I guess it's fair to say that in Europe, we don't fear socialism the way you do in the states. It's just another political theory that has some good points, some bad but has never worked in practice.
We probably didn't see Chavez as the devil incarnate in the way people in the US clearly did. He was just another in a long line of unpleasant south American dictators. Certainly not nice, but probably not quite as unpleasant as many of the south American leaders the west propped up during the cold war.