CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro says President Hugo Chavez has died at 58.
The populist leader of oil-rich Venezuela became Latin America's most vocal and controversial leader and was Washington's chief antagonist in the region.
Chavez underwent cancer-related surgery on Dec. 11 in Cuba and had not been seen or heard from since, except for several "proof of life" photos released Feb. 15 before he returned to Venezuela.
Officials have sent mixed signals about Chavez's condition, sometimes saying he was recovering and at other times describing him as battling for his life.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Venezuela's capital on Sunday, demanding the government provide complete details about the health of ailing President Hugo Chavez. They accused government officials of keeping from the public a full account of Chavez's state.
The protest was staged a day after Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez has been receiving chemotherapy while recovering from a severe respiratory infection.