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: