Venezuelan Vice President Nicolás Manduro says President Hugo Chavez has died, Reuters reports.
The Venezuelan President has been fighting an undisclosed type of pelvic cancer since at least June 30, 2011, and had come back from the illness to win re-election last year.
The news came just hours after a press conference by VP Manduro that gave the impression that Hugo Chavez was on the brink of death.
In a new statement, Manduro says Chavez died at 4:25 pm.
Bloomberg reports that Venezuela is to deploy troops, and Manduro is urging Venezuelans against violence.
Under Article 323 of the Venezuelan constitution, an election must take place within 30 days of the death of a president.
It seems likely that Chavez’s anointed heir, Manduro, will be President for less than a month before the election takes place.
If Manduro chooses to contest the election, it seems likely he would face opposition leader Henrique Capriles, a young, charismatic politician received 46 percent of the vote when he competed against Chavez in October.
Many suspect, however, that Diosdado Cabello, speaker in Venezuela’s congress and a hardline Chavez ally, may make a run for the presidency or attempt to become the interim president, forcing Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela into conflict with itself.