Hugo Chavez died on March 5, 2013 after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of tumultuous and divisive rule that won him passionate support among the poor but hatred from business leaders and wealthy Venezuelans.
Chavez's death has unleashed a flood of emotional tributes and condemnations from many people, including world leaders, celebrities and Venezuelan-American citizens.
The late leader's death has touched people all over the world. The Belarussian state flag flies at half-mast marking the death of the late Venezuelan President, in Minsk, March 6, 2013.
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa addresses the media to announce three days of national mourning to honor Chavez in Quito March 5, 2013.
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made a statement on the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez: “For over a decade, Chavez had used corruption, intimidation, manipulation, and brutal tactics to rule over the Venezuelan people. Chavez misruled Venezuela with an iron grip on the government, economy, and the courts as he routinely bullied the media and the opposition to deny the people of Venezuela their basic freedoms."
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov writes in a condolence book as he visits the Venezuelan embassy to pay his tribute to the late Hugo Chavez in Moscow.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee stated, "Hugo Chavez ruled Venezuela with an iron hand and his passing has left a political void that we hope will be filled peacefully and through a constitutional and democratic process, grounded in the Venezuelan constitution and adhering to the Inter-American Democratic Charter."
A crowd cheers while watching a Venezuelan newscast at a local restaurant where opponents had gathered to celebrate the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Doral, Florida, March 5, 2013.
Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega speaks during an event to commemorate Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in Managua March 5, 2013.
"Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion," actor Sean Penn said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. Penn was a strong supporter of Chavez.
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) said of Chavez's death: “Hugo Chavez was a tyrant who forced the people of Venezuela to live in fear. His death dents the alliance of anti-U.S. leftist leaders in South America. Good riddance to this dictator."
Bolivia's President Evo Morales is seen after a news conference in honor of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at the presidential palace in La Paz March 5, 2013.
People bring flowers to the Venezuelan embassy to pay tribute to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, March 6, 2013.
Former Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo speaks during a Guasu Front Party news conference in honor of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Asuncion, March 6, 2013. Lugo will be travelling to Venezuela to attend the funeral of the late president.
President Barack Obama said this of Chavez's passing: "At this challenging time of President Hugo Chávez's passing, the United States reaffirms its support for the Venezuelan people and its interest in developing a constructive relationship with the Venezuelan government. As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights."
A photographer and former extreme water sports junkie, once strangers have now become friends and teammates. Both share the love for the Central Coast, and they are using that passion to help raise money for a good cause.