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Brother of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez dies

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15:  (ALTERNATIVE CROP) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez addresses the United Nations General Assembly September 15, 2005 in New York City. World leaders gathered for the second day of the summit marking the 60th anniversary of the world organization.  (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty `Images)

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15: (ALTERNATIVE CROP) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez addresses the United Nations General Assembly September 15, 2005 in New York City. World leaders gathered for the second day of the summit marking the 60th anniversary of the world organization. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty `Images)  (2005 Getty Images)

Venezuela's government says a brother of the late President Hugo Chavez has died.

Anibal Chavez was mayor of Sabaneta, the rural town where the family was raised. Officials did not give a cause of death, but local news media reported he had been in a hospital after a sudden illness. He was about 60 years old.

A government communique issued Sunday praises him as an "exemplary fighter, a man of the people at the service of noble causes."

Hugo Chavez was the founder of Venezuela's current socialist system and he had several brothers who have served in government posts. Hugo Chavez died in 2013, leaving the presidency to his vice president, Nicolas Maduro.

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