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Former Venezuelan President Caldera Dies

Former Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera (1998 file photo)

Former Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera died early Thursday at the age of 93.

He had suffered from Parkinson's disease for many years.

Mr. Caldera served two terms as president - the first between 1969 and 1974, and again from 1994 to 1999.

He entered politics in the 1930s, and helped to found the Social-Christian Copei party in 1946.

In 1994, he pardoned current President Hugo Chavez, who was in prison at the time for leading a coup two years earlier.

Mr. Chavez succeeded Mr. Caldera as president in 1999.

Mr. Caldera's son said the funeral will take place Saturday and that the family "will not accept any homage from the government of Hugo Chavez."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.