Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias is the democratically elected Democratic Socialist President of Venezuela. He was elected three times between 1998 and 2006 with approximately two thirds of the vote in elections deemed free and fair by the international community. Since taking power in 1998, he has used Venezuelan oil wealth to significantly raise the standard of living for poor Venezuelans. He has given them access to healthcare, education, and affordable housing, something that wasn't available under previous regimes. Venezuelans also enjoy more civil liberties under Chavez including freedom to protest the government. Chavez permits private media to exist in the country even though it calls for his violent overthrow. He had a constitutional referendum and allowed the Venezuelan people to vote on a new constitution. Chavez has described himself as a Democratic Socialist.
Chavez is also an outspoken critic of neoliberal globalization and his very critical of American style capitalism. Because of this, he is considered a threat to American corporate interests and has been branded a dictator in the Mainstream Media. This shows that to be a dictator in the American Mainstream has nothing to do with how cruel and barbaric you are but has more to do with how well you obey your Western Masters.
Chavez was harshly criticized in the American media when he called President Bush the devil at the UN General Assembly. He also recommened to all people in the world that they read "Hegemony or Survival" by Noam Chomsky, his favourite author.