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US will support Venezuelan people: Obama after Chavez's death

Washington: President Barack Obama is affirming American support for the Venezuelan people and a constructive relationship with their government after the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Obama says in a statement that Chavez's death marks a challenging time for Venezuela. He says the US is committed to promoting democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law.

Hugo Chavez. AP

Hugo Chavez. AP

Venezuela's vice president announced that Chavez died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. Chavez, a fiery populist, led Venezuela for 14 years.

Chavez's inner circle has long claimed the United States was behind a failed a 2002 attempt to overthrow him, and he has frequently played the anti-American card to stir up support. The announcement of Chavez's death came hours after the government said it had expelled two US diplomats from Venezuela.

AP