HAVANA TIMES — US film director Oliver Stone and actor Sean Penn said on Tuesday they are mourning the death of Venezuela’s president and their “friend” Hugo Chavez, who Stone described as someone who will go down in history as “a champion of the poor.”
“I’m mourning for a great hero for most of his people and for those who fought for a place in the world,” said Stone via his Twitter account (@TheOliverStone), reported dpa news.
“He was hated by the entrenched classes. Hugo Chavez will live forever in history,” he added.
“My friend is finally resting in peace, which he earned a long time ago,” said the director of South of the Border, a documentary that centered on Chavez and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro.
Meanwhile, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Sean Penn said that with the death of Chavez “the people of the United States lost a friend they never knew they had.”
He added: “And the poor of the world lost a champion. I lost a friend who I was blessed to know,” The Oscar-winning actor had made a surprise appearance at a vigil in Bolivia in December to pray for the recovery of the Venezuelan leader who was fighting cancer for nearly two years.
Another US filmmaker, Michael Moore (director of Bowling for Columbine), used his Twitter account to remind people of how Chavez was a very uncomfortable figure for US policy.
“You won’t hear many nice things about him in the American media over the coming days, so I thought I could provide some sort of balance,” explained the documentary maker.
“Fifty-four countries around the world enabled the United States to arrest (and torture) various suspects. Latin America — thanks to Chavez — was the only region that said no,” said Moore. In another tweet he recalled the 2009 Venice Film Festival, where Chavez told him “I am glad to finally find someone who Bush hates even more than me.”