- There has been a systemic barrage of misreporting and context-shifting within the U.S. media and espoused by many U.S. Representatives relative to Venezuela and its democratically elected President Hugo Chavez.
- The American people have grown accustomed to hearing the Venezuelan president referred to as a dictator, not only by media representatives but by members of the leadership in both parties. This is a defamation, not only to President Chavez, but also to the majority of Venezuelan people, poor people who have elected him president time and time again.
- a president elected by the impoverished and at the service of the Venezuelan constitution, a document not unlike our own.
- He is a flamboyant, passionate leader. And while our own cultural and constitutional conditioning would lead us to serious concerns in the powers of his office, there must be an informed adjustment to give our analyses a context that may extend beyond our borders.
(All emphasis added by me)
I am fortunate to know some people that live in Venezuela. People that are subject to the dictator, Hugo Chavez. There is no other title that he is worthy of. He is not democratically elected, and he is certainly not returned to office out of the love of his imprisoned subjects. He is, second to the Brothers Castro, the embodiment of what happens to a vibrant, diverse and hard-working people, economy and nation when subject to socialism and Marxian ideals (apparently the kind that Thomas Friedman finds so appealing).
The contest between who is more repulsive is a tight one. Obviously Chavez himself is a despicable person who maintains an iron grip on control of his country while its people suffer at the hand of his idiotic policies borne of his megalomania. Critical members of the media and any nascent political opposition frequently disappear. He is re-elected because there is no choice. It's pretty easy to win a race when you're the only one running, you write the rules and officiate the match all in one. A nuance perhaps lost on Mr. Penn.
Is Mr. Penn more repulsive than Mr. Chavez? Which is worse, the bloodthirsty dictator or his allegedly educated and enlightened actor apologist?
Chavez has the actual blood on his hands, so he is obviously worse. But Penn fights the good fight. And if he keeps writing as poorly as in this piece and this other golden oldie, he might start to nudge his good buddy Hugo off the pedestal.