Hugo Chavez claimed that President Bush tried to have Chavez assassinated while Bush was in office, according to Larry King, who interviewed Chavez in 2009. Chavez was President of Venezuela for all of Bush's eight years in office, except for when Chavez briefly lost power during a coup. And, honestly, he might be telling the truth. Chavez was never generous or cautious with his words about President Bush, but Bush and then Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair did discuss the possibility of assassinating Saddam Hussein. The CIA is known to have fomented rebellions that overthrew governments in Iran and Guatemala. Some believe that the plane crash that killed Panamanian president Omar Torrijos in 1981. All this is to say that a plot to assassinate Hugo Chavez, who was hostile to the U.S., and had the fourth largest supply of oil in the world, is far from far-fetched.
Also in the above interview, Christiane Amanpour talks about the cult of personality around Hugo Chavez, and how his political sense played a large role in his popularity. Despite that, the most recent election, this past October, saw Chavez win by his smallest margin yet: 54.4% of the votes, to 44.9% for his rival Capriles. That's within striking distance for Capriles, and it is quite possible, Amanpour opines, that Chavez' successor, Nicolas Maduro, won't be able to capture the same level of popular love as Chavez.