Hugo Chavez passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. The colorful and controversial socialist Venezuelan president, who once called President George W. Bush a "donkey" and President Obama a "fraud," was popular among the disenfranchised in his country and on Twitter, with more than 4 million followers. He made the Internet more accessible in Venezuela, creating hundreds of community "infocenters" with computers and free Internet service throughout the country. Simultaneously, he waged war on the free press in his country.
Chavez was absent from Twitter after Nov. 1, 2012, as he underwent more surgeries in Cuba. He posted three final tweets on Feb. 18, thanking his doctors and nurses, as well as Fidel and Raul Castro.
As the news spread of Chavez's death, the Twitter town square filled with a broad spectrum of comments, reflecting the variety of opinions about his 14 years as president and as a friend of U.S. foes.
RNC condemns Democratic Congressman who praised Chavez in statement after his death: buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynsk...— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) March 5, 2013
Venezuela accuses USA of giving Chavez cancer... drudge.tw/WHBMGR— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) March 5, 2013
Twitter serves as a hub with links to obits, stories, videos, and especially photo albums documenting his life. In many ways, Twitter has become the unrehearsed, digital equivalent of "This is Your Life" on a global scale.
Hugo Chavez has died. Watch scenes from the Chavez era: on.wsj.com/XULu9f— WSJ Live (@WSJLive) March 5, 2013
Hugo Chavez: 1954-2013 -- PHOTOS: bloom.bg/166NL7Y— Bloomberg News (@BloombergNews) March 5, 2013
Photos from the life of the charismatic and omnipresent Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez wapo.st/W3lWt1— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 5, 2013
PHOTOS: Images of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who died today at 58:usat.ly/15vWpLU— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 5, 2013
Photos: The life of Hugo Chávez, who rose from poverty to unrivaled influence in Venezuela nyti.ms/13DOePk— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 5, 2013
A life in pictures: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez aje.me/Z8tDiB— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 5, 2013
PHOTO: Hugo Chavez wears a sombrero as he sings a Mexican ranchera song at a rally in 2005: apne.ws/166PFVU -CC— The Associated Press (@AP) March 5, 2013