06/03/2013 04:06 GMT | Updated 06/03/2013 04:18 GMT

Hugo Chavez Dead: Tributes Pour In From Sean Penn, Oliver Stone And Political Leaders

Tributes have been pouring in for Hugo Chavez after the Venezuelan leader lost a two-year battle with cancer on Tuesday night.

Condolences for the left-wing leader are being aired across social media, on television and across the airwaves with high profile figures from around the world offering personal remembrances of the great '21st century socialist.'

Chavez and Sean Penn were great friends

Staunchly critical of Israel and US, (he famously once called George Bush a donkey) his revolutionary politics were controversial and divisive, but won him many supporters not only in Latin America, but across the world.

Comedians, broadcasters, actors and politicians have been among those expressing sadness but also revealing conflicted emotions on the iconic leader. Chavez was a friend to Gaddafi even until his death, for which he called him a martyr. He also vocal in offering support to Syria's Assad.

Sean Penn, a good friend of Chavez, said in a statement that the US had "lost a friend it never knew it had".

"Poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela," Penn said.

"South Americans feel they have lost a Spartacus," said George Galloway last night, tweeting:

The Respect MP had travelled to Venezuela to offer his support to Chavez during the October elections

Former London mayor Ken Livingstone also weighed in with his opinions of the former leader, saying Chavez was "one of the easiest leaders he ever had to deal with."

When I started working in Latin America the US was still killing leaders it didn't like: Chavez is part of the order that put an end to that

Filmmaker Oliver Stone, who produced a film about Chavez and his leftist allies, wrote on his Twitter account:

He added "Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned."

See the rest of the reaction to Chavez' passing below.