Four Outrageous Celebrity Supporters of Venezuelan Socialism

Liberal celebrities finally did something useful: they proved that it’s easier to support socialism when you have toilet paper and electricity.

Wealthy Hollywood-types have the luxury to fawn over Venezuela and its authoritarian leaders, but many Venezuelans do not have share this rosy perspective. Reuters reported that anti-government activists have taken to the streets in protest against President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist regime. Several people have been killed, including a beauty queen.

Over the years, a series of left-wing celebrities praised Venezuelan socialism, and the nation’s leaders Maduro and former President Hugo Chávez. Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore and Danny Glover are all on the list of celebs who have gushed over Chávez and Maduro, or Venezuelan socialism.

Venezuela’s economy has steadily deteriorated under socialism. As the BBC reported in January 2014, Venezuela faced skyrocketing inflation of 56.2 percent in 2013. The capital city of Caracas suffered from two blackouts in 2013 alone, and many Venezuelans lack access to basic supplies such as milk and toilet paper.

Reason.com said that the country “has become one of the least economically competitive countries in the world,” with collapsing infrastructure and high violent crime rates. That is the result of the political system and “proven leadership” praised by Penn and others.

1. Sean Penn on Maduro’s ‘Proven Leadership’

After former President Hugo Chávez died in March 2013, the famous actor Sean Penn didn’t hesitate to voice his support for Chávez and Maduro, Chávez’s vice president.

Penn, known for his Oscar-winning roles in “Mystic River” and “Milk,” declared after Chavez’s death that “Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of vice president Maduro,” according to The Guardian (UK).

The actor extolled the late Chávez, releasing a statement saying “poor people around the world lost a champion.” Many Venezuelans has a far different opinion of the dictator, than Penn. After the strong man’s passing, the Miami Herald reported that throngs of Venezuelans who fled his regime danced and cheered, some declaring “Finally. We’re free,” or “We are celebrating freedom.”

2. Oliver Stone Accuses Protesters of ‘Desire to Kill’

Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone has also endorsed Venezuelan socialism, recently criticizing protests against Maduro’s regime.

The Panam Post reported that Stone slammed the popular protests in Venezuela at a Feb. 15, Future of Freedom Foundation conference. Stone said “There seems to be a desire to reach out, to kill, to create disturbances in the street protests …” He even compared these protests to “the Republican Party here in the United States.”

Stone supported Chávez repeatedly. When the Venezuelan president died, Stone called him “a great hero to the majority of his people.” He also released a film in 2009, “South of the Border,” which praised Chávez, while media outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times and Huffington Post criticized his film’s pro-Chávez bias.

3. Michael Moore Praises Chávez’s ‘Free Health & Education’

Liberal propagandist Michael Moore is another Academy Award-winning director who has gushed over Chávez’s socialist policies.

Moore, known for his left-wing issue films including “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” joined the crowds of liberal admirers and praised Chavez’s economic policies following the Venezuelan president’s death, according to Hollywood Reporter. Moore tweeted “Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all.”

Moore met Chávez personally in 2009. According to Moore, in that meeting Chávez said he “was happy 2 finally meet someone Bush hated more than him.”

4. Danny Glover Calls Chávez ‘Social-Champion of Democracy’

Outspoken liberal Danny Glover of “Lethal Weapon” fame also praised Chávez after his passing.

Glover told MSNBC website, “the Grio,” that he joined “millions of freedom-loving people around the world” in celebrating Chávez and called him “a social-champion of democracy, material development, and spiritual well-being.”

Glover appeared in Venezuela in 2012 to support Chávez’s election, releasing a video of the two men “boxing playfully” and embracing “in an affectionate hug,” according to Fox News Latino.

Sean Long
Sean Long is a former writer for MRC Business.