the provocative and unpredictable strongman of venezuela has died. The streets are filled with mourners. Hugo chavez. He controlled more oil reserves than saudi arabia. So, what does this mean? Is it... See More
the provocative and unpredictable strongman of venezuela has died. The streets are filled with mourners. Hugo chavez. He controlled more oil reserves than saudi arabia. So, what does this mean? Is it a new day for the u.S.? And abc's matt gutman reports in. Reporter: Many americans viewed him as a dictator, infamous for jousting with president george w. Bush. You are a don kekey, mr. Bush. Reporter: But in venezuela, hugo chavez was a charismatic hero wearing that trademark red shirt, running the country with world's biggest oil reserves. The fourth biggest exporter of oil to the u.S. But chavez grew up poor. And afteris fir of four presidential elections, he publicly called for the redistribution of the country's oil wealth to venezuela's poor. He exported his brand of socialism. His proteges include three other latin american leaders. And he embraced some of the world's most notable tyrants, moammar gadhafi and bashar al assad. Fidel castro was his close friend and mentor. He made political sport of attacking u.S. Policies. And president bush was one of his favorite foils. Translator: Yesterday, the devil came here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today. Reporter: In 2007, barbara walters asked what his message would be to the american people. We, the venezuelan people, love you. We want -- I want to be your brother, a great leader of you. Martin luther king is my leader. His dream is your dream, is our dream, is my dream. Reporter: Ambitious and defiant to the end. The question tonight is, who will follow the most dominant latin american leader of his generation? Matt gutman, abc news, miami.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.