I'm trying to get to sort out the conflicting claims about Hugo Chavez. My conclusion is that he was democratically elected as president in all three of Venezuela's most recent elections, and had his new constitution democratically endorsed by Venezuela's voters. However, he has imposed some anti-democratic laws, though it appears not so much as to eliminate the possibility of anti-Chavez voters having a fair shot at unseating him and reforming their nation back to a more democratic bearing. This article claims that a goodly fraction of Venezuelans oppose him, including a lots of poor people. I believe that many of Chavez's measures will harm that country, and thus I hope that the voters there replace him with somebody who favors individual liberties, including free markets. If voters want socialism, they will get what they deserve!
I find no basis for US involvement in unsuccessful anti-Chavez coup, except as a helpful claim for Chavez to assist in rallying voters to him despite the problems caused by his poor/leftist economic choices. Castro has used this ploy for a few decades, though at least in Castro's case the claims began as truth (and Castro needs to impress no voters!). But neither do I find a basis for democrats to have supported this recent coup. It appears that Venezuala's anti-Chavez critics have reliable democratic mechanisms with which to address their displeasure for Chavez's choices, including his anti-democratic measures on the nation's private news media.
Chavez admires Simon Bolivar... a rich honkey Spaniard who merely won independance for South America from Spain, but not liberty for the people there. We can think of Bolivar as a mixture of George Washington (battlefield commander of war for independance from European colonial power) and Thomas Jefferson (archetect of post-revolution nation), except here Bolivar designed an independant nation under a dictatorship, his own own dictatorship. The nation he founded broke apart into today's South American nations, all as dictatorships. Why would anybody admire Bolivar?
Here's a bio of Chavez. I didn't realize that he's a career military officer who led his own failed coup. That got him two years in prison (just two years?).