He was a larger-than-life figure, the man who called George W. Bush "the devil himself" at the 2006 U.N. General Assembly session, joked around with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about launching missiles at Washington, and sat for a famously flattering profile written by none other than Sean Penn.
To his detractors, Hugo Chávez was a clownish authoritarian, willfully pursuing policies bound to turn Venezuela into an economic basket case (and giving away a house or two to his supporters along the way). But Chávez always had loyal followers -- and not just in his own country -- who appreciated his willingness to stand up to the Washington consensus in his own colorful fashion, and who saw him as a consistent champion of the poor and downtrodden. After a long (and often behind-the-scenes) battle with cancer, Chávez died on Tuesday, March 5. Here's a brief look back at his rise to power and Bolivarian Revolution.
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