Tens of thousands of supporters of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez took to the streets on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of his death. Chavistas dressed in red gathered for rallies in Caracas and elsewhere to honor the socialist leader, whose 14-year rule won him the adoration of amongst Venezuela’s poorest. “
Irene Hernandez had tears in her eyes when she spoke about the former president. “He created food security programmes for the poor, invested in education and health centres and improved out lives a lot,” she told Al Jazeera. A year after Chavez died of cancer, his self-proclaimed “son”, the incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, has faced the biggest challenge to his rule. Anti-government demonstrations have led to clashes with security forces and 18 deaths.