Controversial Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had a fan — and friend — in American actor Sean Penn.Penn, known for his left-wing political and social activism, first met Chavez in 2007 in Venezuela and in August 2012, joined Chavez at an election rally.
When Chavez was sick in December, Penn made a surprise appearance in Bolivia to attend a candlelight vigil for the health of the President.
At the time, the actor said, “He’s one of the most important forces we’ve had on this planet, and I’ll wish him nothing but that great strength he has shown over and over again. I do it in love, and I do it in gratitude.”
“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela. Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro.”
Filmmaker Oliver Stone, who championed Chavez in his 2009 film “South of the Border” was also a fan of the controversial political leader.
”I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” says Stone in a statement to Business Insider. “Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chavez will live forever in history.”
“My friend, rest finally in a peace long earned,” he adds.
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