Sean Penn on Hugo Chavez: “He is clearly not a dictator by any international standard”

Say the name “Hugo Chavez” and a creepy tingle crawls up my back and, if I could, I would scream at the top of my lungs in frustration and anger. Hugo Chavez, Venezuela‘s long-standing President, is what many Americans believe to be an evil, socialist dictator. While I certainly don’t agree with ultra-Conservatives like Pat Roberts that someone should kill the guy, I do believe Chavez needs to be stopped in seeking re-election until 2021 and beyond.

On the other side of the spectrum is Sean Penn’s humane approach to and interview with Chavez. In an interview that was recently posted on The Nation, Penn describes his time with Chavez since their first meeting in 2006.

I am a huge fan of Sean Penn as an actor, but his humanitarian resumé is rather brief. Penn seems to paint an awfully positive picture of the Venezuelan President in some ways because he is trying to disapprove of the Conservatives’ (on Fox News, for instance) extreme dislike of Chavez.

While my own opinion of Chavez is rather biased because of my time in Colombia and approval of Álvaro Uribe, Colombia’s President, whom Chavez once called “Bush’s poodle,” I still cannot see how anyone — particularly an outspoken actor turned interviewer — can be even the slightest bit approving of a man who supports terrorists and does not honor the democratic process. Chavez sought an end to presidential term limits last year, but his referendum was narrowly yet democratically rejected. Now he seeks the same thing — except this time, he has numbers on his side. In addition to this, he is slowly winning approval from such powerful nations as Russia and China. His wielding of power is frightening to say the least.