Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Is Dead

If you're seeing a bunch of news-media types on a beeline for Weston, there's good reason: Hugo Chavez, the charismatic and controversial president of Venezuela, passed away today.

The death occurred at 4:25 p.m., according to CNN. As well known for his U.S.-bashing and flamboyant behavior as his dictatorial strong arm, Chavez had won another six-year term last October.

He first came to power in 1998, immediately becoming a regional lightning rod, although his influence had waned in recent years due to declining health. He was diagnosed with pelvic cancer in June 2011. Chavez has been receiving medical treatment in Cuba on and off in the meantime, including a final surgery last December. The leader had not been viewed in public since, causing many to time-stamp his presidency.

The death was announced by Chavez's number-two man, VP President Nicolas Maduro.  Obviously, this news stretches over the country's borders to South Florida, and Broward in particular. Venezuelans make up the county's fastest-growing demographic, with Weston becoming a particular hot spot for Chavez's countrymen.

So that's why pretty much every news outlet is going to be heading to Weston right now for the reaction stories. Check back for more.

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