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Friday, March 8, 2013

Hugo Chavez Leaves Contradictory Legacy

A screen showing a video image of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez plays in front of the site where Chavez's funeral ceremony will take place as people gather outside the military academy in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 8, 2013. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

A screen showing a video image of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez plays in front of the site where Chavez’s funeral ceremony will take place as people gather outside the military academy in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 8, 2013. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez leaves a contradictory legacy: a bigger role for the left in Latin American politics, but a weaker radical socialist movement.

He also leaves stronger bonds between Latin American nations, making them more independent of the U.S.

Leaders from five continents are in Venezuela to attend the funeral of President Hugo Chavez on Friday.

The ceremony will mark a dramatic exit for a president who quarreled publicly with presidents and kings and ordered troops via live television to defend his country’s borders.

Representing the United States will be Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York and former Congressman William Delahunt of Massachusetts. Both are Democrats.

Chavez often portrayed the United States as a great global evil.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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