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Taiwan mourns death of Venezuela's president

2013/03/06 16:34:51

Taipei, March 6 (CNA) Taiwan mourns the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

"The Republic of China government expressed its condolences upon learning of Chavez's death," said Calvin Ho, deputy director-general of the ministry's Public Diplomacy Coordination Council.

Venezuela Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced earlier in the day that Chavez died Tuesday afternoon (Venezuela time) after battling cancer for more than two years.

Chavez died at a military hospital in the country's capital of Caracas at the age of 58, Maduro said in a statement broadcast on state television.

Taiwan does not maintain diplomatic relations with Venezuela, but maintained a representative office in the South American country between 1974 and 2009.

MOFA officials said the representative office was closed in 2009 after a careful evaluation of its functions.

They said the ministry will keep close tabs on the impact of Chavez's death on Venezuela and its neighbors.

Foreign media reports said the death of Chavez, a charismatic leftist politician, has plunged his politically divided oil-rich country into an uncertain future.

(By Angelea Tsai and Sofia Wu)
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