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World Leaders Express Sorrow Over Chavez Death



The death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has inspired many tributes and expressions of hope for the Venezuelan people.

One of Mr. Chavez's closest allies, Bolivian President Evo Morales, said in a teary speech Tuesday that Mr. Chavez will continue to be an inspiration for people who fight for their liberation. He said "Chavez is more alive than ever."

Another close ally, Cuba, declared two days of mourning with flags flown at half-staff. A statement from the government said the Cuban people considered him one of their "most outstanding sons."

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez declared three days of mourning in Argentina. She is expected to travel to Venezuela for Mr. Chavez's funeral, as is Uruguayan President Jose Mujica.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega vowed to to carry on the legacy of Mr. Chavez.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his condolences and said he may attend Friday's funeral. China called Mr. Chavez "a great leader and great friend of the Chinese people."

At the U.N., Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon offered condolences to the people of Venezuela.

The U.S. Obama administration, often the target of Mr. Chavez's criticism, was cautious in its response, releasing a statement expressing support for the Venezuelan people and interest in "developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government."



In the largely Venezuelan community of Doral in the Florida city of Miami, many people who left Venezuela while Mr. Chavez was in power took to the streets to celebrate his passing. Some expressed hope that the problems they left behind -- crime, corruption, and a poor economy -- would finally begin to improve.

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