Director Oliver Stone praised Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday, calling him "a great hero."
In a statement provided to TheWrap, Stone referred to Chavez-- who wass a subject of his 2009 documentary "South of the Border," which explored media misperceptions about South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents -- as "my friend."
While Stone conceded that Chavez was hated "by the entrenched classes," the filmmaker opined that he "will live forever in history."
Venezuela's vice president Nicolas Maduro said that Chavez died Tuesday. Chavez, who had battled cancer, was 58.
''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."
Stone concluded, "My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned.