Venezuela's charismatic left-wing President Hugo Chavez has died from cancer at the age of 58. While his world reputation was mixed, given the company of dictators he kept and due to his apparent distaste of free speech, Hugo Chavez nevertheless remained much loved by many Venezuela's people, especially for redirecting Venezuala's oil wealth to the poor of his country. Chavez become most famous for making rabble-rousing diatribes against the "Yankee empire" and against the then US President George W. Bush in particular. Nevertheless, in reality, this was more of pantomime stance, as, in truth, Venezuela continued to sell oil to America. With respect to space, Flightglobal's Hyperbola column briefly reported Chavez's warning that Earth faced the same "desertification" fate as Mars if it did not give up its capalist ways. In a televised speech, Chavez suggested that a capatlism and imperilism may have affected a civilisation on Mars, which, in turn, may have ruined the planet.