CARACAS, Venezuela -

The Venezuelan government has opened a formal inquiry into claims the Hugo Chavez died from poisoning.

The former president first raised his own suspicion shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.

Reuters reports that interim president Nicolas Maduro told regional TV Network Telesur, "We have the intuition that our commander Chavez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way."

Scientists are being called to Venezuela from outside the country to investigate the claims.

Chavez, 58, died Tuesday after battling a severe respiratory infection and cancer in his pelvic region.