Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez died after a lengthy struggle with cancer on Tuesday, throwing the already divided country into a state of uncertainty.
Vice-President Nicolas Maduro broke the news on national television. Chavez died at 4:25 p.m. local time, Maduro said, though the exact cause of death was not released.
With tears running down his face, Maduro called on Venezuelans to be "dignified inheritors of the giant man" Chavez was.
Chavez, who was one of Latin America's highest-profile leaders since he swept into office in 1998, had been struggling with cancer for almost two years and had recently undergone surgery in Cuba.
Chavez's condition had worsened in recent weeks and the leader had been completely out of the public eye.