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Hugo Chavez became the President of Venezuela in 1999. He trained in the military and obtained the rank of lieutenant colonel. He also studied political science, but never finished his degree. As a president he has primarily appealed to the working class and the poorest part of the population with his very left-wing politics. Internationally, some love him, and some love to hate him. Both in 2005 and 2006 he made the TIME list of the 100 most influential people world-wide.