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Ear to the Ground

When Sean Met Hugo

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Posted on Aug 2, 2007

Sean Penn is definitely no stranger to controversy, especially when it comes to his off-screen role as celebrity advocate.  His latest foray into global politics will surely ruffle some feathers on Capitol Hill and beyond—on Thursday, Penn met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (pictured) after touring Caracas as part of the actor’s effort to educate himself about the current situation in the South American nation.

AP via

“Welcome to Venezuela, Mr. Penn. What drives him is consciousness, the search for new paths,” Chavez said Wednesday in a televised speech. “He’s one of the greatest opponents of the Iraq invasion.”

Chavez read aloud from a recent open letter by Penn to President Bush in which the actor condemned the Iraq war and called for Bush to be impeached, saying the president along with Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are “villainously and criminally obscene people.”

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By ardee, August 5, 2007 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

not so much for but about #92299 by Alida on 8/05 at 5:49 am

When a moron like this posts crap like “love it or leave it” in response to contradictions of her stupidities and blatant fictions about both Cuba and Venezuela one must understand the detriment to this forum. I do.

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By Alida, August 5, 2007 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

In response to #92220

Wow!  I must’ve struck a nerve.  That’s funny that you think I’m childish.  I can state my opinion and read yours without becoming offended of offending you.  Whenever someone resorts to name-calling or vulgarity the argument is fundamentally lost.

No need to respond, I really don’t care what you have to say!

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By ardee, August 4, 2007 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Alido, now you are not only deceiving but acting childishly as well, congratulations. Doctors go to work as doctors, strangely enough, and the pharmacies there seem stocked to me. If one cannot find a particular medicine that probably has more to do with Cuba being a third world nation than any evil promoted by Fidel.

As to my comments praising certain things about Cuba and Venezuela and their respective leaders well your response is simply asinine. If you are the child your last two posts indicate you to be then perhaps you should post at a less mature website. If you are an adult then go fuck yourself.

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By Alida, August 3, 2007 at 10:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To 92052:

That’s wonderful that you are so pro Cuba.  You seem to know so much about their education system and apparently everything else.  No need to pounce all over me however.  I’m stating an opinion, which I stand by.  I do wonder why you are not a Cuban citizen or a citizen of Venezula?  Yes, that’s great that Cuba educates it’s doctors for free, then they have to go work in a hotel as bell-boys so they can make end meet.  Sounds like a wonderful system.  By the way, I have an uncle living their with the equivilent of a PhD who can’t get his Parkinson’s medication.  I have a 66 year old cousin who is a medical doctor who can’t afford to retire, thereby taking the position that would be held by recent graduates.  I’m glad you are so pasiionate, but like I said, don’t just visit…go live there.

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By ardee, August 3, 2007 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

#92048 by Alida on 8/03 at 6:04 pm
(1 comments total)

Firstly, Not only DOES Cuba offer health care to all it educates doctors FOR FREE, and not just cubanos but folks from any nation. The only proviso is that they sign an agreement to work for a two year period IN THEIR OWN NATION and among the poor.

As to your opinion of Chavez, it simply doesnt count. Over sixty percent of his own people voted him into office more than once. He has stood up to American imperialism in his own nation which attempted to rob his people of their own oil revenues. He has formed alliances with other leaders and this is what most annoys neocons (perhaps like you), in resisting the long history of our robbing South America of its own wealth.

I do not know which direction Hugo Chavez Frias will take his nation, nor in point of fact do you. I doubt he will go the way of Castro for two very good reasons. One is that Fidel was forced into an alliance with the USSR by a hideously wrong headed American policy towards his revolution. Secondly, and by the by the USSR no longer exists, Chavez’ Venezuela has more money than any other nation in the region, and by far. It sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world.

Lastly I saw no evidence of “pouncing” by Senor Chavez, nor did you, but I guess you are the type to never let an opportunity to smear or distort pass you by…...

As a point of information, I have been in Cuba on three occasions, first while Bautista was still in power and twice after the Cuban revolution freed that nation from his clutches.

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By Alida, August 3, 2007 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

The problem here lies in the fact that Mr. Chavez is really no better than Bush…worse even. (Humor me, please)

He is taking his country the way of Cuba.  If you think that Cuba REALLY offers free health care for ALL it’s citizens, you need to live there for a few years, not just a quick visit.

I applaud Mr. Penn for wanting to educate himself on the situation in Latin America.  It’s a shame Mr. Chavez has to pounce on his visit and turn it into some anti-america propoganda.

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By Carl, August 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Penn and Fonda,one in the same, SEEKERS OF THE TRUTH!

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By carlito paquito, August 3, 2007 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo Again to my kindred brother Sean Penn.  Sean, any trouble, reach out to me, i’m available for Security services.  I’m reasonable.  70K year.  For you only Sean.  God Bless Sean Penn.

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By ardee, August 3, 2007 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

#91832 by Biloxi on 8/02 at 6:15 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee and point blank please stop taking bribes to be the truth of stupid America.

Perhaps you would be good enough to translate this rather obtuse statement into a language native to this planet…..

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By Max Shields, August 2, 2007 at 9:58 pm Link to this comment

Once again, Penn is very impressive. One hell of an actor with an intellect to match.

Venezuela is not an enemy of the US. Penn will learn that Venezuela is experimenting with a Bolivian “revolution”. It is non-violent, democractically based transformation. Chavez waited a number of years before nationalizing the oil to keep it away form corporate privitizers of the North.

Chavez is leading the way on a 21st century experiment with workers’ cooperatives, incorporating Cuba’s best practices, but cultivating grass-roots democracy - something Castro did not have the luxury to do.

There is much to learn from developing countries. Sadly the US has become a 3rd world oligarchy. It will take some time before the populace begins to realize that what they grew up with has long past. I liken it to putting a frog in a pot of water and slowly turning the heat up, the frog doesn’t feel the heat, and then its just a bit warm, and finally its too late. Kapute.

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By tyler, August 2, 2007 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To ardee:

If you just ignore him, he’ll go away.  he suffers from ADHD and he won’t take his medicine, so he bounces around from blog to blog trying to pick fights and get people riled up with senseless jargin.

I’m sure that when his mom discovers that he’s been selling his ridalin on the street, we won’t be hearing much out of him.  Your statement about his command of the english language is spot on, good for a laugh anyway.

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By Biloxi, August 2, 2007 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee and point blank please stop taking bribes to be the truth of stupid America.

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By QuyTran, August 2, 2007 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Penn and Fonda are traitors ? No, the traitors are Bush/Cheney and their organized criminals. They’re not only traitors but demolition operators.

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By cheguevara1970, August 2, 2007 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

How was Penn in New Orleans helping folks, & FEMA said that they could not get through??  This administration is beyond incompetent.

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By ardee, August 2, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Oh, and as to the article…Sean Penn is a very well read, knowledgeable person who is quite concerned with his nation’s course. Unlike a certain right wing imbecile Penn tries to learn about his subjects prior to forming an opinion. When he does speak his mind it is with logic and fact.

I saw him ,not all that long ago, on the Bill Maher show and was again impressed with his self possessed and intellectually sound points. He is also one of our finest screen actors.

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By ardee, August 2, 2007 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

I try so hard not to read the ravings of this moron, Point Blank. But the way he continually fractures the English language is sometimes absolutely hilarious…..

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By Newpatriot4reason, August 2, 2007 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While Mr. Penn’s earlier comments about “bloody underwear” may have been an abstract stretch, he should still be recognised as having the balls to speak out when things are obviously fucked up.  Bush looses his own Republican linemen/women on a daily basis.  Let’s face the truth. This was a fucked up war planned on fucked up manipulation of information that was sold as solid intelligence. Now, 4 going on 5 years later, the military top brass admit this is unwinable militarily.  They are realists, who do not want to see more wasted American lives.

Do not confuse the dedication to mission and purpose of the American soldier with a political end.

Of course the American soldier will believe in his or her mission, because once again, it boils down to duty,, honor, country, and above all the soldier or Marine next to you when the shit is shitty.

West Point even teaches it’s own fresh young warrior officers that you cannot win this with a rifle…

Bush has granted the extremists the public affairs attention they want and need to fuel their cause, with aditional credits to our own jump on any sensationalist tid bit of the extreme that will make the media machine money.

I will leave the forum for a moment to puke…

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By DemRealist, August 2, 2007 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All Mr. Penn did was 1) use his freedom of speech and moral conscience to protest the killing in Iraq and 2) try to learn about another nation.  Traitors are people who are cannot allow Americans to express American rights.

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