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March 5th, 2013
09:35 PM ET

Amanpour: Hugo Chavez had cult following

Christiane Amanpour and Larry King discuss how Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will be remembered in his country and globally. He died on Tuesday after a long battle against cancer.

King interviewed Chavez in 2009 for his CNN show "Larry King Live," and recalls speaking to Chavez in English before they began, but the president used an interpretor during the taping. "I thought that was a little strange," says King, who found Chavez fascinating. As Anderson Cooper points out, perhaps that was to benefit his target audience – the citizens of Venezuela.

"He had a manner about him that was effusive," King says. "You couldn't help but like him...I found him incredibly interesting."

Amanpour  believes part of his international appeal is derived from the allies he made; Chavez was friends with leaders and governments not in good standing with the U.S.

Inside Venezuela, he was hailed as a hero to the lower economic class during his 14 years in office. "He was the man who appealed to the poor, to the downtrodden, and you can see on the streets there is a lot of outpouring of grief for him," Amanpour says.

Read "After Chavez, a power vacuum"

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Filed under: Christiane Amanpour • Larry King • Venezuela
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Hugo Chavez pretended to be for the poor, but Hugo Chavez is a billionaire. According to telemundo, al rojo vivo show, Hugo Chavez has at least one billion dollars in real property in the United States and Europe. Someone from Venezuela must go to the United States and Europe to put a freeze on the billions of dollars of property and assets and return it to the Venezuelan people.

    March 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  2. Marcel M. Pfister

    Hugo Chavez had cult following? So did Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler.

    March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  3. steven

    A leader of a Nation had people who were extremely dedicated to him? Gee, what an abnormal thing.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm |