There are some leaders who are considered a bit different because of their distinctive political lines. Some will call them left populist while others may even call them socialist.


10. J.V. Stalin

Perhaps the most controversial socialist leader of all. Stalin was at the helm of affairs when the Bolshevik Revolution took a highly nationalist stance. Dialectical materialism was to be declared the official philosophy of the state under him. Also, all political opponents were ruthlessly crushed under his leadership, including but not limited to the Trotskyists. The images of Gulag and the forced labor under inhuman conditions as well as hundreds of thousands of illegal executions of political prisoners come up whenever one speaks of Stalin

9. Vladimir Lenin

One of the leading architects of the Bolshevik Revolution, Lenin is seen as one of those rare leaders who not only led from the front in the actual battles against the oppressive Tsars but also as one whose writings and theoretical works have helped shine light on complex problems of “class struggle”. He was able to forecast the rise of imperialism and he also correctly predicted that without the victory of the working class battles in Germany and rest of Europe, the Russian revolution cannot succeed. History stands testimony.

8. Mao Zedong

The Little Red Book by Mao has been read by people belonging to the Left as well as Right wing. Fighting big landlords and the Japanese colonizers were the two main goals of his New Democratic Revolution. His Cultural Revolution is also an extremely popular event in history. However, not everything associated with Mao has gone down well with historians. It is claimed that many excesses took place during the Cultural Revolution.

7. Che Guevara

One of the most famous symbols of rebellion, Che has now become a household name across the world. His famous Motorcycle Diaries has been read by almost any hot blooded young rebel. His passion for bringing about positive change in the world was manifested in their Focoist movement along with Fidel and other comrades that toppled the feudal regime and carried out the most extensive land reforms in the history of the world.

6. Salvador Allende

He was one of the key people associated with the rise of the left in Chile. His administration was closely followed by that of Pinochet, which was regarded by many as one of the most autocratic of all times. The Chilean population which is now up in arms for a free and universal education system will remember the good old days under Allende. However, Allende was removed from power by means of a coup and neoliberalism was established in the country in 1973.

5. Dilma Rousseff

Brazil has seen a resurgence of growth as well as some populist measures under Dilma. What started under Lula was only further strengthened by this leader. The investors as well as the people of the country could be made happy simultaneously. Many noted scholars and political analysts alike have taken great interest in the internal and foreign policies undertaken by DIlma.

4. Fidel Castro

This name has become synonymous with Cuba. From fighting feudal lords to running a country despite the sanctions imposed by Washington, Castro has also been the poster boy of leftist movements across the world. A feature film was also made on this gritty leader. He was one of the comrades in arms with Che Guevara. He was also known for his taste in Cigars.

3. Evo Morales

Bolivia has seen massive peasant movements as well as political upheavals from the indigenous populations in recent times. The spirit of Latin American notion of equality and nationality was felt palpably during the rule of Morales. He is also known to lead a very modest life which is commensurate with the lifestyles of his fellow countrymen.

2. Nicolás Maduro

The current president of Venezuela is known for his hard hitting techniques and his staunch anti-America position. He is a man who is not known to mince words. He means business and he is adamant to bring Venezuela one step closer to the socialist utopia that Chavez had dreamt of and which the poor Venezuelans are looking forward to.

1. Hugo Chavez

Known for his rough and tough attitude, this late supremo of Venezuela was considered the founding father of the modern leftist state of Venezuela. His death had indeed led many to think that the “Pink Tide” in Latin America may well come to an end but fortunately, the Venezuelan population found an able successor in Maduro.