Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has lost his battle with cancer.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the death of the 58-year-old socialist leader during an emotional televised speech on Tuesday (05Mar13), a day after a government spokesman revealed Chavez had been struck down with a "severe" infection, which had left him in a "very delicate" state.

Chavez, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2011, underwent his fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba in December (12).

He was voted into office in 1999.

Maduro will take over the presidency until a new election can take place.