His greatest ire, however, was saved for the United States, particularly former President George W. Bush.
He called Bush a "liar," "coward," "murderer" and "donkey." In a 2006 speech before the UN General Assembly, he called the U.S. president "the devil."
"I think I'm just saying what many people would like to tell him. I said he was a donkey because, I think, he's very ignorant about what is actually happening in Latin America and the world," Chavez told ABC's Barbara Walters in a 2007 interview.
He further needled the United States by closely allying himself with some of America's enemies, including Castro and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Despite promises that he would clean the country of corruption, his administration was rife with corruption. He and his government were routinely criticized for human rights abuses, particularly restricting freedom of the press.