(Reuters) Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez slid into a coma the day before he died of respiratory failure after cancer spread into his lungs, sources say.

Chavez’s precise condition was one of the world’s best-kept secrets since his cancer was announced in June 2011.

Since his death this week, however, details have emerged of the 58-year-old president’s battle with cancer and the last moments in the hospital with close family and senior aides.

“They used iPads and other tools to give him policy presentations,” one government source told Reuters, referring to ministers’ visits to the Havana and Caracas hospitals where he spent his final weeks, unable to speak and breathing through a tube.

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