A Queens congressman who attended the funeral of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he admired the South American leader for trying to improve the lives of poor people.
Rep. Gregory Meeks was part of a small U.S. delegation at Chavez's funeral on Friday.
The Democrat is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that represented the United States.
Chavez often railed against the United States, calling it imperialist, but Meeks was among a small number of U.S. lawmakers trying to improve relations.
Meeks told The New York Times that he acknowledges the anger stirred by Chavez. But he pointed out that the Venezuelans provided home heating oil at a discounted rate to low-income Americans.