One might have thought that with Mao and Che dead and Castro an aging invalid, communist-sympathetic Americans would have no places to which to make pilgrimages in search of budding utopias to admire. But there are still a few who have managed to try to construct a hero out of the thoroughly thuggish Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. most notably Sean Penn, who really is fine actor. Reason ran a rather good piece on the phenomenon by a native Venezuelan that tries to provide some insight, the essence being that voyagers in search of utopia have long been willing to overlook shortcomings and brutality (perhaps even to admire the brutality just a mite?) if they have been able to convince themselves that a utopian foundation is being built. The human capacity for self-delusion is pretty extensive.
Or maybe, as I suggested elsewhere, he's just a fatuous fool.