Carmen Mata waves a Venezuelan flag as she and others react to the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, at El Arepazo 2 a restaurant in the heart of a neighborhood that has the largest concentration of Venezuelans in the U.S. on March 5, 2013 in Doral, Florida. The Venezuelan government announced today that Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DORAL, Fla. (AP) - Venezuelans in the U.S. have expressed cautious optimism that new elections will bring change to their homeland after the death of President Hugo Chavez.
A jubilant celebration broke out late Tuesday in the Miami suburb of Doral after word spread of the death of the 58-year-old leftist. Many dressed in caps and T-shirts in Venezuela's colors of yellow, blue and red.
Dozens in the largely anti-Chavez community chanted "He's gone!"
Chavez had been diagnosed with cancer nearly two years ago. He had led oil-rich Venezuela for nearly 14 years while bickering with a succession of U.S. governments.
Venezuela's foreign minister said Vice President Nicolas Maduro would step in as interim president and elections would be called within 30 days.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)