Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dead
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) Choking back tears, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro told his country Tuesday that President Hugo Chavez has died.
Venezuela's defense minister is pledging that the military will remain loyal to the constitution in the wake of Chavez's death.
Admiral Diego Molero appeared on national television to appeal for "unity, tranquility and understanding'' among Venezuelans.
He said troops will safeguard the sovereignty of the country.
Earlier in the day, Venezuelan officials said two Americans were being expelled from that country - including a U.S. Embassy attachi who is accused of meeting with military officers and planning to destabilize the country.
The second U.S. official is also described as a U.S. Air Force attachi.
Chavez underwent a fourth cancer surgery in December, and had suffered a "severe'' respiratory infection.
Chavez ruled Venezuela for more than 14 years, gradually placing all state institutions under his personal control.