I tend to hate those who hate me on general principle if nothing else. He had little but hateful and vile things to say about we folks in the North unless he was nationalizing (read STEALING Oil company sites and equipment to make his own and personal profit machines).
It's not about listening to the media anyway... If you've kept up on Venezuelan news from Caracas news sources, he's been far from the most favored leader, to be very kind about it. The people some suggest loved him, sure had a funny way of showing it in the streets as often as they did. It wasn't love in the air, to be sure.
For those who say he was elected as if it had any comparison to the Untied States whatsoever in election procedures...again, check LOCAL Venezuelan news on that matter. Elected is a relative term in some nations. Saddam Hussein, for instance, was elected too. 99% of the vote, sure as anything. Corruption is downright institutional in some places, in ways the U.S. has never seen. Venezuela is one of those places, IMO.
In the end though, the guy was just a socialist jerk. I do NOT like Socialists in any form and I never have. Not HIS brand of it, anyway.
Chavez's influence over Latin America's left-leaning governments has often rankled the United States, Venezuela's largest trading partner. Venezuela is the fourth-largest exporter of oil to the United States.Source
Despite that tight economic relationship, the two countries are far from close: Chavez often rails against the United States and its allies as "imperialists" and has supported controversial world leaders such as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.
The election result Sunday means the U.S. government will have to continue to deal with Chavez's provocatively independent brand of diplomacy.
An additional note with the talk of how the CIA approves everyone in South and Central America.... Umm... The CIA spent most of the 1980's FIGHTING a good part of Central and South America. Approval of leaders would have been Reagan or Bush's wet dream. It wasn't how it worked then and with people like Daniel Ortega and Morales running major nations down there now? It hasn't improved much since.
The CIA WISHES it were half as powerful as some people give them credit for.