Opinion: Chavez was a maker of dreams By Eva Golinger, Special to CNN March 6, 2013 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT) Hugo Chavez was beloved by millions around the world. He changed the course of a continent and led a collective awakening of a people once silenced, once exploited and ignored. Chavez was a grandiose visionary and a maker of dreams. An honest man from a humble background who lived in a mud hut as a child and sold candies on the streets to make money for his family, Chavez dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence and dignified on the world scene. He dreamed of improving the lives of his people, of eradicating the misery of poverty and of offering everyone the chance of a better life -- the "good life" (el buenvivir), as he called it. President Chavez made those dreams come true. During his nearly 14 years of governance, elected to three full six-year terms but only serving two due to his untimely death, Chavez's policies reduced extreme poverty in Venezuela by more than 75%, from 25% to less than 7% in a decade, according to statistics from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. And overall poverty was reduced by more than 50%, from 60% in 1998 when Chavez first won office to 27% by 2008. This is not just numbers, this translates into profound changes in the lives of millions of Venezuelans who today eat three meals a day, own their homes and have jobs or access to financial aid. But the dreams don't stop there. Chavez dreamed of a nation filled with educated, healthy people, and so he established free, quality public education from preschool through doctoral studies, accessible to all. In fact, for those in remote areas or places without educational facilities, schools were built and mobile educational facilities were created to bring education to the people. Chavez also created a national public health system offering universal, free health care to all, with the help and solidarity of Cuba, which sent thousands of doctors and medical workers to provide quality services to the Venezuelan people, many who had never received medical care in their lives. His vision of diversifying his nation and developing its full potential transformed into railways, new industries, satellite cities and innovative transport, such as MetroCable Cars soaring high into the mountains of Caracas to connect people in their steep hillside homes with the bustling city. Chavez inspired a 21st century world to fight for justice, to stand with dignity before bullying powers that seek to impose their will on others. He raised his voice when no others would and had no fear of consequence, because he knew that truth was on his side. Yes, Chavez, you are a soldier, a glorious soldier of a dignified, proud and kind people. And you are a maker of dreams for millions around the world. <img src='http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/130306142609-03-chavez-reaction-0306-horizontal-gallery.jpg'> A man reacts at Plaza Bolivar of Caracas, on March 6. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/06/opinion/chavez-golinger/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 When did CNN publish communist propaganda?