannot be called dead.

‘‘Much strength to our compatriots to use pain to grow. Today we must be more united than ever.

‘‘Those factions that never have supported Chavez, we call to them also in peace. Respect comandante Hugo Chavez. In the next hours we’ll be announcing all the plans to pay posthumous tribute to comandante Chavez. Where his immortal remains will be watched over forever.

‘‘As well as announce the schedule for his final rest.

‘‘Much strength, much prayer, and assume these difficulties of life with the greatest love for Chavez.

‘‘Honor and glory to Hugo Chavez! May he live forever!’’

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Martin in Mexico City at; Corina Pons in Caracas at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at

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