Dictator-lovers bid farewell to their friend.
Tuesday was a dark day for socialist totalitarians everywhere, including among the Hollywood elite. Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez finally succumbed to cancer, and a pair of Hollywood heavyweight supporters mourned him openly and proudly.
“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had,” declared Sean Penn, Hollywood’s most dictator-loving actor, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter (THR). Of course, the reason the American people were unaware Chavez was our friend is that he had always made it perfectly clear that he hated us. Undeterred by reality, Penn went on: “And poor people around the world lost a champion.” This would be the “champion” who oversaw one of the world’s most corrupt countries and top drug trafficking sites, and whose capital has the second highest homicide rate of any large city in the world, while he amassed a personal fortune. He left behind a country wrestling with a housing crisis, high inflation, an electricity crisis, and rolling food and goods shortages, all of which were fallout from Chavez’s vision of 21st century socialism.
“I lost a friend I was blessed to have,” Penn continued. “My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela.” If Penn’s thoughts were truly with the people of Venezuela, he would be rejoicing for them, since they are now rid of an arrogant monster, although Chavez’s number two, Nicolas Maduro Moros, doesn’t promise to be any better. Tragically, “Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro,” threatened Penn.
Earlier last year, Penn had joined Chavez at an election rally in Venezuela and touted his good friend’s democratic bona fides: “Who do you know here who's gone through fourteen of the most transparent elections on the globe and has been elected democratically, as Hugo Chavez?” Apparently Penn is using the word “transparent” here in the same sense that President Obama uses it to describe his own administration.
Another Hollywood America-hater, director Oliver Stone, also expressed his sadness: “I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” he wrote in his statement to THR. “Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history,” says Stone, a member of the entrenched class of Hollywood’s socialism-promoting multi-millionaires, and a man who has made it his mission to ensure that his heroes do indeed live forever by producing an entire miniseries devoted to rewriting history from an anti-American perspective.
Let’s look at some highlights of the career of the man Sean Penn and Oliver Stone call a hero of the people (courtesy of the Freedom Center’s indispensable Discover the Networks resource):
Hugo Chavez, elected president in 1998, was a proud Communist and an enemy of the United States with many links to violent terrorist organizations and totalitarian dictators. He sent members of his private army of enforcers, the Bolivarian Circles, to Cuba for military training in order “to carry out acts of violence through them” when they returned. He imported hundreds of Cuban activists whose objective was “to arm his thousands of civilian supporters.” Chavez is also alleged to have ties to the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and to have routed weapons and supplies from Cuba through Venezuela to Marxist guerrillas in Colombia.
Chavez was a close friend of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, providing him with cheap oil in exchange for military support and training for his Bolivarian Circles. Chavez also maintained contacts with terrorism-sponsoring nations in the Middle East. In 2001 he signed “cooperation agreements” with Libya, Iraq, and Iran. Former Venezuelan military officials allege that Chavez directly supported Middle Eastern terrorist organizations including al-Qaeda, and he has been directly linked to the Taliban.
In a 2003 article, human rights activist Thor Halvorssen wrote: “A day after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Chavez declared that ‘the United States brought the attacks upon itself for their arrogant imperialist foreign policy.’ Chavez also described the U.S. military response to bin Laden as ‘terrorism,’ claiming that he saw no difference between the invasion of Afghanistan and the Sept 11th terrorist attacks.”
In the summer of 2006, Chavez embarked on a six-week trip to a dozen countries. As the Capital Research Center summarizes:
Venezuela’s president… met with Vladimir Putin and purchased $3 billion in Russian arms, including fighter jets, military helicopters, and 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles. He also visited Iran, where he voiced support for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran-financed Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group; Vietnam, where he fondly reminisced about its struggle against the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s; Cuba, where he held hands with an ailing Fidel Castro who sent thousands of Cuban doctors and teachers to Venezuela in exchange for oil at much-reduced rates; China, where he struck yet more deals; and Syria, where he promised another strategic alliance to free the world of U.S. domination.
Iranian President Ahmadinejad awarded Chavez Iran’s highest state honor, the Islamic Republic Medal, for supporting Tehran in its nuclear ambitions. Chavez used the occasion to say, “Let's save the human race, let's finish off the U.S. empire. This [task] must be assumed with strength by the majority of the peoples of the world.”
Unsurprisingly, Chavez was also no friend to Israel. He condemned the tiny democracy for what he called the “terrorism” and “madness” of its attacks in Lebanon, referred to Israel as one of America's “imperialistic instruments,” and accused it of doing to the Palestinians “what Hitler did to the Jews.”
In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, Chavez called the U.S. “the greatest threat looming over our planet,” a nation whose “hegemonic pretensions ... are placing at risk the very survival of the human species”; he referred to President Bush as “the Devil,” an aspiring “world dictator,” and the “spokesman of imperialism”; and he asserted that “[t]he government of the United States doesn't want peace,” but rather “wants to exploit its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war.”
At the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009, socialist Chavez said: “Capitalism is a destructive model that is eradicating life, that threatens to put a definitive end to the human species.”
Chavez left behind a family fortune estimated at over $2 billion dollars, one that rivaled that of the Castro brothers of impoverished Cuba. This is always the way of socialism – the powerful at the top, who profess to champion the poor, live like kings while the powerless wait in bread lines. This is the man that the Hollywood radical left – who also live like kings – mourn.
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.