March 6th, 2013
04:44 PM ET

Hero or villain? The many ways to see Chavez

Hugo Chavez was as colorful as he was polarizing. Celebrating his 10th year in power four years ago, he held a jewel-encrusted sword of his hero, 19th-century revolutionary Simon Bolivar, and reminded a Caracas crowd what he was about.

"There is no other path to redemption for the human being than socialism," the Venezuelan president said, flanked by like-minded Latin American leaders helping him mark his anniversary.

After his death on Tuesday, detractors and fans had plenty to say about his fiery character and leftist pursuits, and it's hard to remember they're talking about the same guy.

He wrecked Venezuela's economy and trounced on democratic institutions and people's liberties, some say. He improved the lives of the poor and rightly stood up against "imperialist" nations, say others.

One of the more interesting tributes came from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who declared on his Farsi-language presidential website that Chavez was a great leader who will "resurrect" along with Jesus.

How many different ways can people look at Chavez? Here are a few:

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After Chavez: Venezuela in transition
March 6th, 2013
10:40 AM ET

Venezuelans bid farewell to Chavez

The political outcome in the wake of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's death remains uncertain, but in plazas across the country Wednesday, his followers made it clear they support a continuation of his policies.

Chavez put social programs at the center of his government, and his most fervent supporters credit him with providing their livelihood.

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Hugo Chavez fights for his life
March 2nd, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Hugo Chavez fights for his life

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is "fighting for his life," the country's vice president said late Friday.
Chavez began chemotherapy after his fourth cancer surgery in Cuba in December, Vice President Nicolas Maduro revealed for the first time, and is continuing the "intense" treatment at a military hospital in Caracas.

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Venezuela's Chavez beats respiratory infection, minister says
Hugo Chavez, shown here last year, has not made a public appearance since undergoing a fourth cancer surgery in Havana six weeks ago
January 26th, 2013
07:32 PM ET

Venezuela's Chavez beats respiratory infection, minister says

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has overcome a respiratory infection he contracted after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba last month, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas told reporters today.

But the president still has some breathing problems and his treatment continues, Villegas said.

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Spanish newspaper prints, retracts fake photo of ailing Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan Minister of Comunication Ernesto Villegas speaks at the news conference in Caracas on Thursday.
January 24th, 2013
08:09 PM ET

Spanish newspaper prints, retracts fake photo of ailing Hugo Chavez

Early editions of Spain's leading newspaper Thursday displayed a large front-page photo claiming to be an "unprecedented" and "exclusive" look at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's medical treatment in Cuba.

But the intubated man lying in a hospital bed shown in the photo wasn't Chavez, the newspaper soon discovered, and began backtracking.

El Pais took down the photo, which was on the newspaper's website for about 30 minutes, and also recalled the early editions of its newspaper from newsstands.

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Filed under: Cuba • Hugo Chavez • Spain • Venezuela