Imagine the reaction in the United States if Barack Obama died after a long bout with cancer, and one of Britain's top entertainers went on the BBC and ridiculed him.
The equivalent just happened to Venezuelans this weekend when Justin Timberlake appeared on Saturday Night Live and poked fun at Hugo Chavez shortly after his death.
"I have to confess I didn't know Hugo Chavez very well," Timberlake said at the piano in an Elton John costume. "But as the saying goes, hey, a gig is a gig. I did a bit of research, and it turns out President Chavez was quite a complex man. So here goes. Everything in this song is true."
Serenading to "Candle in the Wind", Timberlake sang "Goodbye Hugo C."
"You were a man of the people, and you liked to wear a sash," he crooned. "You called George Bush the devil when you spoke at the UN. You said he smelled like sulphur. And you called him Mr. Danger."
The Mr. Danger quote actually refers to a commentary Chavez made in reference to George W. Bush's ignorance of history. Catch the full context in the video below.