President Hugo Chavez is despised by many in his country for what they see as populist demagoguery and reckless policies, but that is not the case in the barrios and isolated rural hamlets of a country that remains extraordinarily poor despite its equally extraordinary wealth in oil. What poor and long marginalized Venezuelans see in Chavez are programs like free dental care, access to education and aid to the less advantaged in city and country alike.
The skycrapers of Caracas bespeak a proudly confident country reaping the rewards of one of the world's great pools of oil. The shacks within sight of the sleek glass towers, the vast new urban slums and isolated villages untouched by modern conveniences all tell another story -- of the 50 percent of Venezuelans who live below the poverty line.
They might as well live on a different planet -- or at the least, in Miami. Venezuela's well-heeled upper crust shop in American-style malls and snap up luxury boats and automobiles. They also form the hard-core base of opposition to populist President Hugo Chavez.
Reporter: Kris Kitto
Filmmaker: Gabrielle Weiss
Produced by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Azimuth Media.