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Belarus declares three days of mourning for ‘best friend’ Chavez

Belarus declared three days of official mourning to mark the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, starting Wednesday, and ordered flags to fly at half-staff. “We have lost a close person and best friend who loved Belarus and always offered us a helping hand,” President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in a statement Wednesday. Television and radio stations will cancel entertainment programs and commercials. Chavez, who died Tuesday at the age of 58, built an alliance with the former Soviet republic, whose ruler was dubbed Europe’s “last dictator” by the administration of former US President George W. Bush.