"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet," Chavez said in a speech on Tuesday.
The socialist president has been a fierce opponent of capitalism, and during his World Water Day speech, Chavez blamed capitalism for destroying Earth's water supplies as well.
"Here on planet Earth, where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts," Chavez said.
Guy Webster, a spokesman with the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, noted: "Water has been discovered on Mars." But whether the planet ever supported life has yet to be confirmed.
The Wall Street Journal contributed to this report.