Before his death from cancer this week, Hugo Chavez had been President of Venezuela since 1999.In that time he became a divisive figure, making serious economic reforms in the country, seizing private property, and clamping down on criticism. Critics say that the Venezuela he created is simply not sustainable.
Even so, he had millions of supporters. Last year, while seriously ill from cancer, he was able to come back and win an election by a margin of 10 points, down from 25 per cent in 2006.
One approval rating from last year gave him a 64 per cent positive rating — 15 points higher than Obama received in the same poll.
We’ve selected some images that will give you a glimpse into Chavez’s Venezuela — a Venezuela that could be about to change for good.
He helped cut the country's poverty rate to 29.5 per cent in 2011 from 48.6 per cent in 2002, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America.
Venezuela moved seven spots to 73 out of 187 countries in the UN's index of human development from 2006 to 2011.
On average, Venezuelans rated their life satisfaction 7.5 on a scale from 1-10, above the global average of 5.5, in a 2012 index of global prosperity compiled by a London-based research organisation.
Venezuela has the lowest income inequality of all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a report by UN-HABITAT.
Correction: The original article failed to note that Venezuela's oil industry was initally nationalized in 1973, and that the Chavez government's 2001 Hydrocarbons law only built on this further.
The country had so much oil they even sold some to low income households in the US at a 40% discount.
The big question now is whether Chavez's anointed heir, Nicolás Maduro, can keep Chavez's Venezuela together.
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