Reporter's Notebook: Barbara Walters' Rare Interview with Hugo Chavez

VIDEO: Venezuelan leader explains his ire for President George W. Bush in 2007 interview with Barbara Walters.
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(Image credit: Donna Svennevik/ABC News)

In a rare interview, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sat down with ABC News' Barbara Walters in 2007 to discuss his ire for President George W. Bush, his reputation and his lonely personal life.

The interview was the first time any American journalist interviewed Chavez since he called President Bush "the devil" in a 2006 speech before the U.N. General Assembly.

"He himself is very welcoming. He had just called George Bush the devil, which he repeated," Walters recalled today, shortly after the news of Chavez's death was announced. "Mostly, it was very hard to feel that this man who was so welcoming and warm and friendly was also the man who had just called the president of the United States the devil. He also reminded us of how much oil Venezuela was supplying to the United States and there was an implied threat that this could stop."

The controversial leader also revealed glimpses of a more vulnerable side.

"[He] talked about how alone his life was, that he had no relationships and so forth because his whole life was his work and trying to help his country and everything that he had done," she said. "But there was such a divide then in the country and so much danger, just walking the streets."

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