On March 5th Sean Penn, who has been doing remarkably fine work in Haiti, appeared on Bill Maher’s HBO show, and, in defense of Hugo Chavez, said
Everyday this elected leader is called a … a dictator here, and we just accept it and accept it. And this is Main Stream Media who should … truly there should be a bar by which they … one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.
Apparently, Penn, who may be a Democrat, under the influence of Chavez, is diminisingly a democrat. Not to mention that one passionately righteous individual’s lie is another one’s mistake, or even different point of view, and how large a cell would Penn like?
Former Penn costar Maria Conchita Alonso, of Cuban birth, but raised in Venezuela, was moved yesterday to issue an open letter to Penn to reconsider his understanding of Chavez.
WHY do you support a government with close relationships with FARC, ETA, Cuban G-2, Government of Iran, Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, among others, which are the most feared terrorist movements in the world?
The record grows of Chavez persecution of political opponents, media domination, and unholy alliances. And, of course, Chavez, who likes to rail against U.S. support of a coup against him, felt differently about coups when he made his first attempt to gain the presidency via his own coup attempt in 1992. Coup attempts, history instructs, are always the first sterling sign of great democratic leaders in politico utero, once they get out of prison.
Now, Shimon Samuels, in The Jewish Chronicle Online, drawing from the report of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) comments on anti-Semitism as state policy in Venezuela.
Since Hugo Chavez took power, antisemitic expression has grown exponentially: in government media; in the dissemination of the Protocols of Zion; in the accusation that “Semitic banks” are sabotaging the economy; in the fact that the Caracas Jewish school was raided twice by armed forces “searching for Mossad-supplied arms caches”; in the desecration of two synagogues; and in the closing of the Israeli Embassy. The Venezuelan ambassador to Moscow even alleged that Jewish citizens implicated in a 2002 anti-Chavez coup were “Mossad agents”.
The IACHR’s own report concludes
In the present report, the Commission has identified that political intolerance; the lack of independence of the branches of the State in dealing with the executive; constraints on freedom of expression and the right to protest peaceably; the existence of a climate hostile to the free exercise of dissenting political participation and to monitoring activities on the part of human rights organizations; citizen insecurity; violent acts perpetrated against persons deprived of their liberty, trade union members, women, and farmers; and, above all, the prevailing impunity affecting cases of human rights violations are factors that seriously limit the enjoyment of human rights in Venezuela. With the aim of consolidating the democratic system, the State must increase its efforts to combat these challenges and achieve better and more effective protection of the rights guaranteed in the American Convention on Human Rights.
None of this is news, though, to those with only modest historical vision, who would not be the willing dupes of demagogues. The Penns, Belafontes, Glovers, Sarandons, and Oliver Stones who romance with Chavez as they still offer themselves virginally to the Castros, are not living in 1936. Just as those on the right with any political acuity should see in Limbaugh, Beck, and Palin the bombastic divisiveness, buffoonery, and ignorance they play upon the stage for the price of admission and autographs, anyone on the left with more will to see the truth than will to believe should recognize the god that failed each time he comes for communion.
I wonder how they all like each other’s company?