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Twitter reacts to Hugo Chavez's death

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(RNN) - The reaction to longtime Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's death in the mainstream media has been measured. But on social media, the reaction to the death of a controversial political figure has been much more emotional, reflecting the polarization caused by the Venezuelan leader.

Among Chávez supporters, the U.S. media have a reputation for covering Chávez unfairly. And Abbi Martin, a journalist for the left-leaning Russia Today network, tweeted her reaction:

Filmmaker Oliver Stone made South of the Border, an approving documentary about leftist leaders in South America, including Chávez. And he has long voiced high approval of Chávez's rule.

In Venezuela, several hashtags on Twitter praised the fallen leader, including #VivaChavezPorSiempre.

The following tweet's translation is: "Defender and protector of the poor, children, women, disabled, the elderly, of the Venezuelans, of the human being."

But like any controversial politician, not all tweets honored Chávez.

And as is the case for most things on social media, it didn't take long for the jokes to arrive - and many of them came at the expense of Sean Penn, an effusive supporter of Chávez for several years.

"Today the United States lost a friend it never knew it had," Penn said. "And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chávez and the people of Venezuela."

To which comedian Michael Ian Black replied:

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