I shared my final thoughts last night about Venezulean president Hugo Chavez. He died a few hours ago. This N.Y. Times video commentary by former Venezuelan correspondent Simon Romero sounds fair and balanced, but my heart agrees with what Chavez’s former friend and friendly portraitist Oliver Stone told TheWrap‘s Tim Kenneally.

”I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” Stone said. “Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history.” Notice that Stone didn’t call Chavez a “great hero” by his own standards — he called him “a great hero to the majority of his people.”

“His life was in a manner of speaking gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, ‘This was a man.” — William Shakespeare‘s Julius Caesar