Hugo Chávez,

firebrand president of Venezuela, was forced to resign in April after 12 people died in massive protests against his increasingly authoritarian government. However, international criticism of the coup, especially from Latin America, and an outpouring of support from Venezuela's poor, returned Chávez to power after only two days. After the coup, Chávez remained highly popular among the poor, despite the desperate state of the economy. Other Venezuelans and a good part of the military were far less enchanted with his continued rule.