CNN said:Caracas, Venezuela (CNN) -- Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a "21st century socialist" and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
Chavez, who had long battled cancer, was 58.
The news of his death, whilst obviously saddening, hasn't come as much of a shock to me. I think it was only a matter of time as he has had a lengthy battle with cancer, and one that he did not seem to be winning. Earlier today I heard reports that the following hours would be the most challenging he would face, and sadly he did not survive them.
What I'm interested to get is peoples view points towards Chavez. There seem to be 2 very strong view points. One that think Chavez is a dictator. And one that he is a savior.
I've spent time in Venezuela, and first hand experienced the poverty that is day to day life for many Venezuelans. Through this and talks with friends who are also Venezuelan it seems that many believe that the freedom of the country is at a higher level than before Chavez came to power, and that the "corrupt" country is seeing lower levels of corruption than before too. Chavez pumped money into health and education programmes, but some felt that their future, and the future of Venezuela was not being taken into consideration. Were the US annoyed or afraid of his links with Castro/ Cuba and the surrounding regions? Or was it that Big Oil didn't like him, and so that's what gets trickled down to Americans through the media?
What are your thoughts?
Hugo Chavez. Dictator or savior?